- Food and Cooking
Horchata, Sangria and Mojitos - 3 Great Summer Drinks
Sweet Mixed Drinks to Beat the Summer Heat
The thermometer is threatening to hit three digits and it feels like an oven outside. Even my husband just went uptown - with no air conditioning in his dark truck - and requested that I be finished with this hub, please, and have all the drinks I made for picture-taking ready and waiting on the porch. That way he could have a nice iced drink when he got back and he wouldn't melt in the heat. I had to agree with him - it's very warm outside right about now and I'm melting, too.
After a day of working and dealing with the heat, there's something so satisfying about sitting on the porch, kicking up your feet, and enjoying a drink.
Better yet, invite some friends over! If you tell them you have fiesta-themed drinks, they'll be running through the screen door faster than you can blend the ice!
Two of the three drinks have alcohol in them, but even if you have someone who doesn't drink, the horchata will still be a yummy treat.
I have a Latin background, so plenty of fiestas and get-togethers have featured these drinks. Especially cooling is the mint mojito, the sangria is delectably sweet and the horchata is great for little ones, too, with its added milk and a rice base.
Which Drink Do You Prefer?
Cook Time for Horchata
Ingredients for Horchata
- 1 cup long grain rice (Jasmine rice is good), uncooked
- 5 cups water, approximately
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2/3 cup natural sugar
Instructions for Horchata
- Pour the rice into a blender and add the water. You want to add 5 cups of water or slightly less. Don't puree the rice - blend just until it starts to get cup up to release the starches - about 30 seconds.
- Let the rice and water sit out for three or more hours. Then, strain with cheesecloth or a paper towel into pitcher. Compost the rice.
- Add the milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and finally the sugar, and mix well.
- Cool the mixture in the refrigerator. When it's time to serve, pour into glasses over ice and enjoy. Garnish with cinnamon sticks, if desired.
Cook Time for Sangria
Prep time: 15 minutes, but then several hours to cool
Ready in: About 3 hours
Yields: 8-10 servings
Ingredients for Sangria
- 1 can (20 oz.) pineapple chunks or 20 oz. freshly cut pineapple
- 1 large orange, washed, wedged then quartered
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 lime, washed and quartered
- 1/2 cup brandy
- 1 cup Triple Sec or other orange liqueur
- 1 750 milliliter bottle of Spanish red wine (I used Tempranillo)
- 4 cups ginger ale
Instructions for Sangria
- Add the pineapple chunks, orange wedges, orange juice, lime, brandy, Triple Sec, and red wine to a large pitcher or serving bowl. Mix thoroughly.
- Chill in refrigerator.
- After chilling, pour in the ginger ale. It should be enough that you can taste it, with the equivalent of 4 cups. You can add more if you really like ginger ale, or less if you prefer.
Cook Time for Mojito
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour (you need to cook the sugar syrup)
Yields: 4-6 servings
Ingredients for Mojitos
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- minced mint
- 6 tablespoons lime juice, freshly made from limes
- Sugar syrup (made from above)
- 3/4 cup rum (I used Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum)
- Ice (enough to fill blender about halfway)
- 1 cup ginger ale
- Make mint sugar syrup: add 1 cup sugar to 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and let simmer (but still bubbling) for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add the minced mint. Let it sit for one hour. Stir occasionally. You can strain off the mint if you like, but I enjoy little sprigs of mint in my mojitos, so I do not strain the mint off
- While the syrup is sitting, get about 4 limes and make fresh lime juice - enough for 6 tablespoons.
- After one hour, in a blender, add the lime juice, 4 tbsp. of the mint sugar syrup, rum and enough ice to fill it halfway. Blend well.
- Pour into cups and add ginger ale to each cup, a few ounces each.
- You can ground up the mint using a mortar and pestle, too. However, I have found that I enjoy the minced version because you get little sprigs of mint with each sip you take.
- I also like using the blender to make a "slushy" version of mojitos as a thirst quencher on a hot day.
- You will have leftover mint sugar syrup. Use it to make more mojitos! You can also add more of this syrup to your mojitos if you have a sweet tooth.
© 2012 Cynthia Calhoun