Thursday, July 12, 2007

Bevande rosse e bianche :)

This month Weekend Cookbook Challenge theme is 'Red and White' - cook anything that has anything to do with these two colors. So my idea was to make two drinks, a red one and a white one, and show them together!
I made two Mexican drinks, using recipes I found in my Mexican Cookbook by Jane Milton: Tequila Sunrise and Horchata!

Tequila Sunrise is tricky to make right (mine is not perfect): you have to pour 1 1/2 tbsp golden tequila in a glass half filled with crushed ice, then add freshly squeezed orange juice (4 tbsp) and juice of one lime. The tricky part is to add 1 tsp grenadine quickly enough, pouring it on the back of a teaspoon, so that it sinks to the bottom of the drink. I couldn't find grenadine (supposedly an alcoholic beverage made with pomegranade), so I used pomegranade/cranberry juice, and to help it sink, I poured it against the sides of the glass. It layered a bit, but not as much as the grenadine probably would have. In the end, though, I liked the cocktail and it was pretty. :)

Horchata is a super typical Mexican drink, and I've always been curious about what it was, exactly. We have something similar, in Italy, which we call 'Orzata', which is very sweet and made with almonds, but I wasn't sure if it was really like Mexican 'Horchata'. In fact, I found out Mexican Horchata is made mostly with rice, although it has some almonds. There's no milk in it to make it white. The white color comes from rice water!
So to make it, soak 2 1/4 cups long grain rice in 3 cups water overnight. After that, drain the rice, reserving the liquid, and then blend the rice as finely as possible. It must be really fine, otherwise it will all sink to the bottom of the drink and it won't be pleasant. Then, blend 1 1/4 cups blanched almonds, very finely too, and add to the ground rice. Then you have to add 1/4 cup sugar and some cinnamon. The recipe suggested 2 tsp ground cinnamon, but it's really too much in my opinion. Next time I make it, I'll use 1/2 tsp. Add also grated peel from one lime. Pour water over the rice mixture, and serve with ice. It's quite good, although in my opinion some more sugar makes the drink more enjoyable. Next time I go to a Mexican restaurant, I'll take the drink, and compare to how this tasted. :)

I'll put the link to the WCC roundup here if you come back later... let's see what neat recipes people came up with using 'Red and White' as a theme!!

For now, I want to remind all of you of my 'Fresh produce of the month' event! Please send in lots of apricot-centered recipes!! The deadline is July 27th.


Sara said...

Marta, what great drinks! I've always wondered about Horchata. Thanks for taking part again in WCC!

amandalouise86 said...

Ciao Marta,

I have a few questions for you about your recipes (and I didn't know how to send you an e-mail so I'm just leaving a comment!). I was living in Viterbo for the past 9 months (in Lazio), I've been back about a month but I would kill for some pizza bianca!! I was hoping you would know the recipe for it? It must be a focaccia, but it was a lot thinner. Do you know the recipe for the really-really thin pizza crust? Not the tipo di Napoli, but like Sardegna-style? I would REALLY appreciate any help.
I looked at your focaccia recipes but I wasn't sure if it was the same as the pizza bianco di Lazio; I know that the more north I went in Italy the thicker the focaccia got ( I like the thin stuff :))
If you could send me an e-mail with any help I would really appreciate it! My e-mail address is

-Amanda Lambert

Nora B. said...

Hey Marta, your Mexican cocktails looks great.
Lemoncello update: I had an Italian themed dinner party last night with my partner, his parents & sis, and we had the homemade lemoncello tasting afterwards. It was a hit! However, my lemoncello was rather strong, so we put an ice-cube in the glass, and it tasted fantastic. His mom called me this morning to say that she didn't even get a headache this morning, so that's also a good sign. Thanks again for sharing the lemoncello recipe.

kellypea said...

Great idea to have made drinks. I love a good Tequila Sunrise...Looks yummy!

chemcookit said...

Hello everybody!
I'm so happy you guys liked my drinks. :)
Sara - great event, thanks for hosting.

Nora - wow! I'm so happy your limoncello turned out good! Indeed, the Italian version is quite strong. If you like it lighter, you could increase the amount of water. But yeah, the ice cube is a great idea!
As for the quality: some friends of ours even got (heavily :) ) drunk on our limoncello and didn't experience any headache the day after - so, go limoncello!!

Kellypea - thanks for your comment! They were good drinks. :)