For a self-professed rice lover, a creamy, ice-cold rice-based drink like horchata works like Pavlov’s bells on me.
I love rice. There really is no other way to describe my fondness for rice but in the most glowing terms. So you can imagine my excitement when I first came across a recipe for horchata back in 2015.
For those unfamiliar with horchata, it’s a beverage that’s made with ground rice and flavored with cinnamon. Similar to our various samalamigs, horchata is a common agua fresca that’s sold by street vendors in Latin America.
The good news is, we don’t have to fly to Latin American countries to sample some horchata. You can easily whip up a batch of horchata with ingredients that you likely already have in your kitchen. These are:
- rice (any self-respecting Filipino kitchen would have some)
- evaporated milk
- condensed milk
- cinnamon sticks (or powder, in a pinch – pun intended)
Yup. 5 ingredients in total. Well, you could add some raw almonds too, if you have.
In addition, most of the prep work happens overnight! The first step in making horchata is to soak a cup of rice, half a cup of almonds, and a cinnamon stick in a cup of water. Next is to store that mixture in the fridge for a few hours while you go to sleep or do some errands.
I used normal, uncooked white rice and a cinnamon stick that’s been broken into pieces. Sadly, I didn’t have any almonds this time around. The horchata turned out really tasty although the almonds would have given more creaminess to the drink.
I put the soaked rice, cinnamon, and the soaking water in a food processor/blender and ground them until they were fine. One tip I could give – don’t put all the soaking water with the rice and cinnamon all at once! I’m not sure if it’s my food processor, but it didn’t grind well when I put all the water in.
Once everything’s ground, add some evaporated milk and condensed milk. Then blend, blend, blend! Transfer to a big pitcher, add some ice cubes, and voila!
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