Mexican Horchata is a refreshing milky beverage made with rice water. Other versions are made with tigernut, almonds or barley. This recipe can be made with or without rum. The key is to be patient and let the flavors infuse for a period of time so be sure to plan well in advance.
• 1 cup uncooked long grain rice
• 2 quarts warm water
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1 ¼ cups whole milk
• 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• Rum to taste (optional)
1. Mix the rice and warm water together in a bowl, and let stand for ½ hour.
2. Drain rice and reserve the water.
3. Place rice in a blender or food processor. Add ground cinnamon and process until pasty.
4. Return the rice to the reserved water and let stand at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally as the water turns milky white.
5. Through a fine sieve, strain the rice through a fine sieve into a pitcher. Stir in the remaining ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
6. Serve in ice filled glasses. Top with an additional sprinkle of ground cinnamon if desired.
Elizabeth Carrion, a Dominican, co-founded Mi Cocina, a New Jersey-based catering service that also offers cooking classes, with her sister, Ana Martinez. Follow her on Twitter: @micocinalatina and visit her website micocina-latina.com.