Like Sarah Rae and her Orange Julius, I love a little refreshment after work or school, only my favorite drink right now is horchata. Until recently, this was basic, Mexican-style horchata with a blend of rice and water (and almonds, cinnamon, and sweetener) ... but then I discovered a version with coconut milk and am hooked. Plus, if you really need to unwind – or want to serve it at a party – you can spike it with rum!Marilyn Tausend's recipe for Coconut-Rice Cooler, or Horchata de Coco, as shared on "Sara's Secrets" on Food Network, seemed a bit complicated at first glance. The directions are easy to follow, but since last year's horchata experiment, I had grown accustomed to a much simpler recipe and list of ingredients.
However, for something a little more special, the coconut version is outstanding. Between the blending and cooling, it takes a few more steps, but it's worth it, especially if you make up a big batch to keep chilled in the fridge. The coconut milk is creamy but not too rich, and the lime syrup adds a really nice dimension. The rum is up to you.
Emily Ho is a writer, recipe developer, and educator. She lives in Los Angeles, where she teaches classes on food preservation, wild food, and herbalism. Emily is a Master Food Preserver and founder of LA Food Swap and the international Food Swap Network.
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