['1 cup blanched whole almonds', '2 cups boiling-hot water', '1/2- to 1-inch piece cinnamon stick', '1/3 cup sugar, or to taste', 'Freshly grated zest of 1 lime', '2 cups ice plus additional for glasses', 'Garnish if desired: cinnamon sticks and lime zest']
In a blender combine all horchata ingredients except ice and let stand in blender 5 minutes. Blend mixture on low speed and gradually work up to high speed (use caution when blending hot liquids). Blend mixture on high speed 3 minutes. Add 2 cups ice and blend until melted.
Pour mixture through a large sieve lined with a double layer of dampened cheesecloth into a bowl, stirring, and discard solids.
Fill 4 tall glasses with additional ice and horchata and garnish with cinnamon sticks and lime zest. Flavor of horchata improves if made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.
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