Horchata comes from Spain. However, like most things that came to the American Continent in the 1600-1800’s it changed over time. The original recipe featured ingredients like barley, almonds, sesame seeds, or tigernuts. Now, the Horchata served at local parties comes from a mixture of rice and cinnamon.
- 1 1/3 cups Long Grain Rice
- 2 Cinnamon Sticks
- 1 cup Almonds
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 cup Sugar
- 4 cups Water
- 1 1/2 cups Milk
- First, dump your almonds into a pot of boiling water for two minutes
Immediately dump the almonds into a strainer and run them under cold water. Remove all the skins by pinching the almonds with your fingers, once they cool. You can throw the skins away.
- Then, blend the rice and cinnamon in a food processor
You can also use a spice grinder to pulverize them into a finer powder.
- Next, combine the powder and almonds in a jar with two cups hot water
Allow the jar to cool completely, then put on the lid. Just allow it to rest (sit on your counter) for at least ten hours.
- The next day, pour the mixture into your blender and add two more cups of water, sugar, vanilla, and milk.
Blend the entire mixture into a completely smooth liquid. This portion usually takes me about five minutes.
- Then, pour the mixture through a cheesecloth
This separates the pulp from the drink. Make sure you squeeze the cheesecloth as hard as you can to get all the fluid out. Throw the pulp away.
- Finally, chill the horchata in an airtight container
A small amount of separation normally happens, and you can mitigate it by shaking before you pour.
Horchata at Parties
My aunt used to bring horchata, limonada (a type of lemonade), and sangria to every family gathering. Recipes like these circulate from family to family and can provide many happy memories.
What drinks do you traditionally get for your family parties?
I grew up in Colonia Juarez, Chihuahua, México, where people either owned cattle ranches or fruit orchards. Much of my work ethic came from working on Rancho La Mesa (my family’s ranch). That ranch also sparked what grew into my wild imagination.