Got Horchata?

Horchata is one of the many delicious and refreshing non-alcoholic coolers popular in the Latin countries. Wikipedia has the definitive on the subject of agua frescas. 

In any authentic Mexican restuarant you will see several colorful varieties presented in large glass jars: rice/cinnamon, hybiscus/sorrel (agua de Jamaica), tamarind, and seasonal fruits such as pineapple, strawberries and melons.

Featured here is agua de horchata. It is a delicious, refreshing, creamy flavored sweet drink based on rice, flavored with cinnamon. Nourishing for sure. It goes especially well with spicy Mexican foods. This is the Mexican recipe for agua de horchata.

Aqua de Horchata


1 cup raw rice, cracked/pulverized in a blender 
1 ½ cup boiling water
1 whole piece of Mexican cinnamon
about 4 inches long, crushed (optional, can be toasted)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Additional water 1 cup

¼ to ½ cup sugar (or to taste)

50/50 rice and blanched almonds 
Milk---some portion instead of 100% water, but not more than 50% total liquid
Sweetened condensed milk to augment sugar
Try different types of sugars
Almond extract


Place the cracked/pulverized rice and cinnamon in a bowl and add boiling water to cover.  Let stand overnight. Pour rice, soaking liquid, and cinnamon, in a blender and blend well until smooth.  Using a fine-meshed sieve and/or a few layers of cheesecloth, strain mixture into a pitcher and discard the solid residue.  Add vanilla and sweeten to taste (stay to the medium sweet side). Add water or water/milk to produce a medium-light flavor balance. Serve cold or over ice.

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