Horchata

Horchata

Popular throughout Latin America, Horchata is a refreshing beverage made with almonds, rice, cinnamon and sugar. The origin of the drink is a bit of a mystery. Originally it was made from a nut called chufa, which the Moors brought to Spain in the 8th century. During the 16th century conquest of the Americas, the Spaniards brought rice, not chufa, with them, hence the possible beginnings of this rice-based drink.

1 cup white rice
½ tablespoon ground cinnamon, or more to taste
4 cups warm water
1 cup almond milk (rice milk or regular milk would be fine too)
½ tablespoon vanilla extract
½ cup sugar, or to desired sweetness

In a blender, blend the rice and the cinnamon until the consistency of coarse cornmeal. Place in a bowl then pour the warm water over it. Cover and let sit overnight. Strain the mixture into a pitcher and stir in the vanilla extract, milk and sugar. Mix well until the sugar is dissolved. Taste and adjust sweetness. Refrigerate until completely chilled and serve with ice.

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