The ingredients for horchata vary depending on the particular recipe’s country of origin. For example, in Mexico and many parts of Latin America, horchata is made from white rice, almonds, sugar and cinnamon (sometimes with milk added). In Spain, it’s made from tiger nuts, also known as chufas (a dried root vegetable that is gaining popularity here in the United States). In Puerto Rico, sesame seeds and sweetened condensed milk form the basis for the drink. No matter how you make your own horchata, when served chilled, it’s a refreshing beverage for any time of day. Being the whole-food enthusiast that I am, I like to make horchata with brown rice instead of white rice, and with pure maple syrup in place of white sugar. I also soak the raw almonds overnight to increase their nutritional value. Thanks to the nuts, this horchata is rich and creamy without the addition of dairy milk. Although it’s irresistible plain, it can be fun to add in some of your favorite flavors. Blending in fresh fruits or berries is a great way to turn this otherwise light drink into a more substantial snack.
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Trend alert: It may sound nutty, but pistachio cocktails are all the rage in drinking establishments across the country.
“Drink makers are not only rimming glasses with the crushed green nuts, but creating syrups, foams, orgeat and even infusing whiskey, sherry, and brandy,” Eater reports. “Almond who?”
At Gunshow in Atlanta, bartender Mercedes O’Brien is using infused pistachio rye as “the focus” of her Boulevardier-inspired Forager, combining it with strawberry Campari and coconut sweet vermouth, Eater notes. In Chicago, Sable Kitchen & Bar lead bartender John Stanton riffs on a mai tai, incorporating pistachio syrup into his Dans Le Nuit, which also includes Pierre Ferrand Ambre cognac, lemon juice, Marie Brizard orange curacao and simple syrup, garnished with orange peel.
We’re just days away from Cinco de Mayo. Have you bought your tortilla chips yet? If not, there’s still time to shop — and make salsa — but perhaps the more important question is whether you’ve dug out your blender from the back of the cupboard. You’ll be using that trusty appliance to whirl together the only cocktail you need on Cinco: a frozen margarita. While a margarita on the rocks will surely get the job done, frozen margaritas are a bit more indulgent and worthy of a celebration, if you ask us, and thanks to the blender, they’re a cinch to pull together in a hurry. Start with Food Network Magazine’s easy recipe for a lime-flavored classic, then dress up the tequila-spiked original with flavorful, fruity add-ins.
We can all look forward to getting our fizz on this summer, sipping artisanal sparkling teas — refreshing blacks, cool greens — according to Eater. Upscale coffee shops are increasingly serving them in bottles and on tap, kind of like a “daytime beer,” writer Liz Clayton reports.
In fact, it’s the hoppy quality of beer that has, in many cases, inspired the high-end sparkling tea trend. (Note, too, that Lipton is also now trying to take sparkling tea to the masses.)
It’s just about outdoor-barbecue season. Time to stock up on charcoal for your grill. And while you’re at it, you may want to get some extra briquettes for cocktail hour. Wait, what?
Yes, friends. Charcoal — black, bitter and smoky — is apparently the new “it” cocktail ingredient. And it’s not just a matter of look and taste.
A cup before work, a cup to get through 3 p.m. — why not have a cup during happy hour? Coffee cocktails might be exactly what you need: something that melts away the stress of the day while simultaneously boosting your energy for late-night laundry. Add in some rum or chocolate, and you’ll enjoy your caffeine fix more than ever. Whether you’ve just finished a big dinner with friends or you’re spending a Friday evening in alone, these sips are sure to put a smile on your face.
Pitch-Dark Coffee Stout (pictured above)
Why not have both brews—coffee and beer—at the same time? Coffee liqueur and espresso give you a bit of a jolt while stout rounds out the richness of the drink.
Lesson learned by Food Network Magazine editors while working on the April issue: Leave latte art to the professionals. Those pretty heart and rosetta foam patterns you splurge for at the coffee shop are no easy feat. They require hours of practice and a very precise foam consistency. However, if you can master the perfect pour, it’s a great party trick to show off at your next brunch. So if you’re feeling ambitious and have a home espresso machine and milk frother, it’s worth a try. Don’t worry if you fail, though. In Maile Carpenter’s editor’s letter, the editor-in-chief admits that her attempt ended up looking like a “beach ball with arms.” At the very least, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for your local baristas and feel better about dishing out close to $5 for a cup of fancy espresso.
Read on to learn which tools you need, how to froth like a pro and the technique for the perfect pour.
Mmmm … the aroma of coffee. Even some people who don’t drink it enjoy coffee’s heady scent. And those of us who are coffee drinkers may respond to the smell of a freshly brewed pot with a love that can be embarrassing in its fervor.
Why do we adore it so? Past research has indicated that just the smell of coffee sends a wake-up call to the brain and reduces the stress of sleep deprivation, and now there’s an infographic that parses the chemistry of coffee’s aromatic appeal.
“There are a number of different ways in which coffee’s aroma compounds are created,” Compound Interest, the chemistry blog that created the infographic, explains. It adds that the Maillard reaction, a chemical reaction between amino acids and sugars that makes browned foods like seared steak so delicious, “is a big contributor here, the reaction between proteins and sugars in the coffee beans producing a range of products.” What’s more, the site notes, “degradation and decomposition of other compounds in the coffee beans can also produce aroma compounds.” Brewing also plays a role.
When temperatures plummet to polar lows every February, our tastes turn toward steaming escapes, namely gallons of rich hot chocolate. Those marshmallow-topped mugs are unrivaled warmers after a good romp in the snow or on wintry movie nights. For those with a daily habit, even extra-dark hot chocolate can become too tame.
Just in time for the next snowfall, the clever culinary wizards in our Food Network Kitchen devised five devilish hot-chocolate cocktails that have been spiked, spiced and garnished to keep those of us with more adventurous — or adult — palates ladling mugfuls all winter long. From a rum-and-coconut twist that will take you to the tropics (now, on a plane, please?) to a White Hot Russian that proves white chocolate won’t go down without a fight, these are decidedly not your children’s cups of cocoa. Click the play button above to watch the cocktails being made.
American fans of celebrity spirits and spirited soccer (not to mention steamy H&M underwear ads) may be interested to know that David Beckham has officially brought his new single-grain Scotch whisky, Haig Club — which, you may recall, he launched overseas a few months ago — to the U.S. of A.
The former soccer star and his partner in premium liquor, American Idol creator Simon Fuller, introduced the new whisky to invited guests this week at a cocktail party in West Hollywood in California.