When I was visiting Tucson several months ago, I saw the name of a drink on a menu. I have no idea what the drink really was, but in my imagination it was a tall, cold, horchata coffee drink. Just like this one. That's all it took, the idea for this recipe was born. Travel brings about so much cooking inspiration. My recent trip to Austin has my brain filled with ideas, but I'm too busy with school at the moment to be able to work on any of them. Eventually you'll see them pop up here.
Anyway, as soon as I came up with this idea, I started tinkering with the recipe, sending it off to friends and family for feedback, and drinking it daily. Since making this recipe I've seen similar drinks in approximately 2390805743 different places. So much for originality... But is any idea really original anymore? Fortunately, that doesn't make this any less delicious.
A couple things that do make this version a little unique:
1. It is dairy-free. I know that traditional horchata includes several kinds of dairy, but that is a no-go for me. So this version substitutes almond milk for the cow's milk. It makes the drink a bit lighter, and really lets the rice and cinnamon shine.
2. It is sweetened with dates. Some versions of horchata have a cup or more of sugar. Woah. I can't. And really, I don't even have regular sugar in my house. Honey and maple syrup are my go-to sweeteners, but I wanted a more neutral flavor for this. So I turned to dates, and they were perfect! Oh how I love dates. I call for a cup of dates (since it has to be sweet enough to balance the coffee), but you can cut that back to 3/4c or even 1/2c depending on your taste. Especially if you're drinking the horchata by itself, definitely cut back to at least 3/4c.
Horchata is clearly not "paleo" since rice is a main ingredient, but if you can handle grains at all, I highly recommend you try this. Not to brag too much, but it is addictively delicious.
To make this recipe you'll need a good blender, and a nut milk bag. That may seem like a silly purchase, but you're going to want to make this horchata more than once. And, you can use the bag to make coldbrew coffee, to sprout beans and grains, and to make regular nut milks (like almond and cashew). So it's worth the purchase.
I created this for Edible Baja Arizona, so click the button below to head over to their website for the full recipe!
Don't forget, if you decide to sip on this, snap a photo for me! Post your picture on Instagram, and tag me at #ideatthatfoodtoo. You can also Pin this picture so you don't forget to make this another time!