Agua Frescas are Mexican refreshing cold beverages that guarantee to chill you to the bone and quench even the thirstiest of Thursdays! There are multiple types of Aguas Frescas which include Sandia (watermelon), pina (pineapple), and hibiscus (a type of flower), among many others. However, none can compare (in my humble opinion) to the big daddy of them all – Horchata! Like the other agua frescas, there are multiple ingredients that go into the drink, and this one is known for its milky, creamy, cinnamon taste that’ll have you coming back for more and more and more and – you get the picture!
- 1 can of Nestle La Lechera (condensed milk)
- 1 can of Nestle Carnation 100% Leche evaporada (evaporated milk)
- 4 cups of water
- 1 cup of your choice of uncooked white rice
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- Sugar to taste (if you like it a little sweeter)
- 1 cinnamon stick per glass for garnish
- 1-2 freshly ground cinnamon sticks to garnish
- ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
- First, you’ll begin with washing your rice well, followed by draining it.
- Place the drained rice with a cinnamon stick and four cups of water in a large bowl or pitcher. Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight. This is where the ingredients will slowly get to mixing, and the longer you leave it – the better.
- Next, add the rice, water, and cinnamon stick to the blender and puree in batches until it’s very smooth or velvety or about 3-5 minutes long. Rinse and repeat until you’ve pureed it all.
- This next part is essential. Use the finest strainer you can get your hands on (my grandma used a cheesecloth,) and pour the mixture over a pitcher. If you used a pitcher initially, you could use the same pitcher, saving an extra dish from having to be washed!
- Strain out the liquid as much as you possibly can. You can apply pressure on the mixture to extract more liquid using a spatula, spoon, or some sweet lovin’ from clean hands.
- You’ll repeat this process repeatedly until you’ve squeezed every drop out of the rice and cinnamon combination.
- Once done, add in both of your cans of milk, the four cups of water, and vanilla if you opted to add it while stirring.
- Give it a taste test and add more sugar to taste if needed.
- Finally, place it back in the refrigerator to get it really cold. Once chilled, stir it and serve over ice! If you’re going to use cinnamon to garnish, you can add it to the individual cups just in case not everyone wants it.
As you might have guessed, this drink cannot be left out at room temperature for long. If it can be helped, I wouldn’t keep it on the counter for longer than an hour, but it can stay fresh for up to three days – IF it lasts past three hours! Make sure you give it a good stir each time you get it out to break up any build-up at the bottom of the pitcher. This is my absolute favorite drink, and it’s even better when you get one on a scorching day! If you need to double the recipe, as I often do with a large family like mine, you can double up on the ingredients for more goodness. Legend says that there’s a recipe out there that incorporates this very drink into a cake, but that’s for another day!~
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