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Travel Photo of the Day: Horchata in Mexico

Travel Photo of the Day: Horchata in Mexico

Horchata is a chilled and spiced beverage

Depending on the style, horchata can either be chufa-based or rice-based.

As the weather warms up, horchata is a refreshing beverage of choice throughout much of Mexico. Served over ice, it is made with rice and flavored with lime, cinnamon, and sugar.

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Horchata is readily found on the streets of Mexico, as well as in many restaurants throughout the country. Its opaque appearance might make you think that it contains dairy, but it is actually lactose-free.

The drink is actually believed to date back to ancient Egypt, where it was made with chufa nuts. The recipe eventually made its way to Spain, where it is still traditionally made chufa-style. One can find the chufa-style in Mexico these days, but the common rice-based recipe incorporated rice since chufa is not native to this part of the world.

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Authentic Spanish Horchata Recipe – Horchata de chufa

Horchata, such a mysterious drink, is it made with rice? almonds? tiger nuts? Plus so many countries claim origin to it. Well….let´s get to the facts, Horchata is actually a drink that has its origins in the town of Alboraya in eastern Spain, known as ¨Orxata¨, and it´s only made with tiger nuts. In this post I´m going to show you how to make the Authentic Spanish Horchata Recipe.

This horchata has an incredible and refreshing flavor and it´s made with just 5 ingredients! Oh yeah and it´s naturally vegan too! If you are ever in the city of Valencia, you will see street-side vendors selling this amazing horchata de chufas. This horchata is almost always enjoyed with Fartons, a delicate and spongy sweet breadstick like dessert.

So now that you know the authentic horchata is made with tiger nuts, let´s get to what exactly are tiger nuts? Well, they are actually not nuts, they are a root vegetable and are known to be a super food. Tiger nuts are loaded with so many health benefits, they´re high in fiber, a great source of magnesium and rich in potassium, among others.

In Spain, toger nuts are mostly used to make horchata, but you can also snack on them for a super healthy snack. Their shape is kind of a circular form and about the size of a raisin. Check out the video below on how to make this Authentic Spanish Horchata Recipe or print out the recipe card below. Happy and healthy drinking!

Watch the Video Below on How to Make this Authentic Spanish Horchata Recipe

MYO Horchata

Make your own Authentic Horchata! A wonderfully milky Mexican beverage made with rice and almonds, lightly sweetened with sugar and enhanced with cinnamon and vanilla.
We first experienced Horchata during a visit to Mexico, where street vendors in colorful clothing were selling it by iced glassfuls. This nectar of the gods, so to speak, is creamy and rich with cinnamon.

You’ll Need:
1 cup uncooked white long-grain rice
1/4 c. blanched almonds (these can be omitted if you don’t have any on hand)
5 cups water
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 sticks cinnamon
1/3 cup white sugar

Combine the rice and water into a blender and blend for 2 minutes straight. Add the blanched almonds and cinnamon sticks and let it set at room temperature overnight.

Strain the rice water into a pitcher and discard the rice (or use it in a rice pudding recipe!)

Add the milk, vanilla, and sugar into the rice water, stirring well to thoroughly mix.

Your glass of horchata can be a lot more mysterious than you think

A perfect summertime drink, horchata — most familiar as the sweetened, slightly gritty iced beverage found at taquerias — is wildly popular throughout Puerto Rico, Central America and central and southern Mexico through the Yucatan Peninsula. In the U.S., the Mexican style of horchata predominates, made from rice that is soaked, ground, pulverized, strained and dressed up in sweet and sometimes spice-y accessories, most often cinnamon. Think of it as the original alt-milk.

At Guelaguetza, arguably L.A.’s premier horchata destination, the drink is its No. 1 seller and has been on the menu since the restaurant first opened in 1994. The Lopez family honors the Oaxacan style of the drink by serving it con tuna y nuez, that is to say, as a drink made of rice and cinnamon, with prickly pear puree, melon chunks and nuts.

“There isn’t a wrong or right way to make horchata,” says Guelaguetza co-owner Elizabeth Lopez. “Some people have the perception of horchata as being a very sweet and milky drink, while others think of it as a refreshing and light refreshment.”

Indeed, in addition to rice, horchatas can also be made from almonds or other nuts, grains, even seeds like pumpkin or sesame.

Latin American horchatas are actually an interpretation of a much older drink (the original horchata) from Valencia, Spain, which is made not from a grain or a nut but rather local nut-like tubers called chufas or tigernuts. Horchata also has a culinary (and etymological) cousin in orgeat, the almond-based syrup used in Mai Tais and other cocktails. Even further back, the ancient ancestor and eponym (based on the Latin word hordeum for barley) of both horchata and orgeat is barley water, the zeitgeisty au courant drink of 600 BC, made by soaking, grinding and straining barley grains.

Casilda Flores Morales, the late Oaxacan horchata matriarch, earned the epithet “empress of refreshment, the heiress of the alchemy and secrets of almond, chilacayota and chia.”

Horchatas are straightforward to make and an excellent canvas for refreshing experimentation. Consider the almondy neo-horchata-plus-cold-brew beverage called Horchoffee at Jessica Koslow’s East Hollywood toast shop Sqirl. What connects all these diverse horchatas, and can help you attain empress-of-refreshment skills yourself, are the phenomena of extraction and suspension.

Horchata manages to be creamy without containing any milk or cream. Creaminess, as fans of almond milk and coconut yogurt are aware, doesn’t actually require dairy, but rather the thickening effect of having large molecules of starch, protein and/or fat suspended in a background of water.

On a molecular level, horchata-making is about grinding, soaking and blending rice, almonds, seeds, chufas, etc. to encourage their fat, starch and/or protein molecules to migrate into the water you’re blending them with, and to float there as a thickened, milky-creamy mixture known as a suspension. Suspensions with especially tiny particles, like horchatas, will remain in this floating, opacified, viscous state indefinitely.

Starch, protein and fats each interact with water a little differently, leading to differences in the suspensions they form. This means that the texture of a given horchata will vary depending on its base ingredient. Fat molecules, in their pure state, are loath to mix with water and will separate into distinct layers like a broken vinaigrette.

The fats in nuts and seeds, however, are fitted with tiny coats of protein, which is much happier to mix with water. These coated fat droplets, known as oil bodies, create an especially thick mixture called an emulsion. Fatty seeds and kernels will make the creamiest horchatas almond, sesame and squash seeds are all traditional examples.

Starches are the main agent in Oaxacan, Valencian and other grain- and tuber-based horchatas. Free starch molecules will mix with and thicken water, but inside the plant parts that make starches, like grains of rice, the molecules are glued and laminated together into aggregates called starch granules. These granules will grab onto water and swell up a bit but won’t unspool except at high temperatures. In starchy horchatas, the starch grains are detectable on the tongue so a rice (or barley or other grains with which you choose to experiment) horchata will always be a little grittier, a little less creamy, and more likely to settle out than one based on fattier nuts or seeds.

A word of warning: Heat helps speed up extraction and can be quite useful for efficient horchata-making. But while almonds and seeds can stand up to near-boiling temperatures, overheat a starchy horchata and you’ll unspool the starch granules completely resulting in horchata-flavored glue (ask me how I know!). To be safe, stick to water temperatures below 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

Horchata can be made from almost any seed, grain and nut product, not just rice. Here are two recipes to get your creative horchata juices flowing. The first one is inspired by a less-famous Mexican style of horchata made using indigenous squash seeds. It behaves a bit like an almond milk, has a lovely light green color, and can be adapted to use other nuts and seeds like peanuts and sesame. The second is totally untraditional but inspired by the ancestor of horchata, barley water. Buckwheat, a starchy grain-like pseudo-cereal, lends a flavor that whispers of soba noodles and buckwheat tea.

Johnson was the resident scientist at Noma inCopenhagenand is now a researcher at the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, Mass. She holds a PhD in flavor chemistry.


“You’d remember drinkin’ horchata
You’d still enjoy it with your foot on masada
Winter’s cold is too much to handle

Pincher crabs that pinch at your sandals
Here comes a feeling you thought you’d forgotten
Chairs to sit and sidewalks to walk on
Ooh you had it but oh no you lost it
Lookin’ back you shouldn’t have fought it…”

Horchata by Vampire Weekend

After hearing my new favorite band, Vampire Weekend, sing a song about a beverage called horchata I became curious. What is horchata? So I looked it up and found out it’s a rice and milk based drink that’s enjoyed in Spain, Mexico, and southern California. I made up a batch over the weekend. It’s surprisingly refreshing and pretty easy to make. Gracie absolutely adores it! Try it for yourself!

1 cup long grain white rice, uncooked

1 Tablespoon Mexican vanilla

1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

Pour the rice and water into the bowl of a blender. It will be quite full. Cover and carefully pulse the blender for about a minute, just to break up the grains of rice a little. Allow rice to sit in the water for 3 hours. Drain the rice water into a glass pitcher or large jar. Discard rice. Add the milk, vanilla, cinnamon and sugar to the rice water. Cover and allow to chill completely before serving over ice.

Some Hispanic bars in southern California use horchata as a mixer in a cocktail known as a

Common food for altars

You want to provide the spirits with things they loved in life, including favorite foods such as moles and tamales, which are normally made for special occasions.

Toys, not-so-spicy foods and candies would be provided on la ofrenda, or separate miniature altars might be made for them with small cups, saucers, and even miniature pan de muerto for souls of children.

Sweet, egg-rich "bread of the dead" (pan de muerto) is one of the constants of Dia de Los Muertos, although it varies regionally.

MORE THINGS TO DO: For restaurant reviews, travel tips, concert picks and more, subscribe to Memorial Day sale: $1 for 6 months.

In some places in Mexico, sugar skulls are treats for children during Dia de Los Muertos, sometimes with names written on them.

Another thing often on the altar are traditional liquors. Alcoholic mescal and pulque, and atole, a corn drink, are pre-European. A glass of water is also essential, because after the journey here, the souls are thirsty and pretty tired. Atole, a thick beverage with nourishing qualities, is still used in remote communities.

Chocolate also often appears, sometimes in drinks, as does pumpkin candy, made from huge green Mexican pumpkins grown expressly for this purpose. In pre-Hispanic times, according to Patricia Quintana in Mexico's Feasts of Life, candied pumpkin was originally sweetened with honey or the sap extracted from the maguey plant.

Travel photo of the day: St. Michael watches over Mexico City

There are many stunning scenes to capture at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. From the pilgrims crawling on their knees in the plaza outside the church to the grandeur of the new basilica built in the 1970s, this historic site has plenty to offer when it comes to compelling visuals.

Martin de la Torre, who lives in Mexico City, recently photographed this statue of St. Michael, one of the Basilica's less familiar sites. He told that he had been on a "photo walk" with a friend in early January when the pair ventured to the top of Tepeyac Hill and found the striking statue.

De la Torre often visits the church for its "dramatic photography." To see more of his photos, visit his website.

If you have photos you'd like to share, submit them for a chance to be featured in the weekly gallery by clicking here.

In the meantime, be sure to check out this week's It's a Snap gallery and vote for your favorite photo.

Horchata is Mexico’s famous cinnamon-infused rice water drink. Is it worth it to make homemade? Absolutely! Of course, you can buy horchata concentrate and it’s super easy to use but it doesn’t compare to the real stuff.

We’ll show you how to make traditional horchata from scratch using rice, not rice flour. Sweetened condensed milk gives it its refreshing sweet taste.

How to Make

You will need the following to make horchata. When you prepare it with soaked rice the texture is smooth, not chalky.


  • 1.5 cups rice
  • 1 can (14oz.) sweetened condensed milk (reduce by half for a mildly sweet drink)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 5 cups hot water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp.ground cinnamon (add to taste)

In a mixing bowl, add the rice, whole milk, sweetened condensed milk, cinnamon sticks.

Pour hot water into the mixture and stir until the sweetened condensed milk dissolves.

Allow mixture to come to room temperature. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap then refrigerate the mixture for a minimum of 2 hours.

We recommend refrigerating overnight for a more concentrated flavor.

After refrigerating, uncover the mixture. Remove the cinnamon sticks and discard.

Strain the mixture to separate the rice. Reserve the liquid.

Strain the blended rice back into the reserved liquid.

Check to make sure that the rice has been completely liquified. There shouldn’t be any bits of rice remaining in the strainer. If there is blend the horchata mixture again.


Serve over ice with a sprinkle of cinnamon. You can garnish each glass with a cinnamon stick if you like for a posher presentation.

Celebrate National Tequila Day At Home: Cocktail Recipes, Tips, Zoom Backgrounds & More From Velas Resorts

PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico (PRWEB) July 15, 2020

One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor. Celebrate National Tequila Day on Friday, July 24th with at-home suggestions from Mexico’s Velas Resorts. The resort collection with properties in Puerto Vallarta, Riviera Maya, Riviera Nayarit, and Los Cabos shares simple cocktail recipes, free virtual Zoom backgrounds, tips for drinking the spirit, and more to help those at home enjoy Mexico’s beloved drink this year. An exclusive experience to Tequila is also offered.

For beverage aficionados, Velas Resorts expert mixologists share recipes for a classic margarita, Horchata version, and even Hibiscus flavor here. For health-conscious tequila drinkers, Grand Velas Los Cabos offers up the recipe for its Wheatgrass Margarita. Add a twist to your morning coffee with Grand Velas Los Cabos’ recipe for a new Tequila Sunrise. Native to Guanajuato, Mexico, the tequila cream used is made with Blanco Tequila, coffee, milk, cinnamon, and anise offering a unique Mexican flavor.

For those planning a virtual fiesta or just want to jazz up a work call, the resort’s Zoom backgrounds feature various photos of the spirit in its original form.

Tequila enthusiasts can learn new tricks and tips for enjoying their favorite spirit from spirit expert Vicente Díaz, star mixologist at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit. Highlighted below are just a few recommendations from Díaz for drinking the spirit:

    Use a medium to large glass, such as a champagne flute, instead of a shot glass. The extra space encourages the oxygenation process and helps release the tequila’s natural flavors and aroma.

Travelers with a serious case of wanderlust can plan a tequila-filled trip with Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit’s exclusive Private Tequila Journey. Along with a private plane or luxury car to Tequila, located in the northern portion of the state of Jalisco, the experience includes a tasting at Mexico’s oldest tequila house a class to learn traditional and modern tequila making processes, including cutting agave leaves, learning how to cook the plant, and the grinding, processing and distilling methods lunch among the agave fields and much more.

Horchata Recipe

This horchata recipe yields one gallon.

The Players

  • 3 C. uncooked white rice
  • 3 qts. filtered water (where to buy water purifiers)
  • 4 sticks of cinnamon (where to buy authentic, fresh, out-of-this world cinnamon)
  • 2 star anise pods (where to buy organic, non-irradiated star anise)
  • 5 cloves (where to buy organic, non-irradiated cloves)
  • 3 C. whole raw milk or coconut milk (where to buy coconut milk)
  • 4 tsp. vanilla extract (make sure it’s real vanilla)
  • 1 C. honey (where to find raw honey)

1. Pour about half the water and all the rice into a blender, being sure not to overfill your carafe. Blend for one minute.

2. Pour this blended rice water into a gallon-sized pitcher or glass jar. Add the remaining water, cinnamon sticks, anise, and cloves and let stand at room temperature overnight, covered. (You could feasibly let it sit for as little as three hours, but the flavor won’t be nearly as awesome!)

3. Strain the rice water into the serving vessel. I use this double fine mesh strainer with a wooden handle, which you can pick up for about $7.

4. Stir in the remaining ingredients. If you’re going for authenticity, try it with the whole milk. If you need to be dairy-free, opt for the coconut milk. Be sure to stir until the honey is well dissolved.

5. Before serving, let it chill in the fridge. Horchata is traditionally served over ice in the summer in the very least it’s always refrigerated. That said, my family takes heretical glee in enjoying horchata served warm in the winter.

Watch the video: Ιστορία της Φωτογραφίας (January 2022).