A common drink found alongside aguas frescas in Mexican taquerias, horchata is a milky-looking, yet dairy-free, libation. Made with ground-up rice, toasted almonds, a bit of cinnamon, and some lime, it’s a perfect summertime refreshment and is even tastier when spiked.
Game plan: Start this recipe a day ahead, as the ground ingredients need to soak overnight.
- Yield: 4 – 6 drinks
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 10 mins, plus soaking time
- Active: 10 mins
- 1 1/4 cups long-grain white rice
- 2 (1/2-inch) cinnamon sticks
- 1 cup blanched, sliced almonds, toasted and cooled
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 (2-inch-long) lime zest strip, removed with a vegetable peeler
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- Pulverize the rice and cinnamon in a spice grinder in batches until the mixture resembles a fine powder. Place in a 2-quart container with a tightfitting lid. Next, pulverize the almonds in the spice grinder until finely ground but not a paste. Add the almond powder to the rice-cinnamon mixture, pour in the water, and stir to combine. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 12 hours.
- Add the sugar and zest to the mixture and, using a blender, blend in batches on high until smooth. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer placed over a bowl. Using a rubber spatula, press on the solids to extract all of the liquid, then discard the solids.
- Stir the lime juice into the horchata, then transfer the beverage to a pitcher and chill in the refrigerator. Serve over ice.