Horchata is a Mexican rice-based drink that is sweet, milky, and with a cinnamon flavor. Horchata can be served cold or hot. Both ways are delicious.


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 It's a wonderfully fresh and light-tasting drink that reminds me of all the comforting cinnamon-vanilla flavors of joy in rice pudding...except not thick, and not lumpy.

 Horchata recipes vary widely from country to country and region to region. Some recipes call for nuts like almonds, and others call for seeds or barley. One of the great things about a good horchata recipe is that you can add different ingredients to it to change the taste.

Difference between Mexican and Spanish horchata? 

Mexican horchata is made with rice, almonds, milk, and sugar while Spanish horchata is made with tiger nuts(chufas), lemon, milk, and dates.

Ingredients in Horchata 

Rice - Long grain rice is traditional 
Cinnamon - Cinnamon sticks and ground cinnamon 
Milk - Whole milk and sweetened condensed milk ( almond milk for non-dairy) 
Vanilla - Vanilla extract 
Water - I recommend filtered water

Kitchen Tools Needed for this Recipe

Fine Mesh Strainer

Note: I place a coffee filter in the mesh strainer to help catch any rice grit.

How To Make Horchata 

  • In a mixing bowl, add the rice, whole milk, sweetened condensed milk, and cinnamon sticks. Pour hot water into the mixture and stir until the sweetened condensed milk dissolves.
  • Allow the mixture to come to room temperature. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, then refrigerate the mixture for 5 hours; overnight for the best flavor.
  • Remove plastic wrap. Remove the cinnamon sticks and discard.


  • Strain the mixture to separate the rice. Reserve the liquid. 
  •  Add the rice and 1.5 cups of strained liquid to your blender. Blend for 3 minutes until the rice is liquefied. 
  •  Strain the blended rice back into the reserved liquid. Make sure the rice has completely dissolved with no bits of rice left in the strainer. Blend again if bits are left behind.
  • Serve over ice with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Enjoy!

Horchata in cup with cinnamon stick

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