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Horchata

Time 20 minutes
Yields Makes 2 1/2 quarts
Horchata
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
1

In a large bowl, combine the rice and cinnamon sticks. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil, then pour the hot water over the rice and cinnamon. Cover and allow to soak overnight.

2

In a blender, puree the rice mixture (including the cinnamon) with the agave nectar until smooth; this will need to be done in batches. Strain the mixture through a mesh strainer lined with a triple layer of cheesecloth (or a chinois). Stir in 6 cups cold water, or adjust consistency to taste. Adjust the sweetness to taste with additional agave nectar if desired.

3

Just before serving, stir the horchata vigorously. Serve over ice and garnish, if desired, with a few chopped toasted pecans and a sprinkle of diced cantaloupe. This will keep for 3 days, refrigerated.

Inspired by Juan Antonio of Oaxacalifornia. Soak the rice the day before.

Amy Scattergood is a staff writer for the Food section of the Los Angeles Times.
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