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Handmade horchata that is refreshing! The hot, sunny days are soon to arrive, so it’s a good idea to have this simple, traditional Mexican drink recipe on hand.

Additionally, it’s a must-have for that Cinco de Mayo celebration and the ideal accompaniment to all of your favorite Mexican cuisine!

Table of Contents

Describe Horchata

White rice is soaked in water to make horchata, a traditional Mexican beverage that is spiced with cinnamon and sweetened with granulated sugar.

In a blender, everything is combined and then filtered to get rid of the solids. While some varieties are dairy-free, some do contain milk, and some still include nuts or flavorings like vanilla or coconut.

I’ve experimented with several recipes using various ratios, different kinds of rice, nuts added or omitted, whole cinnamon sticks, and ground cinnamon.

My favorite after all the delicious trials was this one.

It’s quite simple to make and tastes just as wonderful as horchata from Mexican restaurants, if not better! Everyone will adore this straightforward beverage!

Horchata Produced at Home Contains What Ingredients?

  • Long grain white rice – this is what gives the drink its unique flavor.
  • Sliced almonds – whole or slivered almonds will work great too. You’ll love the light flavor these add.
  • Cinnamon sticks – I buy these in the Mexican spice pouches or bulk bins for a cheaper option.
  • Cold water – once this is soaked with the rice it will turn into creamy rice milk.
  • Granulated sugar – I’ve found 1/2 cup is the perfect amount for me but adjust to taste.
  • Vanilla – use real vanilla for the best flavor.
  • Whole milk – I love the creaminess this not-so-typical ingredient adds, it makes it a little richer too.


How is Horchata Made?

  • Blend rice mixture: add rice, almonds, and cinnamon sticks to a high-speed blender. Blend for about 30 – 60 seconds on high speed or until finely pulverized.
  • Sweeten: pour in 2 cups of water, sugar, and vanilla. Blend an additional 30 seconds.
  • Add remaining liquid: if your blender can fit the additional liquid pour in the remaining 2 cups of water, and milk, otherwise pour into a large enough container to fit along with the water and milk.
  • Let soak: cover and chill in the refrigerator for 8 – 12 hours.
  • Strain solids: strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a pitcher.
  • Serve chilled: serve with ice if desired, garnishing each serving with ground cinnamon or cinnamon sticks.

Does it have to Be Dairy-Free?

Yes. Coconut milk in a can or non-dairy milk like almond milk can be used in place of full milk.

Can I remove the nuts?

The almonds in the recipe can be simply omitted; no substitution is required.

What If There Was a Different Kind of Rice?

My preferred kind of rice is plain long-grain white rice, but you could also use basmati, brown rice, or jasmine rice, which will give the dish a distinctive (not so conventional) flavor.

Without a Blender, how can I make it?

You can test out the hack version. 8 cups unsweetened rice milk, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp vanilla should be rapidly whisked in a pitcher until the sugar has completely dissolved.

How long does Horchata Stay Fresh?

Ideally, serve your meal three days after you prepare it. Keep chilled; do not leave out at room temperature for more than 30 minutes.

What Are Some Alternative Sweeteners?

You can use honey or maple syrup in place of the sugar, or you can try stevia, which is sugar-free. Remember that you can modify the sweetness of this drink to your degree; for me, 1/2 cup is the right amount.

The Best Horchata Recipe:

  • Employ a blender. Otherwise, the rice and cinnamon won’t have nearly as much taste.
  • For the finest flavor, use whole cinnamon sticks. Surprisingly, ground cinnamon doesn’t taste the same.
  • Spend enough time soaking. The rice and cinnamon flavors can be extracted and absorbed into the water thanks to the prolonged soaking period. Additionally, it gets creamier.
  • Strain. If you miss the straining, you’d be left with an overwhelming amount of gritty residue that will need to be thrown away. You’ll also have a lot of leftover rice and cinnamon stick solids. If you believe you didn’t get it all the first time, you can even try again.
  • Deliver it cold. The ideal technique to serve horchata is always over an ice bed, well chilled.
  • A close-up of horchata in a glass cup with ice cubes and a cinnamon stick as a garnish.

Additional Mexican Cocktail Recipes to Try

  • Agua Fresca
  • Agua de Jamaica (Hibiscus Tea)
  • Atole
  • Mango Margaritas

You’ll Love These Delectable Mexican Dessert Recipes:

  • Tres Leches Cake
  • Churros
  • Fried Ice Cream
  • Mexican Wedding Cookies
  • Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Sugar Chips



  • 1 1/4 cups (244g) long-grain white rice (dry uncooked)
  • 1/2 cup (50g) sliced almonds
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (approx 2 1/2 inches each)
  • 4 cups (945ml) cold water
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar, or more to taste
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (475ml) whole milk


  1. Rice, almonds, and cinnamon sticks should all be added to a high-speed blender. Blend for 30 to 60 seconds at high speed, or until the mixture is finely ground, pausing occasionally to shake the blender if the mixture begins to stick to the bottom.
  2. Put the vanilla, sugar, and 2 cups of water in. Blend for a further thirty seconds. Pour the remaining 2 cups of water and milk into your blender, if it can accommodate it. If not, pour them into a large enough container to fit them along with the water and milk.
  3. For 8 to 12 hours, cover and chill.
  4. Pour the mixture into a pitcher after passing it through a fine mesh strainer. If preferred, serve over ice and top with cinnamon sticks or crushed cinnamon for decoration.