Monday, August 24, 2015

Horchata Rice Drink

Horchata Recipe-Cool and Creamy drink for the summer

Summertime and the living is eeeeaaaassssyyyy, fish are juuuumpinng and the coooottttton is highhhh.
Gosh how I love that song from Porgy and Bess
Gets the feeling of hot, slow summer days encapsulated in just a bit of song.
When it gets hot here in Bellingham, I tend to think about cool drinks and fruits. Lots of frozen grapes and bananas, Popsicles melting into fruit soup. but most of all it takes me back to a drink I used to get just off the A train in NYC.
I lived for a time in Inwood, just as far as you can go North and still be on the island of Manhattan. Getting off the train there is like visiting another country. Originally settled by Irish and German immigrants, Inwood, like a lot of areas that have large apartments forlittle less money than downtown, has evolved and adapted to each new wave.
When I lived there, the little stores lining 207th Street were the sort started by immigrants from the Caribbean and South America. They served the foods that they missed like the thick black sweet coffee of Cuba, the fried platanos con ajio of Puerto Rico.
Cinnamon Horchata
Cinnamon Horchata

And in the summer, the drink of choice was Horchata- a creamy rice based drink spiced with cinnamon and vanilla.

Now Horchata is one of those recipes that seems so simple. After all the ingredients can be found almost anywhere, white rice, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon together with water. But like a lot of simple recipes, it is about the technique of making that makes it special.
Soaking the rice, making the cinnamon syrup and simple syrup separately gives options for those like me who don’t want an incredibly sweet version. 
This recipe captures my memories of Inwood. Enjoy!
Horchata-Cool and Creamy drink for the summer
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author: 
Recipe type: drink
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 2 quarts
Ingredients
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon powder (I love the Vietnamese from World Spice in Seattle)
  • ½ cup organic sugar
  • 1 Cup white rice-short grain is best
  • 7 cups of filtered water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Bring water to boil in small pot
  2. add cinnamon and sugar
  3. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Reserve syrup, let cool.
  5. Combine rice and 7 quarts of water. and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour
  6. In high speed blender, blend in batches in blender or food processor till very smooth and little grit is visible.
  7. Strain through cheesecloth or coffee filter. (personally I like a bit of texture but some folks don't)
  8. Add vanilla extract and cinnamon syrup to batch.
  9. Blend at high speed for one minute to create a frothy top
  10. Serve over ice.

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