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- 1 cup raw almonds
- 5 cups water, divided (3 cups hot water, 2 cups cold water)
- ½ cup uncooked long-grain white rice
- 1 Ceylon cinnamon stick
To make Concentrated Simple Syrup
- ¼ cup water
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- Remove skins from raw almonds as follows: Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and add the raw almonds. Blanch for approximately 1 minute. Drain the almonds under cold water. Remove the skins of the almonds by squeezing the fat end of the nut – the nut should slip right out of the skins. Dry with a paper towel.
- In a dry skillet toast the dry, skinned almonds over medium heat until lightly brown. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- While the nuts are cooling, heat 3 cups of water to boiling temperature.
- In an electric spice grinder, pulverize the rice into a very fine powder.
- Combine the pulverized rice, toasted almonds, and the cinnamon stick into a large bowl. Pour in the 3 cups of hot water and stir to break up any clumps of rice that may form. Cool to room temperature. Cover and allow to stand overnight at room temperature.
- While rice mixture is sitting, you can prepare the Concentrated Simple Syrup by heating the ¼ cup of water and the ½ cup granulated sugar in a small saucepan, stirring until the sugar completely dissolves. Cool, then chill the syrup for later.
- The next day, pour the rice mixture (including the almonds and the cinnamon stick) into a blender. Add the remaining 2 cups of water and blend very well – until the rice, almonds and cinnamon stick are completely combined and pulverized.
- Strain the mixture into a bowl or pitcher – you will want to strain out as much of the sediment as possible so line a mesh strainer with 3 layers of cheesecloth and pour the blended mixture through to drain into the bowl. (Alternately, you can use one of these nut milk bags to strain your horchata.)
- Once drained, stir in the chilled simple syrup. Chill until cold.
- When ready to serve, pour over ice and garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
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