Horchata has been around for eleventy billion years (or at least a lot of centuries) so I’m not sure why I never discovered it until about four years ago. We were at Blue Tortilla in New Hope (one of my favorite Mexican restaurants) and the owner peer-pressured us into ordering a pitcher. I love rice, and milk, and cinnamon, and vanilla, so horchata pretty much blew my mind.
But for all my extensive burrito consumption, I haven’t had the best luck finding places that serve horchata. So I’ve been relying on our yearly trips to New Hope, and the one time at Rutgers Day when one of the Latin-Am student clubs had a huge cooler of horchata and the girl running the table was like, “We have a lot left over, so take as much as you want” and I swear I heard church bells.
Anyway. I decided to make my own. And guess what? NAILED IT! On the first try, no less! O-freakin’-lé!
- 1/2 cup uncooked rice (anything non-instant…I used basmati)
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon (heaping)
- 1/6 cup sugar
Soak the rice in the water for about 45 minutes. You’ll end up with murky rice-water like this:
Dump it into a blender and puree for about 30 seconds.
Then pour it into a pitcher, using a strainer to separate the rice water from the rice.
P.S. Random fun fact: In Valencia, Horchata is called orxata, as in “Or, xata!” or “Gold, darling!”