Where to Find the City’s Best Horchata, and How to Make it at Home (Cocktails, Too)

Horchata in its natural environment.

By mid-July all us locavorically minded drinkers should be guzzling Jersey peach and blueberry sangria made with Long Island Chardonnays, window box-grown mint iced teas and spritzers flavored with the rhubarb syrup we put by in June.

But we can’t help but crave the icy concoction called horchata that’s consumed all over Latin America and now, all over Manhattan. It’s the quaff made from “rice, roots or nuts soaked in water or milk, then pureed, sweetened, spiced and strained over ice,” wrote Louise McCready last year in our pages.

In fact we featured it on the cover of last summer’s issue for good reason. Meaning not just its increasing appearance on modern menus, but its delicious refreshingness. For that reason we recommend a re-read of McCready’s fine piece for a reminder on where to find it here. While you’re at it, try your hand at her homemade horchata recipe below.

Homemade Horchata
From Louise McCready, and reprinted from Edible Brooklyn. In that story, McCready included not just where to buy it in the borough of Kings but two drinks using horchata as their base, an iced espresso and a Tequila-Kahlua cocktail. 

4 c. white rice (preferably jasmine)
½ c. raw almonds
2 cinnamon sticks
8 c. water
sugar to taste

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients but sugar and soak at least four hours. Blend in batches in a blender, then pass through a sieve. Add sugar to taste. Chill.

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