Friday, 28 February 2014

Making Horchata. Demystified.

Horchata? what is this exotic sounding drink? Horchata or otherwise known as Orxata is a traditional Mexican drink consisting of almonds, cinnamon and rice.  

Ingredients to Make the Best Horchata

Horchata ingredients: image from noshon 

I first heard about it from a food loving ex-colleague, but i sorta left it on my list of to-read until he bought in some into the office for me to try.  The first sip had me wanting more. It was creamy, delicious and just the right amount of cinnamon-y (is that a word?!?) kick. You could say I was instantly hooked and horchata making became a priority, fast tracked to the top of my to-do list. (Funny how getting to see and taste something makes you more likely to do something about it.) I think i need to hire a few people to yell at me so i start ticking things off my never ending to-do list!

My version is not authentic, far from it actually. it's a simplified and modified version that creates a delicious twist on the old almond milk. Horchata is real simple to make, and the recipe can be adjusted in so many ways possible, change up the almond to rice ratio, adjust the sweetness of your syrup, you name it. I call it personalised! 

If you want to read up on it, Noshon is a great place to start! I adapted my recipe from there and consulted that amazing colleague of mine.

So what do you need? you'll need a big glass jar with a lid (I used a 1.25L jar) and some patience and the following!

Ingredients: (yields approx 6-8 glasses)

600g of raw almonds- toasted and soaked overnight
200g white rice
1-2 cinnamon sticks ( i didn't have any so i used 1 heaped tablespoon of ground cinnamon)
6 cups of water (4 cups hot, 2 cups cold. i boiled then cooled mine. (Just a bit paranoid))
sugar syrup, to taste. i used about 1/4 cup (made up of 2:1 sugar: water ratio), i made it the second time and added stevia to the jar instead. 

1. toast your almonds and allow to cool. 

soaking the almonds.

2. soak your almonds overnight in cold water.

I found that if you toasted the almonds beforehand they were a lot easier to skin and it had a bit more depth to it.

grinding the rice

3. place the rice grains in a food processor and blend until you get a finely ground texture.
(I got lazy and just whizzed the rice in the blender to a fine powder.)

combining the ingredients

4. In a big jar, combine the finely ground rice, skinned almonds, cinnamon stick* and water. Leave it in fridge overnight to allow flavours to develop. When you are to serve it, place all the contents in the blender and blend until smooth. Strain using a muslin bag or sieve, be sure to press out all the liquid..

important note: Please do not let your curiosity take over (like in my case) and try the strained almond mixture, that stuff tastes nothing like horchata and is in fact rather disgusting. bleurgh!

Horchata, completed!!

5.serve it chilled with a dash of cinnamon and a couple of ice cubes.

You see the pretty glasses above? I love these Jamie Oliver hand blown glasses! they are great for desserts and drinks! thanks Christina and Wilson for these lovely glasses, do come back visit soon and i'll be sure to send you some dessert love your way!

To  my lovely readers, you may have noticed that I've been trying to blog more often before uni starts next week. to be honest, i was excited when i first signed up for another masters, but now i'm panicking and worried about how i will juggle F/T work with P/T study AND tutoring. So apologies in advance if the posts become a bit infrequent! I promise i will try my best to keep the posts frequent!

Till next time,



  1. If you are so inclined, horchata + a shot of gold rum makes a nice refreshing beverage

    1. thx for introducing me to this and the recommendation!

  2. I've never heard of this drink but I'm sure I'd love it - almonds and coconut are a lovely combination. Good luck with all you're taking on. That seems like quite a workload xx

    1. do try it out! my fam and i love it!

  3. Oh wow! This is something I have never heard of before! It looks so tasty and so nutritious.
    Good luck with your upcoming work load!

  4. Sounds like a toned down Chai which I love! Trust in almonds for awesome non-dairy milk hehe

  5. a less complicated chai but a different level of yumminess!

  6. I first had this when I was at a Mexican restaurant in Melbourne. The waitress told me it is perfect for the cool down the spice. I had two bites of spicy tacos and felt so much relief drinking horchata. It definitely cools you down! Didnt realise how it was it is to make at home.. will try it!

  7. Exotic is right, I love how it is nut based :D
    Almond milk with more of a kick!

    Choc Chip Uru

  8. ANOTHER Masters? I am about to start my first (and last) one! good luck!

  9. How interesting! I'd never heard of this before but will definitely give it a go. Thanks for the inspiration :)