Horchata

Horchata

As someone who is lactose intolerant, I’m not supposed to eat anything with dairy in it. Of course being the food lover that I am, it’s hard to avoid, and I usually toss caution to the wind to indulge in some creamy dairy goodness. There are milk substitutes for vegans and broken people like me, but none quite capture the essence of the rich white velvety liquid that blankets your tongue in a comforting layer of creamy sweetness. Of all the dairy substitutes I’ve found that rice milk is the closest to the milk that comes from cows, which is probably why I love Horchata so much.

Horchata is a beverage that was originally made with tigernuts, and came to the New World along with settlers from Spain. Today, you’ll see a huge glass mason jar filled with ice and horchata at almost every taqueria in Mexico and it’s a great way to quench the fire when you’ve gone overboard with the Tapatío.

It’s not as rich as milk, but it is sweet and creamy with a nice zing that comes from the cinnamon. I normally make it using almonds, but Syrie from Taste Buddies posted about making cream from raw cashews a couple weeks ago and I had to try it in Horchata. It worked out great, giving it a wonderfully creamy texture, without imparting a lot of its own flavour.

Horchata

1/2 C uncooked long-grain white rice
1 C raw cashew nuts
1 toasted cinnamon stick
4 C water
1 C sugar
2 1/2 C crushed ice or 1 1/2 cups water

Wash the rice and cashews to remove any starch or debris on the exterior then add 2 cups of cold water and a toasted cinnamon stick. Toasting the cinnamon releases the flavourful oils in the stick and will enhance your finished horchatta. Soak for at least 3 hours, or preferably, overnight.

Dump the water, rice, cashews and cinnamon into a blender and blend for a few minutes until it is very smooth. Add the sugar and an additional 2 cups of water and continue to blend for another few minutes.

Pour the mixture through a double mesh sieve into a bowl with a spout. Then pour the mixture through a sieve with even smaller holes (I used one made for separating oil from water). You could also wash your double mesh sieve and line it with a quadruple layer of cheesecloth. Use a spoon to stir the solids around, which will help the liquid pass through.

Your horchata should now be free of any chalkiness. If you want to serve it right away, add 2 1/2 cups of crushed ice. If you’re going to store it, add 1 1/2 cups of water and refrigerate.

  • http://onlinepastrychef.wordpress.com/ Jenni

    Oh, this sounds delightful and refreshing. I am a big dairy fan, but I think I could be persuaded to give horchata a try :)

  • http://onlinepastrychef.wordpress.com Jenni

    Oh, this sounds delightful and refreshing. I am a big dairy fan, but I think I could be persuaded to give horchata a try :)

  • http://connoisseurcat.blogspot.com/ connoCat

    looks yummy! have any pictures of the process?

  • http://connoisseurcat.blogspot.com connoCat

    looks yummy! have any pictures of the process?

  • marc

    Nope, the process is pretty simple (but requires 2 hands, hence no photos). Let me know if something wasn’t clear or if you have any questions and I’ll try to clarify.

  • marc

    Nope, the process is pretty simple (but requires 2 hands, hence no photos). Let me know if something wasn’t clear or if you have any questions and I’ll try to clarify.

  • http://cookappeal.blogspot.com/ chef E

    Being a ‘raw’ cook in my cafe as well, the cashews are a great milk substitute and this I am going to try for sure! BTW not sure if you read my message, but the Ume-boshi cookies came out fantastic! along with the pudding…thanks for your input!

  • http://cookappeal.blogspot.com chef E

    Being a ‘raw’ cook in my cafe as well, the cashews are a great milk substitute and this I am going to try for sure! BTW not sure if you read my message, but the Ume-boshi cookies came out fantastic! along with the pudding…thanks for your input!

  • http://colloquialcookin.canalblog.com/ colloquial cook

    Funny – it’s really the “chalkiness” that I like in rice milk :-) so I’ll only double-cheesecloth-line my sieve thank you very much.

  • http://colloquialcookin.canalblog.com/ colloquial cook

    Funny – it’s really the “chalkiness” that I like in rice milk :-) so I’ll only double-cheesecloth-line my sieve thank you very much.

  • http://easydoesitrecipes.blogspot.com/ Christelle

    I’ve been looking for this recipe for ages, thank you so much! :)
    I also tried Leche Merengada, you would not have the recipe by chance? :)

    • marc

      Wow that sounds good, I don’t have a recipe for Leche Merengada, but try Googling it, I found a couple.

  • http://easydoesitrecipes.blogspot.com/ Christelle

    I’ve been looking for this recipe for ages, thank you so much! :)
    I also tried Leche Merengada, you would not have the recipe by chance? :)

    • marc

      Wow that sounds good, I don’t have a recipe for Leche Merengada, but try Googling it, I found a couple.

  • http://www.thedailyspud.com/ Daily Spud

    Interesting – one of my sisters has lately been advised to avoid dairy, so she’s been trying assorted milk substitutes with varying degrees of success. This will definitely be one to try.

  • http://www.thedailyspud.com Daily Spud

    Interesting – one of my sisters has lately been advised to avoid dairy, so she’s been trying assorted milk substitutes with varying degrees of success. This will definitely be one to try.

  • http://duodishes.wordpress.com/ The Duo Dishes

    Toasting the cinnamon stick is a good idea. For anything really! We’ll have to try that next time.

    • marc

      It’s especially helpful when your cinnamon sticks have been sitting around for a while, really brings them back to life.

  • http://duodishes.wordpress.com The Duo Dishes

    Toasting the cinnamon stick is a good idea. For anything really! We’ll have to try that next time.

    • marc

      It’s especially helpful when your cinnamon sticks have been sitting around for a while, really brings them back to life.

  • http://allthingsnice.typepad.com/ Syrie

    Nice one Marc! Love the cashew idea. I’m just about to make some more cream. I love horchata too. I add pieces of rockmelon as well. Something I picked up in Oaxaca last year. The addition of fruit sounds strange but it’s really refreshing. Can’t wait to try your version. Back in Sydney on Monday so I’ll be out of contact for a bit. Looking forward to reading more when I get home. Cheers. S

  • http://allthingsnice.typepad.com Syrie

    Nice one Marc! Love the cashew idea. I’m just about to make some more cream. I love horchata too. I add pieces of rockmelon as well. Something I picked up in Oaxaca last year. The addition of fruit sounds strange but it’s really refreshing. Can’t wait to try your version. Back in Sydney on Monday so I’ll be out of contact for a bit. Looking forward to reading more when I get home. Cheers. S

  • http://foodalogue.com/ Joan Nova

    Did you know that there is a South American version of horchata that uses oatmeal? Perhaps more healthy than cashews.

  • http://foodalogue.com Joan Nova

    Did you know that there is a South American version of horchata that uses oatmeal? Perhaps more healthy than cashews.

  • http://kitchensidecar.blogspot.com/ katiek from kitchensidecar

    Yum. I have only had one horchata that blew my mind. Oddly enough, it was in Belize. Too often horchata is made out of powder and a mothership load of sugar. I think making it form scratch is the way to go.

    I too am lactose in tolerant (asian). But strangely enough, I am also allergic to soy milk. My ears start to get irritated. The other day I made fresh soy milk and got depressed when i remember that i was allergic. Then I made tofu.

    I also got depressed when I thought of those annoyingly expensive cartons of rice milk – a pretty crafty plot to get vegans to drink milk… You are smart to make your own. tastier and cheaper i bet. I think i’ll make it. I will use vietnamese cinnamon for this. The sticks are divine.

  • http://kitchensidecar.blogspot.com katiek from kitchensidecar

    Yum. I have only had one horchata that blew my mind. Oddly enough, it was in Belize. Too often horchata is made out of powder and a mothership load of sugar. I think making it form scratch is the way to go.

    I too am lactose in tolerant (asian). But strangely enough, I am also allergic to soy milk. My ears start to get irritated. The other day I made fresh soy milk and got depressed when i remember that i was allergic. Then I made tofu.

    I also got depressed when I thought of those annoyingly expensive cartons of rice milk – a pretty crafty plot to get vegans to drink milk… You are smart to make your own. tastier and cheaper i bet. I think i’ll make it. I will use vietnamese cinnamon for this. The sticks are divine.

  • http://www.buffchickpea.com/ Hayley

    I’ve never had this drink, but it sounds wonderful. Thanks for sharing Marc!

  • http://www.buffchickpea.com Hayley

    I’ve never had this drink, but it sounds wonderful. Thanks for sharing Marc!

  • http://www.joythebaker.com/ Joy the Baker

    I think Horchata is one of the most lovely and refreshing things in the world! Thanks so much for sharing this. Looks totally great!

  • http://www.joythebaker.com Joy the Baker

    I think Horchata is one of the most lovely and refreshing things in the world! Thanks so much for sharing this. Looks totally great!

  • http://www.everydaycookin.com/ Darius T. Williams

    Looks cool and refreshing…I somehow always pass this up when I go to authentic Latino restaurants.

  • http://www.everydaycookin.com Darius T. Williams

    Looks cool and refreshing…I somehow always pass this up when I go to authentic Latino restaurants.

  • http://www.sophiesfoodiefiles.blogspot.com/ Sophie

    Your Horchata looks so yummie :)! I am lactose – intolerant too but I can buy Lactose free semi -skimmed milk & lactose free cream & lactose free butter. Can’t you?

    • marc

      Thanks, yep I can get lactose free milk (I haven’t seen cream or butter though).

      • no milk for me

        Actually there is no milk in cream or butter so if you’re lactose intolerant you can have those.

        • MA.NYC

          hmmm… not sure what you mean here, cream and butter are both dairy products and not suitable for the lactose intolerant. 

  • http://www.sophiesfoodiefiles.blogspot.com Sophie

    Your Horchata looks so yummie :)! I am lactose – intolerant too but I can buy Lactose free semi -skimmed milk & lactose free cream & lactose free butter. Can’t you?

    • marc

      Thanks, yep I can get lactose free milk (I haven’t seen cream or butter though).

  • http://elrasbaking.blogspot.com/ elra

    Never had this before, sounds tempting. Oh, I didn’t know that you lactose intolerant.
    Cheers,
    elra

  • http://elrasbaking.blogspot.com elra

    Never had this before, sounds tempting. Oh, I didn’t know that you lactose intolerant.
    Cheers,
    elra

  • http://www.glutenfreegourmand.blogspot.com/ Gina (Gluten-free Gourmand)

    I love horchata but have never made it myself. In fact, I only had a vague idea of how it was made at all. Thanks for the recipe – it sounds really good right now.

    I love creamy things too. When I’ve had to stay away from lactose I’ve used rice milk for some things, and coconut milk for anything that requires a higher fat content. It works really well in custards, for instance. Have you tried it?

  • http://www.glutenfreegourmand.blogspot.com Gina (Gluten-free Gourmand)

    I love horchata but have never made it myself. In fact, I only had a vague idea of how it was made at all. Thanks for the recipe – it sounds really good right now.

    I love creamy things too. When I’ve had to stay away from lactose I’ve used rice milk for some things, and coconut milk for anything that requires a higher fat content. It works really well in custards, for instance. Have you tried it?

  • http://www.weareneverfull.com/ we are never full

    fabulous. at first jonny and i were reading, jaw open, wondering where the hell you found tigernuts… but the cashew cream sounds great. horchata is def. a meal in a glass.

  • http://www.weareneverfull.com we are never full

    fabulous. at first jonny and i were reading, jaw open, wondering where the hell you found tigernuts… but the cashew cream sounds great. horchata is def. a meal in a glass.

  • Sandra

    I love horchata! Do you just throw away the solids when you’re done? I made horchata once, but felt really guilty because I didn’t know what to do with all that wet meal.

    • marc

      Actually it’s interesting that you mention that. I tossed the rice solids after the first strain, but I probably could have turned it into a rice pudding. I did keep the cream like substance from the second strain, which I suspect was mostly cashew solids. I had them with some fruit and it was delicious.

  • Sandra

    I love horchata! Do you just throw away the solids when you’re done? I made horchata once, but felt really guilty because I didn’t know what to do with all that wet meal.

    • marc

      Actually it’s interesting that you mention that. I tossed the rice solids after the first strain, but I probably could have turned it into a rice pudding. I did keep the cream like substance from the second strain, which I suspect was mostly cashew solids. I had them with some fruit and it was delicious.

  • Kirby!

    I love me some horchata. I’ve never tried it with cashews! That’s a great idea.

  • http://http//kirbyvonscrumptious.blogspot.com Kirby!

    I love me some horchata. I’ve never tried it with cashews! That’s a great idea.

  • other side of the river

    Cooked or uncooked rice?

    • marc

      Nice catch, it uses uncooked rice. I’ve clarified above.

  • other side of the river

    Cooked or uncooked rice?

    • marc

      Nice catch, it uses uncooked rice. I’ve clarified above.

  • http://www.angelasfoodlove.com/ Angela

    I love horchata. I drank it all the time when I lived in Mexico but I never knew how to make it. Thanks for this delicious-looking recipe. I’m now inspired to make it!

  • http://www.angelasfoodlove.com Angela

    I love horchata. I drank it all the time when I lived in Mexico but I never knew how to make it. Thanks for this delicious-looking recipe. I’m now inspired to make it!

  • Maureen

    Is it at all possible to make this with ready-made rice milk?

    • http://norecipes.com/ Marc @ NoRecipes

      Sure, just replace the rice and water with rice milk. I’d still blend it with the raw cashews though otherwise you won’t get the same creaminess.

  • Maureen

    Is it at all possible to make this with ready-made rice milk?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc @ NoRecipes

      Sure, just replace the rice and water with rice milk. I’d still blend it with the raw cashews though otherwise you won’t get the same creaminess.

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  • Cpettigrew2

    hey when you say RAW cashew nuts, can i just use any bag of cashews?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      They need to be unroasted (they should be a very pale creamy color).
      Once they’re roasted, they won’t work properly. They should either be
      labelled “raw” or “unroasted”, they sell them at Wholefoods.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_V5ZUY7LVLPKFPCRGKVJ22UAKCI ☠♥READA☠♥

    Do you have to use cashews or is walnuts okay?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      I’ve never tried it with walnuts, but I don’t think it will be creamy
      like it is when you make it with cashews.

  • El La_makota

    Thank you, thank you, thank you and thank you.  I’ve been looking for a recipe on how to make horchata. You made my day. THANK YOU AGAIN:-) 

  • Todd Appel

    I have been making cashew, almond, macadamia, steel cut oat orgeat/horchatas for a while now…I love the cashew!!

  • Babybath

    How long can it last in the fridge?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      I’m not too sure as I usually drink it all in a day or two. I’d imagine it should keep for around a week.

  • angela d

    i love horchata alot

  • http://www.facebook.com/j.factrie Sophia Khan

    Lovely recipe ! Can this be served hot , or used in tea ,coffee?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      That’s a great idea! Never though about it, but I don’t see why you couldn’t serve it hot. Would be great in winter with some extra cinnamon!

  • unknown

    THIS IS SO HARD!!!

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      If you’re having problems, I’m happy to help, but you’re going to have to give me a little more to work with. What are you having a hard time with?

  • Wolf

    I rather prefer things with milk, and I’ve seen recipes for this stuff with milk. So I’ll be probably holding off on this recipe for a while but it looks good.

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  • Pristina

    Would any long-grain rice do? There are so many types nowadays… like Basmati….

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      I haven’t tried it with every long grain rice but I used Basmati when developing this recipe.

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I'm Marc, and I want to teach you some basic techniques and give you the confidence and inspiration so that you can cook without recipes too!