ingredients
  • Raw long-grain white rice 1 1/4
  • Sliced chopped almonds 1/2 cups
  • Cinnamon sticks 2
  • Cold Water 4 cups
  • Granulated white sugar 1/2 cups
  • Vanilla Extract 1 tsp
  • Whole Milk 2 cups

Make ice-cold cinnamon-flavored horchata at home for a fun Mexican summertime drink.

What is Horchata?

Horchata is a popular drink in Mexico. It’s made from rice and almond milk and usually flavored with cinnamon and a bit of sugar for sweetness.

Why is it called Horchata?

Horchata is the Spanish name for this traditional beverage.

Equipment for Homemade Horchata Recipe

Here’s what you need to make your own horchata in your kitchen:

A large bowl or pitcher for soaking the rice and serving the horchataA high-speed blenderA fine-mesh strainer or a nut milk bag for straining out solidsIce cubes and serving glassesHow to Make Horchata at Home

To make horchata, start by soaking white rice in water overnight. This helps the rice grains soften and tenderize, so you don’t need to cook them.

You’ll also add whole or slivered almonds to the soaking water, which gives horchata a rich, nutty flavor. In addition, a couple of cinnamon sticks add warming notes to the drink.

After these ingredients soak for several hours, ideally overnight, add them to a high-powered blender. Puree them for up to a minute, which should result in smooth and creamy light brown rice milk.

From here, you can sweeten the horchata however you like and blend again to dissolve the sweetener. Traditionally, horchata is sweetened with granulated white sugar. You can also use liquid sweeteners like honey or agave if you prefer.

At this point, the beverage will be room temperature, but very smooth. There will be some texture to the drink from the ground rice grains and almonds. This is easy to remove with a fine-mesh strainer. Discard any pulp left in your strainer.

Now, you can chill it the horchata in the fridge overnight, or simply serve it over plenty of ice.

How to make Horchata

Place the rice, almonds and cinnamon sticks in a bowl and cover with 2 cups of water. Soak overnight at room temperature.

After soaking, place the soaked rice mixture into a high-speed blender. Blend for 30 to 60 seconds on high speed or until mostly smooth.

Pour in the remaining two cups of water if it will fit inside your blender, along with the sugar and vanilla extract. Blend for 30 seconds more.

Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a large pitcher.

Stir in the milk and taste the drink, adding more sugar or vanilla if you like. Cover and chill 8 for 12 hours.Serve with ice if you like, garnishing each serving with ground cinnamon or cinnamon sticks.

How to Serve Horchata

Because Mexico is such a warm climate, the drink is usually served ice-cold, sometimes garnished with a cinnamon stick. If you live somewhere cooler, however, you can easily warm your homemade horchata in a pot on the stove or in the microwave. If you use a microwave, be sure to keep an eye on it and lace a late under your cup, as it’s known to overflow.

If you’re looking for dishes to pair with your fresh batch of cinnamony horchata, look to Mexican cuisine for inspiration. You can turn the dish into a total fiesta with crunchy tacos, refreshing ceviche, and Mexican street corn, also known as elote.

Of course, you don’t have to serve horchata with Mexican food only. Feel free to offer the refreshing drink to guests at a summertime barbecue alongside grilled hamburgers, chicken wings, or vegetable kabobs. It’s always a refreshing and welcome warm weather drink.

Is Horchata Dairy-Free?

This recipe for Mexican horchata is not dairy-free. You’ll stir whole milk into the drink at the last minute, which transforms into ta deeply rich and satisfying beverage. However, if you prefer a dairy-free or vegan option, you can skip the whole milk altogether or replace it with store-bought unsweetened almond, coconut, or soy milk.

Homemade Horchata Recipe

Place the rice, almonds and cinnamon sticks in a bowl and cover with 2 cups of water. Soak overnight at room temperature. After soaking, place the soaked rice mixture into a high-speed blender. Blend for 30 to 60 seconds on high speed or until mostly smooth. You may need to stop occasionally and shake the blender if the mixture sinks to the bottom of the jug. Pour in the remaining two cups of water if it will fit inside your blender, along with the sugar and vanilla extract. Blend for 30 seconds more. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a large pitcherStir in the milk and taste the drink, adding more sugar or vanilla if you like. .Cover and chill 8 for 12 hours.Serve with ice if you like, garnishing each serving with ground cinnamon or cinnamon sticks.