Horchata is a popular refreshing sweetened rice beverage traditional to many Latin American cultures. I was inspired to make my own version after hearing how much my nephew loved drinking this "sweet milk".
The first time I had horchata was with my father in Spain when I was 10 years old. I was instantly intrigued by the unique sweet drink and have had it many times since, at various Latin restaurants. It's very easy to make and extremely satisfying on a hot summer day served over a tall glass of ice.
This recipe does require a bit of inactive time as it calls for letting the blended rice water sit for several hours. You can do the first step right before heading to bed and be ready for the next steps in the morning! I made mine for a family gathering and did the first step as soon as I woke up and let the mixture sit for about 5 hours.
makes 8 cups
- 1 1/2 cups of uncooked white rice
- 6 cups of filtered water
- 1 cup milk of choice (I used vanilla almond milk)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tbsp of ground cinnamon
- 1/2 - 3/4 cup of granulated sugar (adjust for preference)
1. Add water and uncooked rice to a blender and blend at top speed for about 2 minutes. If you have a smaller blender, do this in batches. You can either let the mixture sit in the blender or move to a bowl. Let the rice mixture sit for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
2. After allowing the mixture to settle for several hours, re-blend the mixture briefly. The soaked rice will break down further and create a creamier consistency to the beverage. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer, a cheesecloth, or if you have one, a nut milk bag. Pour into a pitcher.
3. Add the milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and sugar into the blender and blend until well combined, about 15 seconds. Add the milk mixture to the pitcher and stir. I would suggest starting at the lower range of the sugar and add more if you prefer a sweeter flavor. Adjust cinnamon and vanilla as needed.
4. Serve in a tall glass with lots of ice!