I have been going back and forth about whether I should post this recipe or not, because as good as it is (and it's really good), and as lovely as the pictures are (don't you like them?), this is not very authentic horchata. I say that because it has cow's milk in it, and traditionally, Mexican horchata is made of rice milk. And traditionally, you must wake up at the crack of dawn, soak the rice all day, and then grind it to a paste (by hand!) in your molcajete (what's that sound I hear? Ah, yes, cue the tiny violin).
Alternatively, you buy a little plastic baggie of powdered mix from the Mexican section of the grocery store, and you mix it with water. Which, by the way, I am pretty sure is what most Mexican people around here actually do when they want to drink horchata. Who has time to grind rice in a molcajete all day long?
So this drink, while delicious, is sort of Martha's irreverent devil-may-care-what-the-real-thing-is interpretation of horchata, and I have to say, it's good! It's creamy and delicious and the milk pairs well with Mexican food, which can be spicy! I imagine you could probably even just use unsweetened rice milk from the grocery store if you want to make it more authentic, or if you happen to be allergic to cow's milk, or you are vegan or WHATEVER. You don't have to make any explanations to me! I love you just the way you are, non-milk drinking friend.
If you want to make this a more grown-up drink, you can add in a little dark rum. It's quite tasty!
Martha Stewart's Cinnamon Spiced Mexican Horchata
adapted from Martha Stewart Living 2011
4 cups milk (use whatever fat content you like best)
1 cinnamon stick
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup rice flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
optional: 1/2 cup dark rum
1. bring milk and cinnamon stick to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat, and transfer to a pitcher or bowl. Mix in sweetened condensed milk, flour, vanilla, and cinnamon. Chill until cold (a good 2 hours should do it).
2. strain mixture with a sieve, and add in rum (if using). Pour over ice, and garnish with a cinnamon stick, or a little sprinkle or cinnamon. Enjoy!