Easy Vegan Matcha Horchata

If i've not made my obsession with all things Mexican clear yet, let me take this opportunity to say.....I am obsessed with all things Mexican. Never having actually visited the place(on the when i start making money to do list), this obsession is merely based on hearsay, food I've tasted, made and oggled (that's not a sp. mistake, I do been oggle. I'm an oggler), recipe books I've devoured and programmes I've watched on telly.....Thomasina Miers, Daisy Martinez and Rick Bayless to name but a few of my most admired tv chefs. It's been an enjoyable education.

I got into Mexican cuisine in a big way when we lived in Chicago. We lived in an area where there were a crazy amount of Mexican food outlets - everything from taco joints (esp. this one!) through to full on restaurants that were open 24/7. And believe me, we did make full use of those wacky opening hours!

It was here that I first encountered Horchata. That cool and creamy sweet drink which is the perfect accompaniment to any Mexican meal. It can be made many ways but in Mexico the traditional ingredients are rice and cinnamon, so you could say this version is a huge cheat..... but who doesn't love a shortcut, eh? Here in London, you can get a superb horchata at Wahaca, as well as some pretty authentic tasting Mexican fodder.

I've added the matcha in place of vanilla but of course a dash of good vanilla extract wouldn't go amiss. I really love the subtle green tea flavour the matcha brings to the drink although if you don't happen to have any, it will work just as well without. Quite honestly, this is the perfect summer drink. Surprisingly light, smooth and refreshing, I can't wait to serve it at my next Mexican themed dinner party - don't worry, I never go in for sombreros or mustaches, preferring to keep it somewhat less tacky. Kitsch, yes. Tacky, nooooo.

easy vegan matcha horchata

1/2 oats

2 cups filtered water

1/2 tsp good quality cooking matcha powder

1/2 cinnamon stick

1/8 cup maple syrup or agave

Blend the oats, water, matcha powder and cinnamon stick until smooth.

Add the sweetener and blitz again.

Strain through a fine mesh sieve or muslin cloth and serve over ice.

You can also refrigerate the horchata until you require it - should keep for a few days in the fridge.