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Horchata Cooler

This silky rum cooler is the surest way to beat the summer’s heat.

With the creamy sweetness of dessert, a hint of cinnamon and a good kick of rum, this Mexican-style drink is just the thing to drink alongside grilled sausages or at a summer picnic. It’s fairly low maintenance — just steep the almonds, rice, cinnamon and water overnight, then combine with the milk, cream, sugar and rum. The drink is best made with Mexican cinnamon, a slightly sweeter and more aromatic version. For a sweeter drink, substitute the cream and 1 cup sugar for a can of condensed milk; for a nutty twist, use part coconut milk.

Horchata cooler, serves four
2/3 cup medium- or long-grain rice
1/3 cup toasted, blanched almonds
1 cinnamon stick, toasted, plus extra for garnish
3 cups water
2 cups whole milk
1 cup cream
2 cup sugar
8 ounces dark rum

1. Put the rice, almonds and cinnamon in a bowl. Simmer the water, pour over the ingredients and cool. Cover and let sit for at least five hours, or overnight.

2. Place mixture in a blender and buzz until as smooth as possible. Strain through a cheesecloth lined strainer, pressing the solids with the back of a spoon.

3. Bring a small portion of milk to a simmer and add the sugar. Simmer for several minutes until sugar is melted. Combine the strained liquid, sugar milk, and the rest of milk and cream. Mix well and chill. Add rum to taste and pour into a pitcher or individual glasses. Top glasses with shaved cinnamon.

6 Comments

  1. Greg

    Hi Chef Katherine,
    I just found you site and like your Horchata recipe. If you would be kind enough to chat with your site techie person and make a link so those of us who make personal cookbooks can just push a print button. Thanks so much! I know I’m going to love this drink.

  2. April

    As good as this sounds how is this considered a “for kids” non alcoholic drink? It was listed on gojee that way.

  3. Hi April,

    The horchata recipe is completely non-alcoholic, and delicious on it’s own. The rum gives it a grown-up twist, and one of my new favorite drinks is espresso with horchata, delicious!

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