I've recently become obsessed with horchata after trying this milky drink at a local taqueria that offered it in my area. Ever since my first sip I have been looking out for it everytime I grab some Mexican food which seems quite frequently. I did a little research on this and found there is actually no milk in this sweet aromatic and refreshing drink. It is a type of rice milk so this is also a very vegan friendly treat.
After a few google searches I found the following Horchata recipe by Rick Bayless a Mexican chef I have always enjoyed on PBS. This recipe was featured in his book “Authentic Mexican Cookbook.”
6 tablespoon white rice
1/14 cups blanched almonds
1 inch cinnamon stick
3 2-inch strips of lime zest(colored rind only) 3/4 inch wide
about 1 cup sugar
Thoroughly pulverize the rice in a blender or spice grinder. Transfer to a medium -size bowl and add the almonds, cinnamon stick and lime zest. Stir in 2 1/2 cups of hot tap water, cover and let stand at least 6 hours or preferably, overnight.Scoop the mixture into a blender jar and blend for 3 to 4 minutes, until no longer feels very gritty. Add 2 cups of water, and then blend for a few seconds more. Set a large sieve over a mixing bowl and line with 3 layers of dampened cheese cloth. Pour in the almond-mixture a little at time, gently stirring to help the liquid pass through. When all has been strained, gather up the corners of the cheesecloth and twist them together to trap the dregs inside. Squeeze the package firmly to expel all the remaining liquid.Add 2 cups of water and stir in enough sugar to sweeten the drink to your taste. If the consistency is too thick add additional water. Cover and refrigerate until you're ready to serve. Stir before pouring.
Yields 1 1/2 quarts, 6 to 7 servings.
I ended up with enjoyable results, it was not quite as flavorful as the horchata I have been drinking locally but it wasn’t bad either. Next time I make this I will double the cinnamon quantity and possibly grate some nutmeg in as well. You may need to adjust the amount of water if you prefer a lighter or thicker drink. This lasted for about a week in the fridge so this recipe does make a decent amount.
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