01 August 2013

Thirsty Thursday: Horchata

For some strange reason, this week prompted me to take a stroll down memory lane. My first encounter with the delicious chilled rice and cinnamon beverage known as Horchata  was during a “fiesta” in my Spanish I class as a wee high school lass, many (many, many) moons ago. I loved it instantly and have had it several times since, but I’ve never tried making my own. Until now! Thanks to a recipe I found here, I was able to reproduce this cool treat relatively easily, with ingredients that were simple enough to procure from my own cupboards.
·                     1 cup long grain white rice, rinsed
·                     4 cups water
·                     2 cinnamon sticks
·                     1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, plus more for garnish
·                     1 cup skim milk
·                     1/3 cup brown sugar, plus 2-3 Tbsp to taste
·                     1 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
·                     Ice
1.      Wash and drain rice. Combine rice with cinnamon sticks in water and soak overnight in the refrigerator.
2.      After the rice has soaked for at least 8-10 hours, preferably overnight, discard the cinnamon sticks and pour rice and water into a blender. Add 1/2 tsp cinnamon and blend on low for 2-3 minutes until well blended. Pour blended rice mixture through fine mesh sieve two times and then through cheesecloth one more time to remove all gritty bits of rice.
3.      Pour strained mixture into a pitcher, add skim milk, brown sugar and vanilla and stir well to combine. Add more sugar if needed, to taste.  Best served with ice & a dash of ground cinnamon. 
Hope you enjoy!

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