Horchata, a chalky white drink made from ground rice, is the most traditional of Mexico’s nonalcoholic drinks. Horchata’s soothing white milkiness is the perfect antidote to rich, spicy foods.
Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus 4 hours chilling
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Yield: 9 servings (3 quarts)
1 quart milk
4 cinnamon sticks
1/3 cup uncooked white rice
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 quarts water
Place the milk and cinnamon sticks in a pot and bring to a low boil.
Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and let sit for 15 minutes.
Lift out the cinnamon sticks and set them aside.
Grind the rice to a power in a blender.
Combine the ground rice, sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl.
Pour in the cooled milk mixture and the water.
Whisk to incorporate well.
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Pour the liquid into a pitcher.
Discard the sediment that has settled on the bottom of the bowl.
Serve cold over ice, using the reserved cinnamon sticks as stirrers.