Friday, May 4, 2012


Inspired by Vampire Weekend...  When I first listened to this song, I thought they were saying, "In December drinking Hot Chowder."  It wasn't until someone reminded me that you do not drink hot chowder, that I realized it had to be something else.  So, I looked around and discovered this new delicious drink.  And the funny thing is, much to my surprise, it is served on ice (although they say they are drinking it in December?!).  Aside from the initial confusion, thank you Vampire Weekend for the introduction to this yummy treat.

Horchata (a.k.a. Almond Rice Milk):

1 cup long grain white rice
8 cups or 2 quarts of cold water
1 cinnamon stick or 2 teaspoons of cinnamon powder
1 cup raw almonds (optional, but use of this ingredient is more traditional)
1/2 cup of sugar *
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, or 1 vanilla bean

*  To cut calories, you may choose to use a sweetener, but please be mindful of the side effects of different sweeteners, including Splenda.  My favorite sugar substitute is Truvia, and recommended a one to one ratio (1/4 cup of real Sugar and 1/4 cup of Truvia).  Also, if you don't like to taste a lot of sweetness, use 1/4 cup sugar blend instead of 1/2 cup.

1.  Using a blender or food processor, finely grind the rice. 

2.  Keeping in the blending apparatus, add the almonds, cinnamon, and 3 cups of water.  Cover and let sit overnight.

3.  Puree the soaked mixture until smooth.

4.  Using 1 cup of water, bring to slight boil over the stove and dissolve the sugar.

4.  Add 2 cups of water, sugar mixture, vanilla, and blend again.

5.  Using a thin strainer, or sieve, or a cheesecloth (if you have one), strain the rice mixture into a serving pitcher.

6.  Add the remaining 2 cups of water and mix together.

7.  Serve over ice, or keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Serves 6-8

Horchata, also known as Almond Rice Milk, is a great substitute to cow milk for those lactose intolerant.  Because of this, Horchata does mix nicely with your morning cereal.  I like the Horchata and Cheerios combination.  Or, for the ladies, you may choose to add a touch of rum to your Horchata, a touch of bourbon to your Horchata for the men, and viola, a homemade cocktail.