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Homemade Horchata Recipe

Homemade horchata is a kid friendly drink recipe popular in Mexican restaurants, and throughout Latin America, that is easy to make at home!

A glass pitcher and glass cup on a yellow table

If you have not ever had horchata, get ready because it’s about to become your new favorite drink (maybe tied with this Sangria Mocktail or Agua de Jamaica) anytime you have Mexican food.

It’s nice to serve it with crowd favorites fish tacos or mole enchiladas! Since it is so easy to make and uses ingredients I’m sure you have on hand you’ll have no excuse not to.

What is horchata?

Horchata refers to a drink made from ground seeds, spices, and milk that is slightly sweet and white in appearance. The ingredients used to make horchata will vary depending on which Latin American country you are in.

Some countries like Spain use tiger nuts, in El Salvador they use morro seeds, and in Nicaragua and Honduras they use jicaro seeds which are ground with the rice. Some countries may also add nutmeg, cocoa, or sesame seeds.

This version of horchata is a cinnamon, rice, and milk drink that can be found in most Mexican restaurants.

A glass of horchata with a cinnamon stick in it

Horchata ingredients

  • rice
  • cinnamon sticks
  • water
  • milk
  • vanilla extract
  • sugar

Substitutions

We really like using Mexican vanilla for this drink which has a stronger flavor than regular vanilla. You can find it at most Latin supermarkets or online. For a whiter horchata, use a clear vanilla.

Can you make this dairy free?

You can make this with whatever milk works best for you! I’ve successfully made it with both almond milk and coconut milk but have found I prefer the almond milk.

A blender with water, rice and cinnamon sticks in it

Instructions

  1. Put rice, 3 cups water, and cinnamon sticks in  blender. Blend for about 1 minute to break up the rice and cinnamon sticks.
  2. Transfer rice water mixture to a large pitcher or allow to sit in the blender and add as much of the remaining water as you can.
  3. Let mixture soak overnight, or at least 3 to 4 hours.
  4. Strain rice mixture through a double layer of cheese cloth (or coffee filter) into another pitcher or a large liquid measuring cup.
  5. Add the remaining water, milk, vanilla, and sugar and stir well. If desired, refrigerate until well chilled.
  6. Serve in tall glasses with ice.

Want to make more kid friendly Latin American recipes? Get my resource guide on how to make Kid Friendly Latin American Food.

Tips and Tricks

If you would like a stronger cinnamon flavor, add additional cinnamon sticks to the blender when blending.

You can also add 3/4 to 1 tsp of ground cinnamon to the finished drink but be aware that it doesn’t mix in well and may clump slightly.

A glass of horchata next to rice, cinnamon sticks, and a pitcher

It’s best to make it a day ahead…but I will admit I never seem to remember to do it that far ahead. The longer it sits the better it tastes.

If you have more than 3-4 people you’ll be serving this to, make a double batch. It won’t last, I promise.

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Recipe

A glass of horchata with a cinnamon stick in it

Homemade Horchata

Homemade horchata is an easy kid friendly drink recipe to make at home that is way better than the powdered stuff. 
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Chill time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Latin American
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 207kcal
Author: Jade Jones

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Put rice, 3 cups water, and cinnamon sticks in  blender.  Blend for about 1 minute to break up the rice and cinnamon sticks.
  • Transfer rice water mixture to a large pitcher or allow to sit in the blender add as much of the remaining water as you can. Let mixture soak overnight, or at least 3 to 4 hours.
  • Strain rice mixture through a double layer of cheese cloth (or coffee filter) into another pitcher or a large liquid measuring cup.
  • Add the remaining water, milk, vanilla, and sugar and stir well.  If desired, refrigerate until well chilled.
  • Serve in with ice, if desired.

Notes

Makes 2 quarts
It’s best to make it a day ahead…but I will admit I never seem to remember to do it that far ahead. The longer it sits the better it tastes.
If you would like a stronger cinnamon flavor, add additional cinnamon sticks to the blender when blending.
You can also add 3/4 to 1 tsp of ground cinnamon to the finished drink but be aware that it doesn’t mix in well and may clump slightly.
I prefer to use Mexican vanilla for its richer flavor.

Nutrition

Calories: 207kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 29mg | Potassium: 89mg | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 65IU | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 0.3mg
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3 Comments

  1. You never cease to amaze me, Jade! I love you dearly and am glad we are family!! Love, G’ma Mc

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