When we go out for Mexican food Kirk often orders Horchata, a rice based cold drink. He got Walker hooked on it as well and now he expects that he should get a sippy cup of it with his dinner. I decided to see how it was made – I didn’t even know what was in it! So after looking at a number of recipes I came up with this method. It takes some time, since the rice needs to soak overnight but is a fun project you can mostly ignore. A high-speed blender will make the job easier, as will a very fine mesh sieve (the same one I use for rinsing quinoa in).
- 1 cup long grain white rice
- 3½ cups water
- 2 medium cinnamon sticks
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Rinse the rice under cool water, shake dry. Add it to a high-speed blender work bowl or food processor, pulse until broken up. Scrape into a glass bowl, add the cinnamon sticks and cover with the water. Cover and let sit overnight.
Pour the rice mixture into the blender (with the cinnamon), add the sugar and vanilla, process on high for about 2 minutes or until finely purée.
Using a very fine mesh sieve or a cheesecloth lined sieve, pour the milk through, pressing down to squeeze all the liquid out. Discard the solids. I ran mine through the sieve 3 times, rinsing the sieve each time, to remove any remaining pulp.
Chill for at least a couple of hours, stir vigorously and serve over glasses full of ice – and use ice, without it the taste isn’t as vibrant.
Makes about 4 cups.