If there is one thing I’ve been meaning to dabble in more, it’s mixology. Between turning on the Food Network, flipping through my favorite cooking magazines, and just going out to eat, it’s hard not to notice that mixology is very in right now. Culinary cocktails were even among the 20 trends of 2011 identified by the National Restaurant Association.
But admittedly in my kitchen the cocktail shaker doesn’t see a lot of action. I’ve been known to make a batch of killer sangria on occasion (Food & Wine’s Sangria Flora is my go-to recipe), have concocted Hibiscus-Citrus Punch for my Project Food Blog Luxury Dinner Party, and stirred up Watermelon Margaritas very early in the life of my blog. But generally, I’m a simple and straight forward drinker, often sipping a glass of wine or some artisan hard cider as my beverage of choice. But even I have to admit this seems pretty boring.
So when a friend invited me to his Mexican dinner party I knew I wanted to come with a fun contribution. Immediately I landed on the idea of a Horchata Martini because I am kind of obsessed with horchata. I make my go-to recipe all the time and have also experimented with Horchata Cupcakes thanks to a fool-proof recipe from Mission Minis. It seemed high time to infuse one of my favorite drinks with a little bit of booze.
And thus, this cocktail was born. Sadly I have no photographic evidence. (I guess that’s what happens when there is alcohol involved.) But take my word for it, it’s fantastic and a perfect accompaniment to a south of the border feast.
Makes 1 pitcher and serves 6
-2/3 cup rice
-1 1/4 cup blanched almonds
-2 3-inch cinnamon sticks
-2 1/2 cups hot tap water
-1 cup super fine sugar
-1 cup cold water
-1/2 cup white rum
-1/2 cup vanilla vodka
-Cinnamon sugar, for rimming if desired
In a large bowl, combine the rice, almonds, cinnamon stick and hot water. Cool, cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
Pour the mixture into a blender and blend on high for several minutes. You are looking for the mixture to be a smooth as possible, though there will still be a hint of grittiness when you rub a drop between your fingers.
Strain through a fine sieve into a pitcher, pressing on the solids until only a dryish pulp remains. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well until the sugar is dissolved. To serve, add along with ice to a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously until chilled. Pour into a glass rimmed with cinnamon sugar, if desired.
What about you? What’s your favorite cocktail?