Horchata or orshata (from Valencian orxata) looks like milk with dissolved cocoa powder in appearance and consistency, although in reality it does not contain either one or the other. Horchata is prepared on the basis of water, sugar and crushed ground almonds – chufa, the largest plantations of which are located in the vicinity of the city of Alboraya.
In Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela and Puerto Rico, it is made from rice with the addition of nuts, milk or spices such as cinnamon and vanilla, and the Venezuelan version sometimes contains alcohol, among other things.
What does horchata taste like? Horchata is a milky white drink with a sweetish taste. The product contains vitamins E and C, as well as useful components such as magnesium, starch, calcium and iron.
To prepare a cocktail, small chufa nuts are used, which are also called “peanuts”. The homeland of the chufa is Valencia. It was here that horchata was first prepared. And numerous legends tell about the spread of the horchata drink throughout the country.
The Arab conquerors brought chufu to Spain between the 8th and 14th centuries (orzad ‘- as one of the variants of the name’s origin), although the first mentions of this plant and its healing properties date back to the era of Ancient Egypt.
The first Spanish documentary evidence of the usefulness of horchata dates back only to 1812. Then Count Nicolas-Francisco Scorsia-Ladron-y-Pascual del Pobil, who ruled in Alicante, took as a medicine “milk from chufa”, which was prescribed to him by the court doctor. It is believed that horchata drink, rich in iron, magnesium and calcium, has a tonic effect and lowers blood cholesterol levels, but it does not have any side effects – unlike the same coffee.
The most widespread legend says that the horchata owes its name to King Jaime I of Aragon, who conquered Valencia from the Muslims in 1238. According to this version, when he first tasted “milk from chufa,” he said to the girl who brought him the following phrase: “Açò no és llet, açò és or, xata”, which in translation sounds like “This is not milk, this is gold, beauty”.
The first recipe for making horchata from almonds, melon seeds and pine nuts dates back to 1748. Its more “budgetary” version was published 15 years later in a treatise entitled “Flora española ó Historia de las plantas que se crían en España” (Spanish flora or History of plants grown in Spain), written by Joseph Ker.
Want to know what does horchata taste like at home?
Take rice, cinnamon and almonds and put them together. Add 1.5 liters of hot water and Refrigerate overnight.
Use a blender to blend the soaked rice, almonds and cinnamon mixture until smooth. This can take 2 to 3 minutes.
Pour the mixture into a sieve over the pitcher.
Add the remaining glass of water, condensed milk and vanilla to the strained mass. Mix everything well and taste. If necessary, add condensed milk (to make it sweeter) or water (on the contrary, to make the drink less cloying).
Add ice to a pitcher, stir everything again and serve in glasses, sprinkle a little with ground cinnamon on top. And enjoy!
Rice-based horchata recipe
To know what does horchata taste like with rice follow instructions?
Rinse the rice thoroughly, wait until the cereal is completely dry.
Disassemble the vanilla stick, break it into several pieces.
Pour rice, vanilla, nuts with cold water (it should cover the mixture) and leave overnight.
In the morning, drain the liquid, place the rice in a blender and beat until smooth. Add a little water if necessary.
Strain the mixture through cheesecloth, separating the rice cake. Then return the squeezed mass to the blender bowl, add a little water. The whipping procedure must be repeated up to three times, then squeeze and discard the cake.
Grind the dates separately in a blender until they are pasty, add to the cocktail. You can also sweeten it with regular sugar, but dates enhance the horchata taste.
Add milk to the mix.
Serve chilled rice horchata, garnish with ground cinnamon.
Nut horchata recipe
Horchata, the main ingredient of which is cashews or other nuts, has a very pleasant taste. Professional bartenders often use this mix as an ingredient in non-trivial alcoholic cocktails. To know what does horchata taste like with nuts see below.
Plant-based horchata drink mixes are at their peak right now. Therefore, we suggest you prepare a healthy and tasty horchata drink, the recipe for which involves the use of cashews and mangoes. To make 2-3 servings of such a delicacy, you will have to spend only 10 minutes on active actions.
- 100 g cashews (not fried)
- 750 ml of warm water
- 50 g white rice
- 1 ripe mango
- Natural cinnamon stick
- Sugar to taste
Pour rice, nuts, cinnamon with water, leave for at least eight hours.
Drain the liquid, add fresh mango puree to the mass, beat until smooth in a blender.
Squeeze the cake through cheesecloth, cool the cocktail. After that, it can be served on the table. They store this horchata in the refrigerator. You need to consume it within five days.
This cocktail variant can be used to prepare an alcoholic mix with an unusual horchata taste. For example, try mixing hazelnut horchata with ice, whiskey, and lemon juice.
Horchata is the national soft drink of Spain, very easy to prepare and perfectly quenches thirst in the hot summer period. Horchata resembles milk in appearance and consistency, but dairy products are not included in its composition. A drink is prepared according to a traditional recipe based on chufa or, as it is also called, earthen almonds.
Horchata is a sweet non-alcoholic soft drink popular in all Spanish-speaking countries that is very pleasant to drink in the summer heat. Its main components are: almonds, sesame seeds, rice, and barley. But in different countries it is prepared in different ways and other ingredients can be added: milk, vanilla, water, sugar, cinnamon.