Coconut Horchata

Hello May! With all of the awful weather we have been having here recently, I am looking forward to some nice temperatures that are conducive to sitting outside with a cocktail. With Cinco de Mayo fast approaching, I am on the lookout for some cocktail recipes to fully celebrate.  I have already shared my fresh, homemade margarita recipe, which is always a fabulous option.

Recently, horchata drinks have been gaining popularity.  I first tried RumChata a few years ago, which tastes like the leftover milk in Cinnamon Toast Crunch.  Who can find fault with that?  I tried Maya Horchata at Minhas Distillery this past weekend and the use of real Wisconsin dairy cream made their version of the drink delightfully decadent.

There is still enough time to purchase all of the ingredients needed to make your own version of the horchata drink before Cinco de Mayo. The following recipe for Coconut Horchata is from Dos Caminos Mexican Street Food by Ivy Stark with Joanna Pruess.

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Coconut Horchata

2 2/3 cups uncooked rice, finely ground in a spice grinder

1 teaspoon crumbled Mexican cinnamon (canela), plus 4 pieces for garnish

4 cups hot water

2 cups cold water

15 blanched almonds, lightly toasted and finely ground

1 (13 ounce) can coconut milk

1 cup sugar

1 zest of lime, cut into long, 1/2 inch wide strips

4 ounces of rum

ice cubes

6-8 fresh mint sprigs, for garnish

*One day in advance, combine the rice, cinnamon, and 4 cups of hot water in a bowl.  Cool, cover and refrigerate.

* The following day, stir in ground almonds and coconut milk into the rice.

* Working in batches, add the rice mixture to the jar of an electric blender and process until very smooth.

* Strain through a medium-size strainer and pour into a pitcher.

* In a saucepan over low heat, combine the sugar, the remaining cup of cold water and lime zest.

* Cook until the sugar is just dissolved, stirring continuously.

* Let the mixture cool, remove the lime zest, pour the liquid into the pitcher and mix well.  Cover and refrigerate until chilled.

* Stir well and pour over ice cubes into tall glasses.

* Add an ounce of rum to each glass before adding the horchata.  Garnish with a mint sprig and a piece of cinnamon.

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