What’s up guys! I’m sure you will agree with me on how satisfying it can be to eat foie gras in Paris, pizza in Naples or poutine in Quebec! Right? Well, this past fall I checked one more thing off my foodie bucket list… I drank my first Valencia Horchata in Altea! Sefra and I, with some dear friends were walking on the beautiful beach of this little Spanish city when I suddenly saw a sign saying, “Helados artesanos Horchata.” That was it! 2 minutes later we were sitting on a sea-side patio, on a beautiful sunny day, having a refreshing Horchata. I’ll never forget this!

What is Horchata? It’s a sweet and refreshing beverage made of Chufa milk, sugar and some added flavours like cinnamon and vanilla. It’s a traditional drink from Valencia. The chufa (also called tiger nuts) is a small tuber. You buy them dried and have to rehydrate them before use. I bought the ones I used for this post at the “Mercado central” when we were in Alicante the week after Altea. The gentleman who sold them to me swore they were the very best I could ever get and I like to think he was sincere, he was so kind after all. HAHAHA!!!

The chufa being a tuber, NOT A NUT, is a great alternative for peoples with nut allergies. The Chufa Horchata is also gluten and lactose free and boosted with good nutrients. You can also make Horchata with rice and sesame seeds in case you can’t find tiger nuts. Of course, the taste of the different Horchatas is very distinctive but worth a try.

In this post I’ll give you the recipe of my Horchata milk punch and also my traditional Valencia Horchata. I’ll also be sharing a less traditional Horchata for the ones who can’t find tiger nuts. I’ll end up with some suggestions of what to do with all these recipes.

Horchata cocktail

HORCHATA MILK PUNCH RECIPE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 oz Bulleit Bourbon
  • ¾ oz Zacapa 23 rum
  • ¼ oz Oloroso sherry
  • 3 oz Homemade Horchata (Below you’ll find my 2 Horchata recipes. Both work in this drink. Both are lactose free and one is also nuts and gluten free)
  • 5 ml Maple syrup
  • Sapote and nutmeg.

METHOD:

  1. In a shaker add all the ingredients except for the Sapote and nutmeg.
  2. Fill the shaker with ice and shake for about 10 seconds.
  3. Fine strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass.
  4. Garnish with grated Sapote and nutmeg.

Enjoy!

Tiger nuts

VALENCIA HORCHATA RECIPE (Nut, gluten and lactose free)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups of dried tiger nuts
  • 6 cups of hot (not boiling) water
  • 150 gr of sugar per litter of Chufa milk you’ll get
  • 5 ml Vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon stick to taste (I usually use 2.5 gr for this recipe)
  • Pinch of salt

METHOD:

  1. In a bowl, cover the tiger nuts with cold water and let sit at room temperature for 24 hours. Change the water 2 times during the process.
  2. Once rehydrated, place the tiger nuts, cinnamon stick, vanilla and salt in a blender. Add 3 cups of hot water and blend until you get a somewhat homogeneous paste.
  3. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer. You can push a little bit with a spoon to extract more liquid but don’t worry if it’s still wet … we’ll do a better job later. Save the liquid and place the drained paste back in the blender. Add the remaining 3 cups of hot water and blend for 2 more minutes at full speed.
  4. Now that this is done, on top of a large bowl, place a large fine mesh strainer with a double-layered cotton cheese in it. Make that piece of cotton large enough so you can wrap the whole amount of paste for when it’s time to squeeze it and extract the most liquid of it.
  5. Through that filtering device, pour the saved milk and the content of your blender. Once drained enough so you can wrap what’s left in the cotton, make a ball and squeeze firmly to extract the most milk possible. Be careful not to squeeze too hard though, some paste could come out or you could tear the clothes up.
  6. Once you’re done, place the milk in a saucepan with the sugar. Spoiler alert! Save about ¼ of your unsweetened milk to make a nut-free orgeat syrup. The recipe is lower in this post. Over medium heat, stir until sugar has completely dissolved. Once cool down, bottle it up, keep it in the fridge and enjoy whenever you want. You can keep it up to one week (If you doubt drinking the whole thing in a week, you can freeze it no problem).

Cool idea: pour some in an ice tray. During summer just place them Horchata ice cubes in the blender to make yourself a frozen Horchata. Delicious!!!

MEXICAN STYLE HORCHATA RECIPE (Lactose free)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/3 cup of white long grain rice
  • 1 cup blanched almond
  • 1/3 cup of roasted sesame seeds
  • 150 gr of sugar per litter of “milk” you’ll get from the rice, almonds and sesame seeds
  • 8 cups of hot (not boiling water)
  • 5 gr Cinnamon stick
  • 2.5 gr Grated Sapote (Sapote is a Mexican spice used mostly in desserts. Basically, it’s the dried pit of a fruit and you can grate it like nutmeg. It has an almond taste but is very distinctive and delicious)
  • 2 Tea spoons of Vanilla extract.
  • Pinch of salt

METHOD:

  1. In a bowl, cover the rice with cold water and let sit at room temperature for 24 hours. Change the water 2 times during the process. Drain and save.
  2. Preheat the oven at 200 Fahrenheit. Place the blanched almonds on a cookie pan and cook until roasted. Should take about 10 minutes but check them 5 minutes and shake them. They are ready when they have a nice brown hue on the outside but still have a crunchy white inner.
  3. Place the rice, almonds, sesame seeds, cinnamon stick, vanilla, Sapote and salt in a blender. Add 3 cups of hot water and blend until you get a somewhat homogeneous paste.
  4. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer. Same here than with the previous recipe, you can push a little bit with a spoon to extract more liquid but don’t worry if it’s still wet … we’ll do a better job later. Save the liquid and place the drained paste back in the blender. Add 3 cups of hot water and blend for 2 more minutes at full speed. Repeat the previous draining process, put back the drained paste in the blender, add the remaining 2 cups of hot water and blend for another 2 minutes at full speed.
  5. Now that this is done, on top of a large bowl, place a large fine mesh strainer with a double-layered cotton cheese in it. Make that piece of cotton large enough so you can wrap the whole amount of paste later when it’s time to squeeze it and extract the most liquid of it.
  6. Through that filtering device, pour the saved milk and the content of your blender. Once drained enough so you can wrap what’s left in the cotton, make a ball and squeeze firmly to extract the most milk possible. Be careful not to squeeze too hard though, some paste could come out or you could tear the clothes up.
  7. Once you’re done, place the milk in a saucepan with the sugar. Spoiler alert! Save about ¼ of your unsweetened milk to make a different kind of orgeat syrup. The recipe is lower in this post. Over medium heat, stir until sugar has completely dissolved. Once cool down, bottle it up, keep it in the fridge and enjoy whenever you want. You can keep it up to one week (If you doubt drinking the whole thing in a week, you can freeze it no problem).

Remember I told you to save some unsweetened milk before? That’s because Horchata makes an amazing twist on orgeat syrup. Orgeat syrup is a roasted almond and orange blossom water syrup usually used in Tiki cocktails. So here is the recipe to make an orgeat syrup with your Horchata. I’ve prepared another post with cocktail ideas using these syrups. Meanwhile, just use it in your traditional Mai Tai and you’ll thank me!

Horchata

HORGEATA SYRUP RECIPE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup of Horchata
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 10 ml Overproof rum
  • 10 ml Maraschino Liqueur
  • 1 ml Orange blossom water

METHOD:

In a saucepan, put the Horchata and sugar. Over medium heat, stir until sugar has completely dissolved. Once cool down, add the rum, maraschino and orange blossom water. Bottle it up, keep it in the fridge and enjoy whenever you want. You can keep it up to 1 month.

Cheers guys!

Jean-Félix

Horchata cocktailHorchata cocktail

You will need some tools to make these recipes. Here’s a selection of very cool items I found for you.

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2 Comments

  1. When I put the stuff in the blender, it didn’t turn into a paste. It just got very chalky and I couldn’t use the last 2 cups of water since there was no more paste. I used a vita mix blender. Do you know what could’ve gone wrong? I’m thinking the blender was to powerful but maybe it was something else. Still turned out s great product and cocktail (albeit a bit chalky)

    • Hi Charles, it is suppose to make some kind of a heavy milky mixture, not a paste. So the chalky description seems like what you are suppose to get after the first step. Then you need to filter it in a very fine mesh cheese cloth to remove as much solid as possible. Then you will have what we call the chuffas milk. Of course if you let it sit, it will seperate but just by giving it a little shake, it will blend again. I used thermomix and vitamix in the past and it always worked. At least you liked the taste. I think you’Re on the right path. Cheers! TOTR

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