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Horchata, Sangria and Mojitos - 3 Great Summer Drinks

Cynthia is a digital marketer, writer, and artist. She writes about a variety of topics, especially languages, art and culture.

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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.

Horchata, sangria and mojitos on a summer day.

Horchata, sangria and mojitos on a summer day.

Cook Time for Horchata

Prep timeReady inYields

3 hours 10 min

3 hours 10 min

4-6 servings

Horchata with cinnamon on top.

Horchata with cinnamon on top.

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Add the milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and finally the sugar, and mix well.
  4. 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.
Delicious sangria - just in time for summer.

Delicious sangria - just in time for summer.

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

  1. Add the pineapple chunks, orange wedges, orange juice, lime, brandy, Triple Sec, and red wine to a large pitcher or serving bowl. Mix thoroughly.
  2. Chill in refrigerator.
  3. 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

Sugar Syrup:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • minced mint

Mojito:

  • 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

Instructions

  1. 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
  2. While the syrup is sitting, get about 4 limes and make fresh lime juice - enough for 6 tablespoons.
  3. 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.
  4. Pour into cups and add ginger ale to each cup, a few ounces each.
  5. Enjoy.
  • 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.
The mojitos are great on a hot day, as is the sangria and horchata.

The mojitos are great on a hot day, as is the sangria and horchata.

© 2012 Cynthia Calhoun

Comments

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on September 09, 2012:

Shin_Rocka04 - hehe, now I have a craving. :D I need some horchata...with rum! That sounds like the perfect drink this evening. :D Thanks for stopping by!

shin_rocka04 from Maryland on September 09, 2012:

Growing up in a very mixed community with a strong Salvadorean presence definitely made me fond of two things: pupusas and horchata. Rum with Horchata is one of the best things ever! It's like a buzzing dessert =). Great post.

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on July 08, 2012:

Ruchira - thank you so much! I love all these drinks. Just the other day, one of my friends was saying, "I want you to come back to my house and make mojitos again." Hehe. These are so refreshing. Thank you again. Hubhugs!

Ruchira from United States on July 07, 2012:

My absolute fav is mojito. did not try the horchata though.

Thanks Cyndi for such a resourceful hub. Will give horchata and sangria a try.

voted up as useful and sharing it across

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on July 01, 2012:

Rose! You know, I had friends over last night just to enjoy these drinks. After I made them for this hub I had lots of yummy leftovers. In the summer heat, it was so nice to drink them. :) Thanks for coming by!

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on June 30, 2012:

These drinks all look so refreshing! Thanks for the great recipes and photos.

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on June 30, 2012:

Julie - hi! Yeah, Sangria and "cerveza con limon" were my two favorite drinks when I was studying in Spain. It just captures the flavor of Latin culture for me. :) The horchata is one of my favorites, too. Yum! Thanks so much for coming by!

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on June 30, 2012:

Haha, alocsin - indeed, you can spike it with some rum or brandy. Mmm. That sounds pretty good. Thanks for stopping by and for the votes. I'll be over to visit your new hub in a few. :)

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on June 30, 2012:

mecheshier - thanks for coming by! Do give these drinks a try! You can sub in more ginger ale and some lemon-lime soda in place of the rum. It'll be just as good. :) Thank you for your votes, too. Cheers!

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on June 30, 2012:

tillsontitan - hehe, as promised I had those drinks read and we thoroughly enjoyed them out on the rocking chairs on the porch. The birds were chirping, the sun was setting - it was wonderful, hehe. That's so awesome that you're familiar with these drinks. I'm willing to be you have some great recipes, too. Your friend makes and bottles Sangria? WOW! That's awesome! I'll have to be on the lookout for it...as soon as I find out the name. :) Thanks for coming by!

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on June 30, 2012:

Docmo - are you enjoying that sangria on this lovely Saturday? Hehehe. I'm actually going to have some friends over to enjoy the "fruits" of my sangria labors. :D I hope you have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by! :)

Jools Hogg from North-East UK on June 30, 2012:

I love Sangria - so easy to make and I do prefer a sweeter drink though to be honest, I'm easy to please (except I don't like gin at all). The non-alcoholic ones are always useful if you have friends and family who don't drink and this one sounds nice too.

Voted up etc.

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on June 29, 2012:

Horchata would be my favorite -- it's quite common here in Southern California. Although you'd need to spike it a little to add the same kick as the other drinks. Voting this Up and Useful.

mecheshier on June 29, 2012:

I love Horchata. Thank you so much for the recipe. I will have to give the Mojito a try (w/out the alcohol), it looks very refreshing. Thank you for the great Hub. Voted up for useful.

Mary Craig from New York on June 29, 2012:

The Hochata sounds very interesting...I'm a big fan of rice! Your Latin background is showing very nicely...keep it coming!

My kids absolutely love Mojito and grow fresh mint just to garnish there Mojitos. Not to leave out the lonely Sangria, my daughter's friend makes and bottles Sangria and has just gotten several contracts with big stores nearby.

So, not only have you hit two of my family's favorite drinks, you have provided great recipes and reminded us how good they taste in this weather.

I do hope you had those drinks ready for your husband!

Voted up, useful and interesting.

Mohan Kumar from UK on June 29, 2012:

Two of my absolute favorites here- Sangria and Mojito ( not tried the Hochata yet but sounds delish). thanks for reminding me how nice these are - the temp is quite warm here too and humid. I think the weekend belongs to Sangria!