One of the best things about living in a culturally-diverse city such as Vancouver is that there's lot of opportunity to try new foods and explore new cuisines.
While visiting a local Mexican joint, I was intrigued about the drink they had in a fountain dispenser up front near the counter. My husband saw me ogling and asked if I wanted to try it.... UM, YES!
It was love at first taste. Cold, sweet, creamy, and coconut-ty. Definitely my kind of drink.
The sign near the drink said "Horchata," and the flavour they had on tap that night was coconut. I would later resort to Google to find out more about horchata, but I was surprised to find out that the drink is made out of rice.
WHAT IS HORCHATA?
As with any food, there are different variations on horchata.
Horchata refers to a drink made with some type of grain.
Mexican horchata is made with rice and always includes cinnamon. Other countries include sesame seeds, almonds, or other spices in their horchatas.
HOW TO MAKE HORCHATA
- Toast the rice, nuts, and spices.
- Then we'll blend the ingredients with water.
- Steep the mixture in boiling water for a few hours.
- Strain the mixture through a sieve.
- Mix in sugar, milk and additional water.
- Chill in the fridge.
My recipe for Coconut Horchata is a hybrid of two versions that I found online. Toasting the rice, almonds, cinnamon and coconut before blending them together with the water adds to a much more aromatic and fragrant drink.
REFRESHING AND COOL DRINK
It's a cool, refreshing drink, perfect for a hot summer day.
Serve alongside with Chicken Fajitas, or sip while eating some homemade Tacos de Lengua (Beef Tongue Tacos).
It's almost as if you're vacationing on a beach in Mexico. Minus the sunburn. 😉
Let me know if you try out this recipe -- tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer or leave me a comment below.
Mexican Coconut Horchata
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
- 1 C white long-grained rice rinsed and dried
- ½ C unsweetened coconut flakes
- ½ C almonds
- ½ cinnamon stick
- 2 C boiling water
- 1 C room temperature water
- ½ C sugar
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract optional
- ½ C coconut milk canned
- ½ C whole milk
- 3 C cold water
- The night before, rinse the rice in a sieve and drain. Place the rice on a baking tray to air dry overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Place the rice, coconut, almonds, and cinnamon onto a baking sheet and lightly toast in the oven for 10 minutes, until lightly aromatic.
- Remove from oven and let cool completely.
- Once cooled, place all the toasted ingredients into a blender.
- Carefully add 2 C boiling water and 1 C room temperature water to the blender and cover. Use a towel to cover the blender lid while blending on medium speed for about 3 minutes. The texture should be slightly coarse, like gritty sand.
- Pour the blended liquid into a large pitcher, stir in the sugar and coconut extract and let it sit at room temperature for 2-3 hours.
- Give the liquid a stir and place it into the refrigerator for at least 6-8 hours (or overnight).
- Once the liquid has matured, place a cheesecloth over a sieve and strain. Press firmly to squeeze any extra liquid.
- Discard the rice, almond, coconut and cinnamon pulp.
- Stir in the coconut milk and whole milk and add 3 C cold water to the liquid.
- Serve chilled over ice. (Add more water according to taste). Garnish with some ground cinnamon.
The nutritional information provided should be considered as approximate and is not guaranteed. Please use your best judgment to ensure food is safely prepared and/or a good fit for your diet.
Recipe adapted from Byron Talbott and the DIY Lighthouse.
I've never tried horchata. The first time I heard of it was from the indie group, Vampire Weekend song.