Happy Cinco de Mayo! I hope everyone is celebrating with chips, guacamole, and a refreshing beverage. Although a Mexican beer or margarita on the rocks would be appropriate, this year I decided to spice things up and make horchata. Maybe you have always wondered what that milky drink is at the taquería. Or maybe you just like the Vampire Weekend song and have no idea what horchata is. Well it’s your lucky day, because I am going to show you how to make it!

Horchata is basically rice milk, so the key ingredients are rice and water. In a large bowl combine 1 cup of long grain white rice and and 2 quarts of warm water. Let stand for 1/2 hour.

Reserving the water, drain the rice and transfer to a food processor. Add 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and process until a crumbly paste forms. Afterward, return the rice mixture to the reserved water. Let stand for 2 hours and stir occasionally.

Strain the rice through a fine sieve transferring the liquid into a pitcher. Stir in 1 1/4 cups milk, 1 (14 ounce) can of sweet condensed milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and (if you are over 21) 1 cup of rum. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Finally, serve over ice, sprinkle some cinnamon on top, and just for effect add a cinnamon stick if you have one around.  I realize this process is a bit lengthy, but the final product is worth it. I’m going to have to disagree with Ron Burgundy and say that milk was a good choice. Especially with a little rum kick. Until next time, you stay classy…

Horchata, serves 10-12

  • 1 cup uncooked long grain white rice
  • 2 quarts warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus extra to garnish
  • 1 1/4 cups milk (I used 1%)
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweet condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup light rum
  • Ice & cinnamon sticks to serve

One Comment Add yours

  1. Jee says:

    Mmmmm I absolutely love horchata and always get it at my favorite taco truck in Oakland. I don’t care if Cinco de Mayo has passed – this is getting made right now!

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