Three Step Homemade Horchata

This delicious spiced beauty is a traditional Mexican drink made with a few inexpensive ingredients. Because it is so simple to make, there are a multitude of ways to make it the perfect drink for any day that needs some spicing up.

Step One : Rice Milk

I prefer to make my own rice milk for this recipe because of the greater richness that homemade rice milk seems to have. I also really enjoy actually knowing what all of the ingredients are in the milk I drink. If you want to save some time, just use your favorite brand from the store. Don’t worry, it will still be delicious!

For this recipe, I used one cup of uncooked rice.

Making rice milk is surprisingly easy.

Prepare white rice using your preferred method. I love making rice in the pressure cooker because it is so easy and fast, but there is a great recipe from the Food Network here. Any dsc_0045white rice will do for this recipe, so just use what you have. The only thing to be sure of is that your rice is cooked thoroughly and not al dente, or there will be unpleasant pieces in your milk.

Once your rice is cooked, scoop into a blender and add about four cups of water. You could potentially use a food processor for this as well, just watch your water level…I made a mess of myself this way. If there is remaining water in your rice just pour it all in. Blend until thoroughly emulsified. This should take about a minute.

Step Two:  Spice

Add rice milk to a medium pan and place on low heat.

DSC_0050.JPGAdd spices:

  • two cardamom pods –Use the back of a knife to crush slightly to help release flavor, alternatively, add a couple dashes of cardamom powder
  • one and half teaspoons cinnamon
  • two teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/8 cup brown sugar, or a few spoonfuls of honey if you prefer
  • half a teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • a dash of black pepper
  • one teaspoon ground ginger

Stir the mixture as it begins to heat and release the spices into the milk. Continue this for about five minutes, tasting every now and then to adjust for flavor.

Remove from heat.

Step three: Get weird with it

This recipe is simple simple. This means there is a lot of room for customization.

It would be very easy to add a little piñon bourbon to make this a boozy fireside treat. You could also add a bit of dark chocolate orange peel for a different flavor.

Once you have added (or not added) all that you’d like, I prefer to strain the mixture before serving to remove the pods and any bits of rice that may remain. Serve hot in a mug topped with fresh whipped cream, or pour over ice for a refreshing cold drink.

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