My niece Georgina shared her recipe with me, and I gave it a few tweaks (using simple syrup instead of granulated sugar and pulverizing the rice beforehand to eliminate chalky sediment and a gritty taste). Grinding the rice also helps thicken the drink.
In a food processor or coffee grinder, pulverize the rice so it is the consistency of ground coffee.
In a large saucepan over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Remove from heat; add ground rice, cinnamon stick, and cloves. Cover and let soak for 8 hours or overnight at room temperature.
After soaking, break the cinnamon stick in half, and place the rice mixture in a blender. Puree for 2 to 3 minutes.
Strain the liquid by pouring it into a fine strainer lined with a double layer of cheesecloth set over a pitcher. Squeeze out any excess liquid into the pitcher and discard the solids.
Stir in the vanilla and medium simple syrup. Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve. Stir before pouring into glasses and serve over ice.
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