Horchata is a type of Mexican agua fresca that is both creamy and refreshing! It’s made from a base of rice and infused with the sweet, warm, and aromatic flavors of cinnamon. Serve it on its own, or pair it with hot and crispy snacks like tacos, and tamales.
Wash and drain the rice to get rid of excess starch and dirt. Add it to a large bowl with the cinnamon sticks and 4 cups of boiling water. Let the water cool to room temperature, then cover the bowl and let it rest for at least 5-6 hours, but preferably overnight.
Once you have the rice soaking, add the almond milk and cane sugar to a small saucepan. Bring it to a light boil, then simmer it until it reduces by about half. Let the reduced almond milk cool, then transfer it to a container to chill in the fridge overnight.
Add the soaked rice, cinnamon sticks, and water to your blender and mix on medium until the mixture is smooth. You may have to blend it in a few separate batches if your blender is on the smaller side.
Working in batches, pour the rice mixture through a fine-mesh strainer, cheesecloth, or nut milk bag into a large bowl. Squeeze or press down with a spoon to pass as much liquid through as you can. Pour it through the strainer or cheesecloth at least once or twice more to catch any small grains.
Mix in the rest of the water, reduced almond milk, and vanilla. Taste and adjust the sweetness to your liking. Serve it chilled or over ice with a sprinkle of cinnamon.