Cafe Rio Drinks
Cafe Rio Copycat Recipe
1 3/4 cups white sugar
2 cups water
2-3 sprigs fresh mint (just mint, not peppermint or spearmint)
1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lime juice
8-10 cups cold water
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves
fresh mint sprigs
fresh lime slices
1/2 cup sugar + freshly grated zest of 1 lime combined (for sugaring the rims of the glasses)
Combine the syrup ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and strain the mint leaves. Allow to cool at room temperature or place in the refrigerator. The syrup can be made a few days ahead of time.
When ready to serve, place the chopped mint leaves in the bottom of the serving pitcher. Add the syrup, freshly squeezed lime juice, and 8 cups of cold water. Taste and add additional water to taste (if necessary). If serving over ice, you might want to make it a tiny bit sweeter than you would normally like to account for the dilution from the melted ice.
To make the lime sugar for the rims of the glasses, mix the zest of one lime with 1/2 cup sugar. Using a damp paper towel, wipe around the rim of each glass and then invert the glass into the lime sugar. Carefully fill the sugar-rimmed glasses with ice cubes and pour the limeade into the glasses to serve.
Cafe Rio Copycat Recipe
8 tablespoons rice
1 cup blanched almonds
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 strips lime zest, colored part only
3 cups hot water, plus 4 cups cool water, divided
Sugar, to taste, 1 to 1 1/2 cups
Mexican vanilla extract or vanilla extract, to taste, usually about 1 teaspoon
Place the rice in a blender or spice grinder and process until thoroughly pulverized. Take your time doing this - this is a critical step and the more finely ground the rice, the better the horchata will be. Transfer to a large bowl or pitcher and add the almonds, cinnamon, and lime zest. Add about 3 cups of hot water, cover, and let stand overnight.
The next day, transfer the mixture to a blender and blend until mixture is as smooth as it will get, again taking your time to allow to get as smooth as possible. Add 2 cups additional cool water and blend again until thoroughly combined. Pour mixture through a strainer lined with 3 layers of fine cheesecloth set over a bowl, little by little, pressing on solids and stirring to help mixture pass through the cloth. The more slowly you strain the mixture, the smoother the horchata will be. Transfer to a pitcher and add 2 cups more water, until the mixture is a pleasant, smooth consistency. Add sugar and vanilla extract, to taste. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Serve cold over ice.
Labels: Cafe Rio