Horchata has always seemed to be a popular drink amongst my friends, but I could never get myself to take more than a few sips. We’d go to some type of outdoor event: horchata. We’d go grab some tacos or burritos: horchata. It was always way too sweet for my taste. I can’t imagine how much sugar is in it. Hence why I decided before I went off to L.A. to make a healthier homemade horchata. Yet while I was down south I shared a coffee horchata with my cousin and it opened doors to a whole new world! I knew that I’d have to try making it when I got home. So guess what? I did! Who knew that horchata was so low maintenance and easy to make?
First step was asking one of my friends for an authentic horchata recipe, and he directed me to one on All Recipes, stating that it was the closest recipe to his mom’s. I played around with the recipe to ‘health-ify’ it. For all you horchata loving people who are also health conscious, the recipe is below! It can be made vegan, too, so check it out!
For the horchata
- 5 cups water
- 1 cup uncooked white rice
- 1/2 cup milk (I used almond milk, but I’d imagine that other milk would be creamier)
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup honey
- 2 cinnamon sticks
For the coffee: I used an aeropress
- 2 Tablespoons of unground coffee beans
- 1 cup water
For the horchata
- Pour rice, water, and cinnamon sticks into the bowl of the blender. Blend until the rice begins to break up (if the rice doesn’t break up, let it soak for about 3 hours and try to blend it again. Just be careful to not over blend it). Let the rice, water, and cinnamon soak at room temperature in the bowl of the blender for about 8 hours. Soak it overnight if you can.
- After it has been soaked, strain the rice water into a pitcher of your choice and then discard the rice. Stir in the milk, vanilla, and honey. Chill the horchata in the fridge for about 2-3 hours and then serve it over ice. If you want to serve it with coffee, continue to the steps below.
For the coffee: Use an aeropress or make an espresso shot
- Boil the water, grind the two scoops of coffee (make sure it’s finely ground), and pour the coffee grounds into the AeroPress. Once the water is brought to a boil, turn off the heat and let it rest for about 10 seconds. Fill the AeroPress with water up to the ‘1’ or a little bit more if you don’t want it too strong. This will make a very concentrated amount of coffee (almost like an espresso shot). Use the wand and stir the coffee with the hot water for about 90 seconds. Take out the wand, place the plunger over the AeroPress and press it down so that all of the coffee comes out into the mug.
- Pour ice into a cup, fill it with the horchata, and then add the coffee
It’s really difficult to pour coffee and take photos, so I hope you don’t mind the little spills. I normally retake the photos, but this was already the second photoshoot and I was running low on the horchata. I promised Mark I’d save some for him, so I didn’t want to use it all. But anyways, don’t you just love the way the drink looks when the coffee begins to mix in with the horchata?
Not too sweet, no refined sugar, and cinnamon-y! If you want it sweeter, add more honey or sugar. If you want more cinnamon, add more. Again, it’s so incredibly flexible and easily catered to fit your taste. If you want it vegan, use almond milk!
It’s not exactly ‘healthy’, but it’s definitely healthier than your average horchata. Besides, it has coffee. What a great way to recharge in this afternoon heat!
If you need an aeropress, you can purchase one here.
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