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Easy Homemade Horchata

horchata recipe

Horchata is the cold, creamy, rice-based drink you find at many Mexican restaurants.

Unfortunately, not all of it is real horchata anymore. Many places now serve horchata from a soda fountain, which like other sodas is made with flavorings, additives and high fructose corn syrup. That’s not really horchata!

Luckily, horchata is super easy to make at home. It’s a perfect addition to taco night or really any summer meal requiring a frosty beverage.

horchata recipe

This version is made with just rice, water, sugar and cinnamon. My guess is it would also be delicious spiked with a little vodka 😉

horchata recipe

Buen provecho!

Easy Homemade Horchata
Prep time
Total time
An authentic Mexican beverage at it's simplest - and best!
Serves: 4 servings
  • 1 cup rinsed white rice
  • 2-3 cinnamon sticks
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Whirl rice in a food processor to break into small pieces. (This takes some pulsing and a few minutes of whirling).
  2. Pour into a bowl and add 3½ cups water, plus the cinnamon sticks (I used 3 but if you like a mild cinnamon taste, use 2). Cover and let stand overnight in the fridge.
  3. Stir in sugar and vanilla. Purée half of the mixture in batches in a blender until very smooth, about 2 minutes.
  4. Strain twice, through 3 layers of damp cheesecloth and then through a very fine strainer, into a pitcher. (It's important to thoroughly strain the mixture otherwise the horchata will taste and feel grainy).
  5. Pour over ice and serve.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¾ cup

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  • Reply
    July 10, 2014 at 10:20 am

    Since I love orxata (the kind made with tiger nuts), I’m really excited to see the rice version. You say white rice, but exactly what kind of rice did you use? Minute rice, arborio, jasmine?

    I recommend trying this with some almonds, too. It’s more Spanish than Mexican that way, but it’s still delicious!

    • Reply
      Amelia Winslow
      July 12, 2014 at 12:20 pm

      I used long grain rice, but you can use jasmine or short grain white rice, too. Aborio is a little tougher but maybe it would work fine?

  • Reply
    July 10, 2014 at 10:31 am

    I’m so excited to make this myself (spiked, too)! I love horchata!

  • Reply
    maria elena QUINTERO
    July 26, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    Me interesa recibir deliciosas recetas veganas o vegetariana s gracias

  • Reply
    July 26, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    So to be clear… we are using uncooked rice?

  • Reply
    July 26, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    It says to puree half of the mixture. What do we do with the other half?

    • Reply
      Amelia Winslow
      July 28, 2014 at 12:20 pm

      Sorry about that! Puree it all, but it works best to puree half at a time. I’ll clarify that in the instructions.

  • Reply
    July 27, 2014 at 6:49 am

    Is the rice cooked or uncooked?

    • Reply
      Amelia Winslow
      July 28, 2014 at 12:19 pm

      Uncooked rice. Thanks for asking – I’ll clarify that!

  • Reply
    Isadora @ she likes food
    July 27, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    I love horchata so much! I used to work at at a restaurant that served and sometimes I would “borrow” a bunch of the horchata powder so I could make it at home! A friend just introduced me to horchata ice cream and it was heavenly! I can’t wait to make this “)

  • Reply
    April 29, 2018 at 9:13 am

    Is this recipe easily double, tripled or quadrupled? I’m making it for a party.

    • Reply
      Amelia Winslow
      May 4, 2018 at 12:25 pm

      You can definitely increase the batch size, Angela. Just be sure to taste it regularly, as sometimes making something on a larger scale yields a slightly different taste. You can always adjust the sweetness, etc. to taste. Enjoy!

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