Friday, July 6, 2012

Coconut Horchata (Horchata de Coco)

Well, it's official.  I cannot walk through a grocery store on a 101° day without purchasing at least 3 containers of cold drinks and 2 or 3 random boxes of ice cream or ice cream novelties.  It's like my thirst is never quenched.  But that is what you get when your car does not have a working air conditioner.  And the driver's side window does not roll down.  It makes me want to cry.  But I can't cry, because all the water is coming out of my body in the form of sweat.

Therefore, cold drinks are consumed in massive quantities.

Earlier, the hubs asked me what was for dinner.  I don't if it was the look on my face or the shrug of my shoulders, but he took it upon himself to order tacos and tortas from our favorite local Mexican restaurant.
Hooray for not heating up the kitchen!  And hooray for that tall, white, styrofoam cup that he set in front of me when he brought it all home!

Why hooray?  Because the liquid that ice was sloshing around in is one of my favorite agua frescas.  Horchata!  There's not much like washing down a Torta con Milanesa de Pollo with a cold glass of lightly sweetened, cinnamon-scented rice water.
And I realize now that I've never posted "regular" horchata here on this site.  It's another one of those usual suspects that gets made fairly regularly and therefore slips through the cracks.  So that is a post for another day.  Today I bring you a different version of horchata.  Not the one the hubs brought me today.  But the one that I made a few days ago and is already long gone...the reason why he had to bring me some today.

And this one...it uses coconut.  It's not overwhelming, just perfectly refreshing.  And it's a great way to stay cool and hydrated in the heat!

Coconut Horchata (Horchata de Coco)

by Heather Schmitt-González
Prep Time: overnight
Cook Time: n/a
Keywords: blender beverage vegetarian rice coconut milk Mexican

Ingredients (1½ quarts)
  • 1¼ c. raw white rice
  • 1 lime (zest only)
  • 5 c. water, divided + more as needed
  • 1 (14 oz.) can coconut milk
  • ¾ c. superfine sugar
  • ice cubes, to serve
Instructions
Cut the zest from the lime in one (or two) long strip, leaving as much of the pith (white part) behind as you can. Place it in a medium-sized bowl along with rice and 2½ cups of the water. Stir and cover with plastic. Let stand overnight.

Transfer everything in the bowl to the jar of a blender. Blend for several minutes, or until you can rub a drop between your fingers and it no longer feels very gritty.

Add 2 cups water and blend for another minute. Set a strainer lined with a double layer of damp cheesecloth over a clean bowl or pitcher. Pass the mixture through the cheesecloth-lined strainer. Once all the liquid has gone through, gather up the corners of the cheesecloth and twist to release any liquid.

Stir in remaining ½ cup of water, coconut milk, and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. If consistency seems too thick, add a bit more water. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serve over ice cubs in tall glasses, stirring before serving.

slightly adapted from Fiesta at Rick's
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