Though I am Spanish by descent (about 4 generations ago at least), and have many language, culture and food related Spanish influences, I am a far way off from identifying myself as one. I am Filipino, and that’s all I know. I am not sure how I started on Horchata, but once I started reading up on it, I wanted to make it.
Horchata is a refreshing drink made from a variety of things, depending where you are, since it also considered as a Mexican drink. Original horchatas are made from tiger nuts or chufas, or roasted rice, or almonds as a substitute, or in my case, chestnuts. They are all sweetened nut milk technically, but some make an addition of cow’s milk in the mix, like I did. Then you can add cinnamon too. So it is all up to taste.
Unfortunately, we don’t have tiger nuts here. More research yielded that chestnuts are a good substitute for Horchata. And the good timing is that Christmas season brings us freshly roasted chestnuts! Though I am 99.9% sure that these chestnuts are imported from China 😛
I peeled some freshly roasted chestnuts, about a cup’s worth, and ground this in the blender with a bit of sugar. I then put in hot water to make it into as fine a puree I can (was still chunky after). Then I added about 1 more cup of liquid, placed in a a container, then added a cup of milk. Then let this cool and get better for a couple of hours. Strain. Drink 🙂
The flavor was very chestnutty, and I love it. I am tempted to look for the chestnut paste randomly available in specialty stores, then add it to my milk, just like chocolate and strawberry syrup. It was really good. I want to try doing this with rice and cinnamon, just to see if I will like it too 🙂
Horchata from Chestnuts Recipe
1 cup peeled chestnuts
3 tablespoons of sugar
pinch of salt
1 cup hot water
1 cup water
1 cup milk
Placed first 3 ingredients in a blender or food processor and grind as finely as you can. Add the water to make a paste and continue grinding. Add all of the water, transfer to a container, then add the milk. Then allow to flavors to steep into the liquid for a few hours. Strain into a glass and drink 🙂 By the way, I ate all the chunky bits left on the strainer. It was yummy. 🙂