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Place uncooked rice in a blender; cover and blend until powdery (some of the rice will look finely chopped). In a medium bowl, combine blended rice, 1 1/4 cups warm water, almonds (or cashews), stick cinnamon and, if desired, lime zest. Cover and let stand at room temperature overnight.
Transfer mixture to a blender. Add 2 cups water. Cover and blend until mixture is smooth.
Line a fine-mesh strainer with two layers of 100%-cotton cheesecloth. Pour rice mixture through cheesecloth. When liquid has passed through, gather up the cheesecloth and squeeze the remaining liquid into the bowl. Discard solids.
Transfer strained liquid to a pitcher or large bowl. Stir in the remaining 2 cups water, sugar and vanilla. Serve immediately over ice. If desired, garnish with additional stick cinnamon. (To serve warm, transfer to a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until heated through.)