Whew! Bit of a cold snap we’ve been having! I’m just going to sit and thaw for a minute. Friends, we are in the thick of Winter (60 days til Spring). It’s dark when I leave the house in the morning and it’s dark when I drive home at night. All I want to do is cuddle under a blanket on the couch and pretend I’m somewhere warm and sunny…like Mexico.
Last Summer Michael and I went to Cancun for a perfectly lazy beach vacation. We stayed at a beautiful resort called Le Blanc filled with soothing aromatherapy, soft Latin lounge music and incredibly kind people who greeted us upon arrival with mimosas and cold Dos Equis. This was our first visit to Mexico and the resort was amazing. The staff were incredibly friendly and helpful, the ocean-view room was gleaming, the infinity pool was peaceful and the spa was impeccable. We even tried the fish pedicure treatment!
Sometimes the culinary experience at an all-inclusive resort can be a little less than extraordinary, but we enjoyed the food, especially their French restaurant Lumiere. We had dinner there on Bastille Day and they served macarons for dessert – my favorite! I also highly recommend an afternoon double-scoop ice cream cone on the beach.
One morning at breakfast I tried horchata for the first time. Horchata is a Mexican beverage classically made from white rice and almonds. It’s delicious. It’s also non-alcoholic and vegan, two attributes that generally don’t peak my interest, but I suppose there is a time and a place for everything. Authentic horchata is made by soaking long-grain white rice, almonds and cinnamon overnight, blending the ingredients and then straining the mixture through a sieve, resulting in a smooth, creamy, milk-like concoction. This recipe is made with cashews and they blend so easily you can actually skip the straining process.
This is fun to serve at brunch or anytime you’re craving a cool, refreshing drink. Incidentally, I’m not the only one who enjoys horchata in cold-weather months.
Adapted from Averie Cooks
1 cup raw cashews
2/3 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
2 1/2 cups water + 3 cups water
one cinnamon stick
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combined cashews, uncooked rice, 2 1/2 cups warm water and cinnamon stick in a blender canister, cover and place in the refrigerator for 8 to 12 hours.
Remove canister from the refrigerator, remove the cinnamon stick and blend the mixture for 2 to 3 minutes on high speed or until as smoothly as possible.
Add sugar, vanilla extract, 3 additional cups of water and blend again for 2 more minutes, or until mixture is as smooth as possible.
If desired, strain horchata through a sieve or cheesecloth (I did not find it necessary as the cashews blend to a very smooth consistency). Serve immediately as is or refrigerate and serve chilled, shaking before if mixture has separated.
Note: I tried using less sugar (1/3 cup), but this is intended to be a sweet beverage and I really felt like it needed more sugar and ultimately used 2/3 cup. You should adjust to your liking.
It’s feeling practically tropical in here! Enjoy!
If you try this recipe, please let me know by leaving a comment below or a post on the Something To Snack On Facebook page!