Horchata

September 28, 2011

Horchata is a Mexican rice drink often found at taco stands and Latin markets.  The drink is made with water, pureed rice, and spices.  There are several stages to making horchata so needless to say, it will require some time in the kitchen.  Once made, this light and refreshing drink goes well with Mexican food and any dish that might be heavy or fatty.  I like to freeze my horchata in molds to make ice pops.

Horchata
Recipe from A Cozy Kitchen

Ingredients:

6 tablespoon white rice
1 1/4 cups blanched almonds (I used raw and it was great)
2 cinnamon sticks
Pinch of nutmeg
3 2-inch strips of lime zest(colored rind only) 3/4 inch wide
2 1/2 cups of hot water
about 1/2 cup sugar
2 cups of cold water

Directions:

Pulverize the rice in a blender or spice grinder. Transfer to a medium-size bowl and add the almonds, cinnamon stick, nutmeg 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 1 cup of water and stir in 1/2 cup of sugar. If the consistency is too thick, add additional water. Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve. Stir before pouring.

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