Cardamom horchata is a wonderful sweet and spicy beverage made from long grain rice and sweetened condensed milk.
Every Christmas (with the exception of last year) Jeff and I travel to Tucson, Arizona for the holidays. Most of his immediate family lives there and over the past 6 1/2 years I have really grown to love Tucson like it’s my second home.
Spending time there in December means I can slip back into my Spring/Fall wardrobe and enjoy used bookstores, funky coffee shops, family time and copious amounts of authentic Mexican food.
It was in Tucson that I first tried horchata.
Horchata is a Mexican drink made from white rice. If you’ve never tried it before I’m guessing that sounds questionable, right?
I certainly wasn’t convinced. The first time I tried it I thought it was just ok. Perhaps it’s an acquired taste because over the years it has really grown on me.
And since it’s very easy to make at home I can tweak the flavors to my liking. Sweetened condensed milk gives horchata a creamy consistency and enhances the earthy qualities of the rice. Sometimes I like to add a splash of vanilla. Cinnamon is a must.
I’m not sure where I came up with the idea for cardamom horchata but it kind of rules. Cardamom is one of my favorite spices and I’m always trying to find new ways to use it.
Here it adds just the right amount of spiciness. Would people in Tucson enjoy this version? I have no idea but I bet you will.
- 1/2 cup white long grain basmati rice
- 2 cups lukewarm water
- 3-5 cardamom pods (see note)
- 1/2 cup full fat sweetened condensed milk
- In a blender, puree the rice, water and cardamom pods for a minute on full power. Allow the mixture to steep for at least 2 hours.
- Strain the liquid into a measuring cup or bowl through a cheesecloth or nut milk bag. Discard the rice and cardamom.
- Whisk the sweetened condensed milk into the liquid and pour into two glasses. Top each with a dash of cinnamon.
Please read my full post for additional recipe notes, tips, and serving suggestions!
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Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic says
I love horchata. There’s a Mexican place here in Boston that serves iced coffee horchata – so good!
rebeccaSubbiah RD (@chowandchatter) says
love this drink and great idea to add cardamon
Christina @ The Beautiful Balance says
I am drooling just thinking about these flavors together. Incredible, and I can’t wait to try it!
Nutmeg Nanny says
This recipe is great :) I really love horchata!
Hi! Horchata it’s also a Valencian recipe, which is made with “chufa”, a bulb like a potatoe, but much smaller… and it’s delicious!
This is horchata valenciana! horchateriasantacatalina.com/img/prod/chufa.jpg
Valencia is an area of Spain, near Catalonia. ;)
I tried your recipe and my first thought was “I have to do it again tomorrow”, for real, I love it!
But then I was thinking of using th mixture (with less condense milk) a a general milk substitute.
While looking for rice-milk recipes I saw that most of them include the cooking of the rice, so I asked myself if you cooked it before? I didn’t and the taste was great, beside I think its less work without cooking.
Jennifer Farley says
Hey Paula! I actually tried cooking the rice and what I found was that it was much harder to strain after blending. It turned into a puree. So this version works for me. I think it will still be good with your dairy changes. Sometimes it’s refreshing to cut back on the sweetness a bit.
Can you use ground cardamom instead? That’s all I have!! I’m in LOVE with cardamom. I use it in my pancakes ;) Thanks for the fabulous idea!
Jennifer Farley says
You can but since I’ve never made it that way I’m not sure exactly how much you should use. I would follow the instructions for the recipe, omitting the cardamom pods, and then stir in ground cardamom at the end, a little bit at a time until you like the flavor.
Samantha @FerraroKitchen says
This is so pretty! Had to comment because I LOVE cardamom! I put it in so many things…sweet, savory, etc!