Let's get real right up front: I've actually never had horchata. Horchata (pronounced or-CHA-ta) is a traditional Mexican and/or Latin drink made from milk and rice, sweetened with sugar. I stumbled upon a version from Rick Bayless that substitutes almonds for the milk, and was instantly intrigued. You see, despite having a glorious food selection in Brazil, almond milk is not one of them, and I truly miss it. So, I was stoked to attempt a homemade version.
Horchata, here I come!
(adapted from Rick Bayless)
- 2/3 cup rice, medium or long grain (I used brown)
- 1 1/4 cup almonds, blanched
- 3-inch piece of Cinnamon Stick
- 4 1/2 cups water, divided
- 1 cup sugar - I subbed in 1/3 cup raw agave syrup, but basically, sweeten to taste
1) Blanch almonds by pouring boiling water over them in a glass bowl. Let sit in the water about ten minutes. Drain the hot water, and rinse briefly with cold water. The skins should peel off easily.
2) In a large bowl combine rice, almonds, cinnamon stick and 2 ½ cups of hot tap water Cool, cover and refrigerate overnight.
3) Pour the mixture into the blender, add sugar or agave, and blend on high for several minutes, until the mixture is as smooth as possible.
4) Strain through a fine sieve (if yours isn’t very fine, line it with cheesecloth), pressing on the solids until only a dryish pulp remains.
5) Pour into a pitcher, add the remaining 2 cups (cold) water, taste and sweeten more if you wish. Serve over ice.
I was simply amazed at close to my fave Silk Almond Milk this tasted! A splash of vanilla would be my next go-to, but since my husband and I had plans to share the creation, we opted for the adult version...A spike of rum, instead. Cheers!