With Cinco de Mayo coming up, I thought it would be fun to make a batch of homemade Horchata, a sweetened Mexican rice milk drink. Before moving to Houston, I’m not even sure if I’d even heard of this drink. The first time I tried it was at a farmer’s market on a hot day. It was flavored with strawberries and immediately cooled me off and I fell in love.
Horchata is very light and tastes great served over ice. For my recipe I adapted one from David Lebovitz who got his inspiration from Fany Gerson’s book Paletas. You start by grinding uncooked rice in a blender until it resembles cornmeal and then soak it overnight in water. I’m not usually big on soaking things, I’m more of a spontaneous cook, but this was a fun experiment.
In the morning, I put the rice mixture in the blender with two cups of coconut milk, fresh mango and a little coconut palm sugar. I blended everything together and strained it, which actually was a little tricky. I started with two layers of cheesecloth over a sieve, but worked my way down to one layer. I found myself squeezing the milk mixture through the cheesecloth and having to rinse it out frequently. What is left behind are the small pieces of rice that you probably don’t want to drink. You may have to play around a little bit with this to find a way that works for you. The results are worth it…so delicious.
If you are serving this at a Cinco de Mayo party and want to get a little crazy, I bet it would be awesome with a splash of white rum added, just saying.
Mango Cinnamon Horchata
Adapted from The Sweet Life blog by David Lebovitz
2/3 cup uncooked long grain brown rice
3 cups filtered warm water
1 cinnamon stick
2 cups non-dairy milk (rice, coconut or almond milk)
1 Tbsp coconut palm sugar
1-1 1/2 cups fresh mango, peeled and cubed
Place uncooked rice in blender and blend until rice is the consistency of cornmeal. Place rice in bowl with cinnamon stick and cover with warm water. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
Add rice mixture to the blender with non-dairy milk, mango and coconut sugar. Blend until mango is pureed. Line sieve with one layer of cheesecloth. Pour horchata mixture into sieve and press down with a spatula (you may have to squeeze milk through the cheesecloth). Taste and adjust sweetness if desired. Serve over ice with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top.