Last week I published the Honeydew-Lemongrass Agua Fresca. Another Agua Fresca is the traditional Horchata. You may know it from Mexican restaurants and food stands – it’s the delicious white cinnamon drink served chilled! Made with rice, almonds, sugar and cinnamon, it’s a refreshing drink in a totally different way than the fruit frescas.
1 cup long-grain white rice
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 cup sliced almonds
4 cups water
1/3 cup sugar, or to taste (I used about 1 Tbsp agave syrup)
Ice, for serving
In a food processor, blend rice and cinnamon until it resembles coarse meal. Transfer to a large bowl and add almonds. Cover with water and refrigerate overnight. (I could not get the rice to break down, and soaked it for about 48 hours.)
Transfer mixture to a blender, add sugar and blend until finely pureed. Strain mixture through cheesecloth or mesh strainer; discard pulp. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Stir and serve over ice.
Aguas frescas (or Spanish “cool waters”) are made by combining fruits, flavors, sometimes seeds and flowers with a bit of sugar and water to make a light non-alcoholic beverages. They are popular in Latin American countries – and I’ve been trying some recipes since Seattle is back in the close to 90 degree range. This Honeydew-Lemongrass version is totally refreshing!
Don’t have lemongrass? No problem, try a tablespoon chopped basil, mint or tarragon!
2 1/4 cups water, divided
1/8 – 1/4 cup sugar (I used 1 Tbsp agave syrup instead, but I like less sweet)
1 stalk lemongrass, lightly smashed
2 pounds honeydew – peeled, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice
Ice, for serving
Combine 1/4 cup water, sugar or agave and lemongrass in a saucepan; simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and steep for 15 minutes. Remove lemongrass.
Blend together honeydew, lime juice and remaining water. Add sugar syrup, to taste. Strain and serve over ice.