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If you have ever been to a taquería you'll be well acquainted with horchata, a delicious cinnamon-laced chilled beverage that is perfect for washing down tacos.
Mexican horchata - which is made from a blend of soaked rice, water and cinnamon - is a breeze to make at home if you have a blender. It is refreshing, tasty and perfect for mixing with rum and other spirits come the holiday season.
A Little History
The word horchata came to Latin America from Valencia, Spain where a similar drink is made from tiger nuts, according to the Latin Post.
In Mexico, horchata is traditionally made from rice but other versions exists throughout Latin America. For instance, in Puerto Rico it is made with from sesame seeds while in El Salvador a mix of nuts (including almonds and cashews) are used.
How To Make Mexican Horchata
The most basic Mexican horchata calls for just four ingredients: rice, cinnamon sticks, water and sugar.
Aside from a blender all you'll need to make horchata is time. That's because you'll need to soak the rice and cinnamon sticks for several hours or overnight so they can absorb the water before being pureed.
Ingredients for Horchata (6 servings)
1 cup of rice
1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
sugar, to taste
ground cinnamon for garnish
1. Place rice, cinnamon stick and 1 liter (1 quart) of water in a blender. Puree.
2. Pour the rice mixture into a bowl. Add 1 more liter of water. Cover and let sit overnight.
3. Working in small batches, puree the rice mixture in the blender.
4. Strain the horchata, add sugar to taste, and refrigerate. Serve chilled over ice. Garnish with ground cinnamon.
via Nosh On
Modern Mexican Horchata
Renown Latin chef Aarón Sánchez recommends pulverizing the rice and cinnamon before soaking them overnight. The next day all you need to do is blend with fresh water and strain well.
Some modern recipes for Mexican horchata call for sweetened condensed milk, which incorporates more easily into the liquid than sugar. Horchata may also be sweetened with simple syrup or agave.
Our search for the perfect Mexican horchata led us to YouTuber HowToCookMexicanFood. We've tried her recipe and it works like a charm every time. The only thing we recommended doing differently is pulverizing the rice before soaking. Take a look: