Horchata is a traditional Spanish and Latin American beverage that is made by soaking rice and nuts (or other grains or seeds) in water and blending the mixture with sugar, cinnamon, and honey. You then strain the mixture through cheesecloth to get a refreshing “milky” yet dairy-free drink. The beverage is even sometimes referred to as horchata “tea.”
In this recipe, we replace the water with a strong brew of Teatulia Tulsi Infusion Tea. Tulsi is a plant related to the basil family and is known to have a strong aroma and flavor ranging from spicy to citrus to bitter depending on the plant. Our Tulsi Infusion Tea is a blend of black tea and tulsi leaves that produces an invigorating brewed cup, with a full-bodied spiciness and undercurrents of unsweetened cocoa and bubblegum. It’s delicious over ice, which makes it the perfect choice to use for this fiesta-worthy beverage.
Horchata…with a Tea Twist
(Created for Teatulia by Tea Foodie.)
Makes 3 to 4 cups
- 3 cups filtered water (plus more if d
- esired, see optional step below)
- 3 pyramid bags of Teatulia Tulsi Infusion Tea
- ½ cup white rice
- 1½ cups sliced or slivered blanched almonds
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ cup honey
- 1 tablespoon Mexican vanilla extract
- 1 cinnamon stick (optional for garnish)
Note: You will also need a blender, a fine mesh sieve, cheesecloth, and a grater/zester for the cinnamon stick.
- Bring water to a boil then pour over the tea bags and let steep for 5 minutes. Remove tea bags and reserve them (see optional step below.) Set brewed tea aside.
- Meanwhile, grind rice into as fine a texture as you can get in a blender or coffee/spice grinder. This should take about 1 minute in a blender. The finer the grind, the more the tea and spice will infuse into the grain.
- Add almonds and cinnamon to the blender with the ground rice. Pour in reserved brewed tea and stir lightly to combine. Cover the blender and let the mixture steep at room temperature for about 8 hours. (Start it in the morning for a beverage with dinner, or steep it overnight for an afternoon drink the next day.)
- Optional step: Boil another 2 cups of water and pour over the reserved tea bags that you already steeped. Re-steep for 5 minutes then discard tea bags and refrigerate the brewed tea until ready to continue with recipe.
- Once tea and rice-nut mixture is done steeping in the blender, add honey and vanilla extract. Blend until very smooth. Line a fine mesh sieve with a layer of cheesecloth. (You don’t have to line the sieve with cheesecloth but you’ll get a smoother, less gritty textured beverage if you do.) Strain the blended mixture in batches through the lined sieve and into a clean pitcher. Stir and press with a spoon to get out as much liquid as possible. Discard remaining solids. (You’ll have to discard the solids in batches as you go—it makes great compost by the way!)
- If you reserved the re-steeped tea, add it to the strained mixture to thin it to your desired consistency. You can use cold filtered water instead of tea here, or you don’t have to thin it at all. To serve, pour over ice filled glasses and garnish with fresh ground cinnamon from the cinnamon stick. (Also delicious with a splash of rum!)