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Horchata (Chilled Almond Drink)

The Moorish original of horchata was made with pine nuts, seeds and chufas or tiger nuts (which aren't nuts, but a tuberous root) and used as a 'pick-me-up'. Almonds can also be used instead of tiger nuts, and the drink can be found freshly made in horchaterias and ice cream parlours, chilled and delicious on baking hot days. As early as the 16th century, snow was used to chill fruit drinks, so it was quite a labour-intensive luxury.

ingredients

serves 4
2 cups blanched almonds, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons caster sugar
freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
extra crushed ice, to serve
ground cinnamon, for dusting

method

1. Put the almonds, sugar and 250 ml water in a blender and grind as finely as possible. Pour into a jug or bowl and add 625 ml boiling water.

2. Set aside to infuse for several hours until completely cold. Strain through a fine-mesh nylon sieve into a jug or bowl, pressing the liquid through with the back of a ladle. Stir in the lemon juice and pour into a freezerproof container.

3. Freeze for about 1 hour until crystals start to form. Stir well and serve in tall glasses with extra crushed ice, if using, and a dusting of cinnamon.

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