By Emily Gertenbach
Put yourself in the perfect, relaxed Cinco de Mayo mood with the final installment in our Mexican drink series - almond horchata! This delicious, rice based drink is soothing and delicious, calling to mind relaxing summer afternoons spent under the shade of a cool tree. Different variations of horchata are enjoyed throughout Mexico, the United States, and other areas, but our version features sweet notes of almond and cinnamon for a refreshing, smooth experience.
Prep time: 30 min
Total time: 8.5 hours
This recipe makes approximately 5 servings
For Blanched Almonds:
- Bring a saucepan of water to a rolling boil and add raw almonds. Leave the almonds in the boiling water for 30 seconds before immediately removing from heat.
- Drain and rinse almonds in cool water. Almond skins should look wrinkled and puckered.
- Gently peel off almond skins and discard. Set aside the skinless almonds.
- Place uncooked long grain rice and skinless almonds in a large container or bowl; stir gently to combine.
- Add 1 cinnamon stick and gently pour in 10 cups of water,or more if needed, to completely cover the rice and almond mixture.
- Cover the container and place in the refrigerator. Allow the mixture to steep for 8 hours or overnight.
- When finished soaking, add the rice, water, almonds, and cinnamon into a food processor with 1 cup of sugar (adjust amount to taste).
- Blend the mixture, pulsing until a fine puree forms. Allow to stand for 10 minutes.
- Working in batches, pour the blended mixture through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Allow liquid to collect in a bowl; press down on the grounds to extract all water.
- Discard the rice, cinnamon, and almond grounds.
- Continue to strain the liquid until little to no rice residue is caught in the strainer or cheesecloth.
- Add 1 cup of evaporated milk
- Add 2 tsp. vanilla extract and stir
- Chill before serving over ice with a dash of ground cinnamon. Garnish with additional cinnamon sticks, if desired!
Don't forget to check out these other great summery, Cinco de Mayo recipes for a fun fiesta that your guests will remember for months to come!