Horchata

By • May 14, 2013 • 9 Comments


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Author Notes: Horchata (pronounced or-CHA-tah) is a traditional Latin American drink that is typically milky and sweet, and sometimes spiced. If you've never tasted horchata before, imagine this as sweetened rice-almond milk with cinnamon, kind of like an iced chai tea without the tea. Each country has its own version of horchata. My version calls for rice, almonds and cinnamon. It is dairy-free (yet creamy) and sweetened with agave nectar rather than sugar. I can't promise that you could find horchata quite like this south of the border, but it is incredibly delicious and refreshing nonetheless. Cookie and Kate

Serves 4

  • 2/3 cups long grain white or brown rice (dry)
  • 1 1/4 cup blanched almonds
  • 3-inch cinnamon stick
  • 4 1/2 cups water, divided
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup light agave nectar
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the rice, almonds, cinnamon stick and 2 1/2 cups hot water. Allow the mixture to cool, then cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Pour the mixture into a blender, add agave (start with 1/3 cup; you can add more later) and blend on high for several minutes, until the mixture is as smooth as possible. Add one cup of cold water and blend for 10 seconds. Taste, and add more agave if you'd like.
  3. Place a large metal sieve over a large bowl. Line the sieve with cheesecloth (or use a nut milk bag or clean paint straining bag, found at hardware stores). Pour the mixture through slowly, stirring as you pour. Press on the solids with a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Lift the cheesecloth/bag and squeeze the rest of the liquid out. Discard the remaining pulp.
  4. Pour the mixture into a pitcher and stir in the last cup of water. Pour into glasses filled with ice and serve.

Comments (9) Questions (2)

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4 months ago Lisa Muller

I made this drink a few days ago (before I read your post) and I slightly toasted the brown rice first which gave it another layer of flavors. Thank you for sharing such a great recipe with the public!

Stringio

9 months ago Stephanie Wilson Jensen

I checked some other recipes and they say to blend the cinnamon stick with all the other ingredients. There are several recipes for this on All Recipes web site.

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9 months ago sarah jampel

Does the cinnamon stick get blended with all of the other ingredients or should it be removed?

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10 months ago Ger

Honestly, what's the point of a recipe with cups? Shall I go to the supermarket and ask for cups of stuff?
And that's not an horchata at all, it's a mere tentative of almond milk that you can actually buy very easily.
Love the agave nectar thing, as if such a thing actually exists in every supermarket...

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3 months ago Kt4

Honestly, what's the point of your comment? There's nothing constructive in anything you said. I can find agave easily in nearly every market/grocery store I go to and I measure all the ingredients I use with standard measuring cups & spoons. Please make your future comments useful with suggestions instead of just complaints & criticisms.

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11 months ago DDawg511

If you don't have agave nectar, I've seen another recipe use sweetened condensed milk (if you want to add dairy). I'm making a large batch for some friends to try so I'll try half with agave and the other half with condensed milk.

Stringio

11 months ago Stephanie Wilson Jensen

For some reason I can't pin this.

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11 months ago Nomnomnom

A thousand thanks for this recipe. I've wanted to try making my own for a while, and now I can. Brilliant!

Meinpr

11 months ago Becky Winkler

Just put this together--it's soaking! Trying it with pecans instead of almonds, since that's what I had. Smells great already!