This month's featured recipe is part of our month-long celebration of beverages - a toast of appreciation to our friends and fans for their support and love of reCAP Mason Jars! Our pour caps are not only proudly made in the U.S.A., but made right here in our hometown of Erie, Pennsylvania. We've teamed up with our friends, Erie bloggers, Analida's Ethnic Spoon, to bring you this recipe for Horchata, a popular, refreshing drink in Spain and Latin America. Enjoy!
HORCHATA - from Analida's Ethnic Spoon
We are working with our friends over at reCap Mason Jars for their up coming drink month with one of our ethnic recipes using their reCAP. Actually we came up with two! One for the drink, horchata, and another for a fancy delicious vanilla sugared rimmed martini glass. I love storing vanilla sugar in my reCAP jar. The horchata batch that I make is exactly 1/2 gallon, it stores and pours from the 2 quart mason jar.
Horchata is a creamy, smooth sweet summer drink popular in Spain and Latin America. It is traditionally served cold in a tall glass without ice. Unlike Americans, Europeans are not fond of ice in their drinks. Horchata is usually consumed with a pastry. The origin of the name horchata derives from Latin, hordeum meaning barley. It is believed that horchata or a similar drink was first made of barley, one of the oldest cereal grains to be cultivated.
According to my Spanish niece Teresa, horchata is native to Valencia, a province in southern Spain. There it is prepared with tigernut (chufa), a crop of the sedge family. In Latin America, horchata is prepared with different base ingredients: from rice to almonds to barley. It is believed that the Spanish conquistadors were the ones who brought horchata to the New World.
The cultivation of tigernuts dates to 4,000 B.C.; archaeological remains have been found in Egyptian tombs. Other historical records indicate that tigernuts were also used for medicinal purposes and also as air fresheners in homes to lend a sweet smell not only to the house, but also to the clothes.
Although horchata is traditionally served in a tall glass, you might want to add some flair and serve it in a martini glass, perhaps with the rim coated in vanilla sugar. Here is how to add the vanilla sugar to the glass. Take a small wedge of lemon and moisten the rim of the glass. The lemon juice sticks much better than water. Once it’s moist just pour some sugar on a plate and dip the rim.
Vanilla sugar is nice to keep on hand for drinks; it can be substituted into recipes and I like to add it to my tea.