This is our version of a drink that is commonly sold on the streets of Mexico. It’s also served in Spain and especially in Valencia but it’s made not with rice or nuts, but tigernut (chufas), which isn’t even a nut. When I was in Valencia I was too enamoured with the prickly pear street sellers, who de-prickle the pears on request, to try the horchatta. So I can’t compare.
It’s terribly simple to make, and adding the cashews and almonds to the rice mixture results in a rich, refreshing drink. So good for the hot days ahead. Making sure we have a giant jug in the refrigerator all summer. Nadia has been serving this over iced espresso at New Day Rising, and the result, nutty smooth, with that caramelly agave sweet and a kick of caffeine is something to be celebrated.
The other night it was warm enough to sit around the outside table. We were feasting for our friend Genevieve’s birthday. We made fish tacos, marinating the thick strips of fish in a mix of achiote, orange juice, garlic and herbs. With a little coleslaw and chipotle mayonnaise, they were so good. Before the copious amounts of wine, we drank horchatta under the darkening sky and the shadows of our giant prickly pear cactus. We call the cactus Clive and he made the perfect backdrop to our dinner and gossip.
2 cups of uncooked white rice, processed in a blender until fine
½ cup raw cashews
2 cups raw blanched almonds
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups of warm water
½ cup agave
2 cups of water
sprinkle of cinnamon to serve
Place processed rice, nuts, cinnamon sticks, vanilla in a non-reactive pot, with the warm water. Cover with a lid and leave to stand overnight. Take out cinnamon sticks, add agave, extra water and process the mixture in a blender until smooth. Strain this mixture through cheesecloth into a large jug. It should be smooth and milky. Taste and stir through a little extra agave if you would like it sweeter.
Serve chilled and over lots of ice, with a sprinkle of cinnamon. If it separates over the next couple of days, just give it a stir.