According to my bank the check I deposited today will be available in June, which as far as I'm concerned means it's officially summer. Which is a shortened term for "double-fisting refreshing beverages." Usually I'm good with one glass of iced coffee and one glass of iced tea, but sometimes you want to mix it up a little bit. Enter horchata, a delicious creamy beverage that can be made with almonds, rice, barley, sesame seeds, or more! The version I made uses rice, because rice costs like $0.89 at Meijer.
It's a little bit time-consuming to make at home, but also really neat, and the perfect sweet thing for hot afternoons when you'd rather sip on something than spoon a bowl of ice cream into your face. (Although if ice cream is your thing, the recipe I used is from David Lebovitz, who is also something of a big deal in terms of ice cream recipes.)
originally via David Lebovitz
2/3 cup white rice
3 cups warm water
One 2-inch (5cm) cinnamon stick
3/4 to 1 cup sugar (note: this makes it pretty sweet! use less if you want!)
2 cups rice, almond or regular milk
1. Using a blender or coffee grinder or like a mortar and pestle I guess, grind up your (dry, uncooked) rice as finely as you can get it. (I used a coffee grinder.)
2. Put the ground-up rice into a bowl, and pour the warm water over it. Throw in the cinnamon stick. Cover the bowl, and leave it in your fridge for 8 hours or overnight. (I may have left mine in for like 36 hours. It was fine.)
3. Once it's done steeping/sitting/marinating, take out the cinnamon stick and strain the mixture to get the rice out and leave the rice-y liquid. Cheesecloth is recommended for this; I don't have cheesecloth, so I used reusable mesh tea bags. Coffee filters are not really recommended; they might be a little too fine.
4. After straining your rice milk, by hook or by crook, you can add in your sugar and Other Milk of Choice. I don't particularly like drinking sweet things, so if I made this again, I might dial back the sugar some. It's up to you!
5. Congratulations, you're the proud owner of a super refreshing beverage. Pour it over ice and enjoy! You don't have to put in a cinnamon stick like I did; I just did that because my life is more fun when I pretend everything I drink is a cocktail. Happy summer!