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.
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.
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.
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.
When the weather outside is frightful and there’s a party happening indoors, you better bet that holiday cocktails will be in high demand. Grab a mug and stir together comforting spiked cocktails that are brimming with holiday flavor and perfect for winter entertaining.
For a double dose of warmth, stir together a holiday classic. Rachael Ray’s Hot Buttered Rum (pictured above) is a toasty drink simmered with spiced rum, real butter, dark brown sugar and loads of spices (think cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg). Serve with cinnamon sticks and watch guests drink it by the ladleful.
No matter if you’re hosting a crowd this Thanksgiving or preparing a simple meal for your family, you can make the feast feel extra special by shaking up a signature cocktail to pair with the spread. Stick with the warm flavors of fall when planning your cocktail menu, and don’t shy away from pairing the liqueurs with seasonal ingredients like fragrant spices; the more these tastes complement those in your dishes, the better. Read on below for Food Network’s top-five Thanksgiving cocktails to find easy-to-make sippers worthy of the holiday, then browse all of our Best Thanksgiving Cocktails and Drinks.
5. Spiced Bourbon, Beer and Maple Martinis — Laced with a splash of pure maple syrup and garnished with dried chiles, Giada De Laurentiis’ sweet and spicy cocktail is best served cold.
4. Spiked Apple Cider Cocktails — For a pop of freshness, finish each of these rum-and-schnapps-based sippers with a skewer of chopped tart apples.
Whether you pick up a gallon at the orchard to accompany warm doughnuts or you simply buy a bottle while shopping at the grocery store, you’ll likely find yourself with apple cider on your hands this season. And when that happens, it’s time to mix up a cocktail. When thinking about mix-ins, stick with flavors that will complement the sweet, crisp taste of cider — warm cinnamon, simple fruit juices and sparkling wine are good places to start. Read on below for more ideas, and find Food Network’s top-four apple cider cocktails from Giada De Laurentiis, Alex Guarnaschelli and more chefs.
4. Sparkling Apple Cider Punch — The beauty of Nancy Fuller’s crimson-colored cocktail is that once you prepare one batch of this sparkling cider-cranberry punch, guests can help themselves to it, so you don’t have to prepare cocktails all night long.
3. Spiked Apple Cider Cocktails — For a fresh finish, garnish this rum-laced cocktail with a skewer of apple chunks.
Here’s a fun (and probably healthier) way to use mini doughnut molds. To get through these dog days of August, make pretty individual ice rings to cool down and brighten up glasses of punch at summer parties. Read more
Summer calls for cold, fruity cocktails to beat the heat. But instead of serving cocktails in glasses, try a new spin with Watermelon Tequila Shots. The tequila soaks into the watermelon overnight, then the watermelon is cut into cubes to create a boozy, summer treat that’s a fun party staple. It’s no wonder this edible drink is this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week.
For more summer drink inspiration, check out Food Network’s Let’s Cheers board on Pinterest.
Get the Recipe: Watermelon Tequila Shots
Think about the first time you go to the grocery store or farmers market and see a big display of bright-green watermelons. It’s hard not to pick up one of those beauties and use it in every possible way. But the options don’t end with putting it in a fruit salad or on the grill. Watermelon is also super versatile when it comes to drinks, including cocktails. Adding it in or using it as a base gives any drink that juicy, slightly sweet flavor for which watermelon is known. So check out these one-of-a-kind recipes and start embracing the wonderful world of watermelon cocktails.
Watermelon Mai Tai: A spicier alcohol like rum might not be the first thing you think of when you want to cool off during a hot summer day, but this drink uses it perfectly. With watermelon and lime to cut through the strong flavor of the rum, it goes down nice and smooth. Just don’t let the fruity flavor fool you into having too many.