This Horchata recipe is refreshing, creamy and easy to make. Made from rice, almonds and cinnamon, this authentic sweetened Mexican drink is dairy free, gluten free, vegetarian and vegan.
It’s officially horchata season! The sun is out, I’ve got my flip flops on and all I want right now is to sit on the porch with an ice-cold glass of horchata while listening to the song ‘Horchata’ by Vampire Weekend. That’s pretty much my dream. And you know what? It’s time to make that a reality. Let’s do this thing.
What Makes This Horchata Recipe So Delicious
- This an easy horchata recipe! Let the first set of ingredients soak, then puree in a blender, strain, and add the second set of ingredients. Simple!
- The drink is creamy and refreshing! The rice and almonds lend the creaminess while serving it iced keeps you cool on a hot day.
- The drink is made without any dairy, making it great for vegetarians and vegans but can be enjoyed by everyone!
What is horchata?
Horchata is an iced drink made from soaking and blending rice, cinnamon and almonds. There are different variations of the drink throughout Mexico and Latin America – some are completely dairy free, some contain milk and some are made with different types of nuts.
This particular recipe is dairy free and sweetened with a touch of sugar and pure vanilla extract.
- white rice
- cinnamon stick
- granulated sugar
- vanilla extract
Now let’s get to the good stuff – actually making the horchata! It’s fairly easy to make and all you need is a blender and a little patience. Here’s what you do.
How to make horchata
In a large pitcher or bowl, add 3 cups of the water, 1 cup of rice, 1/2 cup chopped almonds and a cinnamon stick that’s been broken in half or into pieces. Mix together, cover and let the horchata mixture soak in the fridge for at least 4 hours but preferably overnight.
After soaking, add the mixture to a blender and puree for about 3 minutes, until completely smooth.
Set a fine mesh strainer over a large pitcher. Pour the horchata mixture through the strainer and remove as much of the liquid out as possible. Use a spoon or spatula to help move the liquid through. Do this about 2 times, until the strained liquid is smooth and creamy.
(If you used a powerful blender you may not need to strain the horchata mixture. Taste the mixture and if it’s not gritty, you can skip this step altogether.)
Add in the remaining 3 cups of water, sugar and vanilla extract. Mix together, taste and add more sugar if desired. Serve over ice and cheers!
- Try using a different nut, like cashews or hazelnuts.
- Add a little coffee to it and make it a horchata latte!
- Replace the sugar with a different sweetener, like honey or agave syrup
- Looking for a cocktail? Try adding a little rum in the horchata to make a mixed drink!
Tips and Tricks
- Separation of the water and the rice mixture is completely normal, especially if it’s been sitting in the fridge for a day or two. Just mix it together with a large spoon and serve as you normally would.
- You want to blend the ingredients really well after they’ve soaked! If you have a powerful blender like a Vitamix, you may find that you don’t need to strain the mixture at all. See my recommendation below for what to use.
- When straining the pureed mixture, use a spoon or spatula to help move the liquid through the strainer.
How long will horchata keep in the fridge?
Horchata will keep fresh in the fridge for up to 10 days. The best thing to do is to remove the lid from the pitcher or container and give it a little smell. If it’s gone bad, you’ll definitely know.
Tools used to make this horchata recipe
A powerful blender: A blender is essential for grinding down the soaked rice, almonds and cinnamon stick. The more powerful the blender (like a Vitamix), the better.
A fine mesh strainer: Pouring the blended rice/almond/cinnamon mixture through a fine mesh strainer helps to remove any grittiness or chalkiness from the drink so all you’re left with is a smooth and creamy horchata.
A large pitcher: A pitcher with a lid and a little built in strainer like this one is perfect for storing the horchata in the fridge and serving whenever you’re ready.
More refreshing drinks you’ll love
- Classic Margarita Recipe
- Mexican Agua Fresca (Agua de Sandia)
- Michelada Recipe (Beer Cocktail)
- Agua de Pepino(Cucumber Agua Fresca)
- Agua de Jamaica (Hibiscus Tea)
I hope you love this easy and simple recipe – be sure to give it a review below! To get more easy Mexican recipes delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for my weekly email newsletter. You can also follow Isabel Eats on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!
- 6 cups water, divided
- 1 cup uncooked white rice
- 1/2 cup chopped almonds
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half or into pieces
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Place rice in a fine mesh strainer and rinse under running water.
- In a large pitcher or bowl, add 3 cups of the water, rice, chopped almonds and the cinnamon stick. Mix together, cover and let it soak in the fridge for at least 4 hours but preferably overnight.
- After soaking, add the mixture to blender and puree for about 3 minutes, until completely smooth.
- Set a fine mesh strainer over a large pitcher. Pour the mixture through the strainer and remove as much of the liquid out as possible. Use a spoon or spatula to help move the liquid through. Do this about 2 times, until the strained liquid is smooth and creamy.
- Add in the remaining 3 cups of water, sugar and vanilla extract. Mix together, taste and add more sugar if desired.
- Serve over ice and enjoy!