Horchata

Spicy tacos need a soothing drink. You may have heard that milk does the trick, but a tall glass of dairy doesn’t sound all that appealing alongside a fish taco. Instead, we like an ice cold beer or this lightly spiced non-dairy alternative. Our version of horchata is made with a combination of rice and almonds, which give the drink body and richness, but you could use cashews for an ultra-creamy alternative. The good news is this drink is largely hands off. Soak the rice and almonds overnight then blitz in a blender. You may want to use a layer of cheesecloth if your strainer has larger holes, but some paper towels will do the trick (we like Viva brand).

horchata
Photo by Greg DuPree
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  • Serves 6
  • Hands-On Time
  • Total Time
Spicy tacos need a soothing drink. You may have heard that milk does the trick, but a tall glass of dairy doesn’t sound all that appealing alongside a fish taco. Instead, we like an ice cold beer or this lightly spiced non-dairy alternative. Our version of horchata is made with a combination of rice and almonds, which give the drink body and richness, but you could use cashews for an ultra-creamy alternative. The good news is this drink is largely hands off. Soak the rice and almonds overnight then blitz in a blender. You may want to use a layer of cheesecloth if your strainer has larger holes, but some paper towels will do the trick (we like Viva brand).

Ingredients

  1. Check cups uncooked jasmine or basmati rice
  2. Check cups blanched almonds
  3. Check 6 cups water
  4. Check 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  5. Check 2 cinnamon sticks
  6. Check 2 bay leaves
  7. Check ¾ cup granulated sugar
  8. Check Ancho chile powder
  9. Check Ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Combine rice and almonds in a medium-size heatproof bowl. Combine water, salt, cinnamon sticks, and bay leaves in a saucepan; bring to a boil over high. Pour boiling mixture over rice and almonds. Cover and chill 8 hours or overnight.
  2. Discard cinnamon sticks and bay leaves. Pour mixture through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a bowl, reserving solids. Place rice mixture, sugar, and 4 cups of the liquid in a blender; process until smooth. (Use a few splashes more liquid if necessary to liquefy mixture.)
  3. Pour mixture through a fine-mesh strainer or a strainer lined with a single layer of cheesecloth into a bowl or pitcher, pressing solids to extract all liquid; discard solids.
  4. Serve horchata immediately over ice, or chill before serving. Garnish each serving with a pinch of ancho chile powder and ground cinnamon.