It’s hard to believe that just a few simple ingredients can produce a creamy, dreamy drink that satisfies your insides and puts a little pep in your step.
Just in time for Cinco de Mayo, we plus one’d (ok, plus two’d) our horchata with a little booze. Who says that rum can’t be part of the fun?
The best part about horchata (pronounced or-CHA-tah) is that it’s really just a sweetened-up, spiced version of almond/rice milk. So leftovers (sans booze) are perfect for pouring into tea, stirring into oatmeal, or dunking a cookie into.
Raw almonds, its main ingredient, help to prevent diabetes and heart disease. But that’s not all! These nutrient-wealthy nuts also provide an excellent source of manganese and copper—essential cofactors (aka wingmen) of a key energy production enzyme.
Whoever told you that sipping a cocktail wasn’t very good for you hasn’t had our horchata.
1. Place the almonds, rice, cinnamon sticks, and dates in a large (2 litre) mason jar or bowl, cover with the just boiled water, and stir to combine. Cool until no longer steaming. Cover with a breathable towel and leave on your counter overnight (or for about 10 hours) to soak.
2. The next morning, take out one of the cinnamon sticks and pour the remaining mixture into a blender. Add the cold water and blend until fully incorporated. It should look like a thick cream. This job will be much quicker with a high-speed blender.
3. Strain the mixture over a fine-mesh sieve or a regular sieve lined with several layers of cheesecloth. Sip the extracted liquid to test for graininess. If it’s still too grainy, strain the liquid through several layers of cheesecloth once more.
4. Put the horchata in the fridge to chill for several hours.
serves 2, and is easily doubled
1. Place the horchata, 4 ice cubes, rum, and amaretto in a blender and blend until smooth.
2. Pour into a short glass with extra ice cubes, and sprinkle with cinnamon. (This is best done with a small sieve for light, even distribution.)
3. Garnish with a cinnamon stick, if you like.