Horchata is a popular Mexican drink that has become very trendy in the U.S. within recent years – thanks to chains, like Starbucks, creating their own spin on the beloved Latin drink. Now, you can find it everywhere and in everything, even protein drinks! As of 2019, horchata became one of the most popular flavors in America with a 257 percent spike in sales growth.
So, what is horchata, and why do folks love it so much? Though it can be made in many ways, the traditional method from Mexico uses rice, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon. But, there is also a version from Spain that is made from ground tiger nuts, and another from Puerto Rico with sesame seeds and coconut milk. The recipe below, provided by Haven at Main, a community of Braeswood apartments, is a take on the traditional Mexican version of horchata. Check out the ingredients you’ll need, as well as the directions!
• 1 cup uncooked white rice
• 2 cinnamon sticks
• 1-12 ounce can evaporated milk
• 1-12 ounce can condensed milk
• 8 cups of warm water divided
• Sugar to taste
• Ground cinnamon to garnish optional
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, optional
1. Wash and drain the rice. Place the rice, cinnamon sticks, and 4 cups of water into a bowl. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight or a minimum of 4 hours. Remember, it’s important to break the cinnamon sticks into large pieces before you place them in the bowl to soak.
2. Once you're ready to blend the rice, remove most of the cinnamon sticks. Please note that it's okay to leave some small pieces behind with the rice.
3. Blend the rice in two separate batches by adding 1/2 of the rice and water with some of the remaining cinnamon sticks. Puree until it's very smooth and forms a paste-like texture, approximately 4 minutes long.
4. Using a very fine strainer, or some cheesecloth, pour the blended mixture over a pitcher. Strain out as much liquid as possible, pushing on the solids with a spatula or spoon.
5. Repeat this process with the remaining rice, water, and cinnamon sticks.
6. Add the milk, optional vanilla, and 4 cups of water. Taste and add more sugar or water if needed. Chill and stir before serving over ice.
On the hunt for a new favorite recipe to add to your list of staples? The team at Haven at Main, the apartments near Texas Medical Center, encourages you to try your hand at this delicious option.