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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

  1. Place the milk and cinnamon sticks in a pot and bring to a low boil.

  2. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

  3. Remove from heat and let sit for 15 minutes.

  4. Lift out the cinnamon sticks and set them aside.

  5. Grind the rice to a power in a blender.

  6. Combine the ground rice, sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl.

  7. Pour in the cooled milk mixture and the water.

  8. Whisk to incorporate well.

  9. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

  10. Pour the liquid into a pitcher.

    Discard the sediment that has settled on the bottom of the bowl.

  11. Serve cold over ice, using the reserved cinnamon sticks as stirrers.

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