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Horchata

horchata main

I first learned about Horchata on my adventures in Costa Rica. Horchata is a beverage made from ground nuts, seeds or grains usually mixed with cinnamon and other spices and served over ice. It is popular throughout Latin America and Spain, but each country has their own recipe. No two Horchatas are ever alike and it is up to you to find your favorite version.

When preparing a Horchata, you are basically creating a homemade almond and/or rice milk mixed with cinnamon and sugar. But I'm not talking about those rectangular cartons from the grocery store, I want you to think about a fresh, creamy refreshing drink, spiced and sweetened to perfection. Recipes range from a thinner, watery drink to a thicker, creamier milkshake like beverage, I like thick and creamy, you?

What really surprises me is why I don’t see more Horchata here in America!

Maybe we can start a new trend. All you have to do is grind some rice and place in a bowl with water, almonds and cinnamon. Let it sit for at least 8-10 hours (up to 12 hours), process in a blender, strain, add sugar to taste and enjoy. You don’t have to stop there, though. Go ahead and experiment with your favorite flavors, add nutmeg or cardamom or both. Turn it into a cocktail, it goes great with a shot of rum or whiskey.

You can even place it in a popsicle mold for a mid-afternoon treat this summer!

Make a big batch, it will go fast. 

  • Duration
  • Prep Time
  • 8Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 2 cups almonds
  • 1-inch piece cinnamon bark
  • 4 cups water
  • ½ cup sugar or agave, plus more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Ice cubes

Preparation

1. Wash and drain the rice. 

2. Using a spice grinder (an electric coffee grinder works well too), grind the rice until fine; combine with the almonds and cinnamon bark. 

3. Add 3½ cups water and let sit overnight, covered. 

4. Blend rice-almond mixture until smooth using a blender. Add 2 cups of water and continue blending. 

5. Add sugar and vanilla extract. 

6. Strain horchata into a bowl with a fine mesh sieve (I used a chinois).  I don’t have a great blender, so I then put the pulp back through with 2 more cups of water and strained again.

This should last in your fridge about 2 days.  Use any extra to make Popsicles (just pour into pop molds and freeze - you might want to make these a bit sweeter as it loses some of the flavor when frozen)

Nutrition note - This drink is overall very healthy and the less sugar you use the better, but I am not including the full information because it is hard to calculate considering all that is filtered out.  Without filtering it is around 250 calories, so it should be considered a nice snack and considering the protein and fiber is a pretty good one.