If the above title makes you go “¿La Hora de QUÉ?”, you’re not alone. Only a short year ago, I myself did not know what horchata meant, much less what it tasted like. As it turns out, it tastes pretty good. If you’re in Madrid, dubious, I’ll tell you were to go to order a glass that will remove all your doubts.
Just as a brief introduction, horchata is a Valencian drink made basically of chufa nuts (which, to the best of my knowledge, are only grown in Valencia), water and sugar - perhaps, with some additional ingredients to give it more flavor (cinnamon, E-472c - you name it). One can drink it in big gulps from a glass or sip it delicately through a straw (pajita or cañita for the connoisseurs *).
* P.S. The terminology is a little tricky here. In general, in Madrid, the word caña means a glass of beer (cañita being its diminutive form), but for the purposes of drinking horchata, cañita is a straw. The occasional misunderstanding while ordering at a horchatería could be funny:
- ¿Quieres una cañita?
- No gracias, ya me he tomado una...