My friend Phoebe inspired me last month. We share a mutual take-it-or-leave-it attitude to the amazingly popular smoothie trend. Sometimes I make them, most of the time I don’t. But last month Phoebz made an inspired smoothie using my favorite breakfast drink: chai tea! Genius! I decided to take a page out of her book and make one of my favorite summer drinks, a cool silky horchata, with some warm and nutty chai spices.
I don’t usually treat myself to starchy rice drinks in the morning, but a horchata seemed to be a great idea in the midst of the heat wave. It was chilly, filling, and a touch sweet – the perfect cool start to a busy summer morning. To make the horchata I followed the most common technique for making it and soaked the rice overnight before blending the drink the following morning. Instead of just adding cinnamon I also added a touch of vanilla, some nutmeg, and a pinch of cardamom to give it a chai-like flavor. It was the perfect icy drink to start off the hot morning, and I think it is just the beginning of my chai horchata mornings.
|2/3||cups long grain white rice|
|3||cups warm water for soaking|
|1||2-inch cinnamon stick|
|¾||cup granulated sugar or honey (I liked the honey, but the sugar is morning traditional)|
|2||cups 2% milk|
|1||teaspoon vanilla extract|
1. Place the dry rice in a food processor or blender and grind it until it the consistency of corn meal. Then transfer it to a bowl with the warm water, add the cinnamon stick, and let the rice soak overnight.
2. The next morning (or at least 8 hours later), remove the cinnamon stick and puree the mixture until it is perfectly smooth. Then strain it into a bowl through a fine mesh strained lined with cheesecloth. Press the rice down to get as much of the liquid out as possible.
3. Stir in the sugar (or honey), milk, vanilla, nutmeg, and cardamom until the sugar is dissolved. Pour into two tall glasses and serve.