You have the hubby to thank for this traditional recipe. He didn’t invent it. He didn’t even give you a fresh twist on the classic. But he did stop me from going a little coco-NUTS on this recipe and adding… yeah, okay, I punned this sentence up about thirty seconds too early, you probably know what I was going to add to this recipe.
But I digress.
I’m actually really pleased with how this turned out. I tried making horchata in 12th grade for extra credit (and a Spanish class party), and somehow ended up bringing rice tortillas with a little lime zest. Horchata tacos. Well, horchata tortillas anyway. I got the extra credit. I also went home with a bag of tortillas (in my head I’m pronouncing this à la Napolean Dynomite, which was also popular at that particular point in time).
I promise, it really, really was NOT my fault. It was the recipe. I know because my dad reread the recipe as I looked at the pasty gloop that was supposed to be a frothy drink. Nowhere did the recipe say to drain the liquid from the solids.
Um…and while it was always a running joke with my two best friends back in Toulouse that I was more Latina than my Mexican husband, back in the day I was just an innocent little gringa trying to make a recipe for a drink I’d never even heard of before my dad suggested it from the living room sofa.
And since I’m gringa at the core (you can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl), I also decided it would be fun to participate in one of my favorite FB group’s recipe round-ups for Cinco de Mayo.
But honestly, you guys, it’s just fun to have a reason to eat Mexican food.
So here is a recipe for horchata, for which, I was able to find all the ingredients quite easily, even living in China. Now, I know there are a million different horchata recipes, and I probably could have tweaked one enough to call it my own, but I found an awesome article by some people that actually made several batches and did the “recipe development” for me. I did modify the kind of sweetener used as well as a little extra liquid, since I like milk, but thanks Nosh On. Your horchata experiment was not in vain.
- 4½ cups water
- 1 cup blanched almonds
- ⅓ cup rice
- 1-2 cinnamon sticks
- ½ cup sugar
- Option: 1 cup milk or ½ cup more water
- Blanche your almonds if they aren't already. You can easily do this buy boiling them for exactly one minute, straining the water, and popping them out of their brown skin. Really easy!
- Then add hot, but not boiling, water to the almonds, rice, and cinnamon. Let sit overnight.
- The next day, blend everything together. Strain the liquid using a cheesecloth or a fine-meshed sieve. You can take the pulp with your hands and squeeze to get all of the liquid from the mixture.
- Add the sugar and milk (or water).
- Blend again.
- Serve over ice and garnish with cinnamon.