Califonia Bountiful

Roots Catering brown rice horchata

"As a child, one of the most refreshing drinks I can remember on a warm summer day is horchata," chef David Gomez said. "When asked by a local rice grower if we could provide sample tastings to promote their brown rice, we came up with this version of a classic."

Chef David Gomez
Roots Catering, Hamilton City

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3/4 cup brown rice
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup roasted almonds
1 Mexican cinnamon stick
3/4 cup coconut water
1/4 cup half-and-half
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract


Soak rice overnight in cold water. The next day, place sugar and 5 tbsp. water into a small saucepot, cover and heat until sugar is well dissolved. Swirl pot occasionally to help dissolve sugar. Set aside and let cool.

Drain soaking liquid from rice, rinse rice well and add to a blender jar with almonds, cinnamon stick and 2 cups fresh water. Puree until smooth. Strain through a cheesecloth-lined sieve, pressing solids to extract as much liquid as possible.

Return strained mixture to a clean blender jar. Add syrup, coconut water, half-and-half, vanilla and 2 cups ice cubes. Process until frothy. Divide between 2 tall glasses and serve immediately.

Serves 2

Photo: © 2021 Frank Rebelo

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