A Spicy Perspective

How to Make Horchata

How to Make Horchata – An easy recipe for making the best thick and wonderfully refreshing authentic horchata from scratch. Your family will love enjoying this nutty, creamy, perfectly sweet drink all summer!

How to Make Horchata (Best Easy Recipe!)

What is Horchata?

Silky, sweet, creamy, slightly spicy Horchata is a beloved Mexican drink often enjoyed during the summer.

It’s a wonderfully rich blend of homemade rice milk, almonds, cinnamon, and canned milk(s) that’s served ice-cold as a refreshing way to beat the heat!

My kids love making all sorts of fresh and fruity agua frescas throughout the summer months. And, technically, Horchata is a type of agua fresca. However, instead of using fruit, you add grains, nuts, and milk to the water for a thicker, more luxurious treat.

You’ve got to give this recipe a try!

creamy, sweet ice-cold Mexican horchata

The Best Horchata Recipe

This Easy Horchata Recipe is simply the best for authentic Mexican-style Horchata.

Using traditional ingredients and time-saving tricks, you can easily make a large batch of ice-cold Horchata at home, from scratch, in just a couple of hours.

It’s also great to make ahead the night before, and enjoy the next day at a potluck or poolside party!

My family loves Horchata, and it is traditionally a great kid-friendly beverage. However, if you want to booze it up, you can certainly add a shot of rum to each glass for a refreshingly delicious adult drink.

the best horchata

What Ingredients You Need

Here are all of the ingredients in our authentic Mexican Horchata recipe:

  • Long-grain riceto create a thick and silky base
  • Almondsfor that perfect earthy, nutty taste
  • Cinnamon stickthe whole stick is used for just the right amount of spice and flavor
  • Water
  • Sweetened Condensed milk AND Evaporated milkthese two ingredients add sweetness and a devilishly creamy texture
  • Vanilla extractbalances the spice of the cinnamon and the sweetness of the milks
  • Salt just a little to enhance the other flavors

The canned milks are classic Mexican ingredients used, which became popular when fresh milk was historically not available. They do provide a unique flavor! However, you can substitute 3 cups regular milk (or almond milk) + 1 cup sugar if you prefer… Or if sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk are not available in your area.

rice, almonds, cinnamon

How to Make Easy Horchata

Making Horchata from scratch is simple, although it does take a couple of hours to chill before you can enjoy it. I love making a large batch the night before a party, so it’s terrifically cold and ready to go when guests arrive!

Here’s how to make the best homemade authentic Horchata:

1. First, bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a kettle or a large sauce pan. 

2. Then, to a large heat-safe bowl add the dry long-grain rice, sliced or chopped almonds, whole cinnamon stick, and salt. Carefully pour the boiling water over the rice mixture, and stir well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or even overnight.

pour boiling water

3. Once cold, pour the rice mixture into a blender, including the cinnamon stick. Puree until very smooth.

4. Next, set a fine mesh strainer over a 10-cup or larger measuring pitcher. Slowly pour the blended rice mixture into the strainer. Allow the liquid to completely pour through, removing any remaining debris.

blend and strain

5. Stir in the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and vanilla extract. The canned milks mixed with the almond and cinnamon will smell so lusciously sweet!

sweetened condensed milk

6. Add additional cold water, until you have 9-10 cups of Horchata total. I recommend 9 cups for extra-thick horchata; however, my kids like it a little thinner and so I tend to make the full 10 cups.

Get the Complete (Printable!) Best Easy Horchata Recipe Below. Enjoy!

homemade horchata

Chill the Horchata in the fridge until ready to enjoy. Give it a good stir before serving.

Serve over ice as-is, or with a shot of rum.

For extra flavor and flair, I like to also add a sprinkle of ground cinnamon to the top of each glass.

Enjoy!

agua fresca with rice and almonds

How to Make Agua de Avena

Like in this recipe, Mexican Horchata is most typically made with rice. However, oats can be substituted for the rice to make a popular (and healthy fiber-filled) variation called Agua de Avena. Both are made with the same process, but you simply swap rice for steel cut oats.

To Make Agua de Avena: Substitute 1 cup steel cut oats for the rice.

homemade horchatas over ice

How Can I Make the Best Dairy-Free Vegan Horchata?

This easy Horchata recipe is excellent for making dairy-free! Just substitute 3 cups almond or rice milk + 1 cup of sugar for the canned milks in this recipe.

Keep in mind that plant based milk alternatives tend to not be quite as thick as canned sweetened condensed and evaporated milks, so you will want to watch how much cold water you add to the base mixture to make the full recipe.

how to make vegan horchata

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How to Make Horchata (Best Easy Recipe!)

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
How to Make Horchata – An easy recipe for making the best thick and wonderfully refreshing authentic horchata from scratch. Your family will love enjoying this nutty, creamy, perfectly sweet drink all summer!
Servings: 10 cups

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Bring 4 cups of water to a boil (in a kettle or a sauce pan).
  • In a large heat-safe bowl add the dry rice, almonds, cinnamon stick, and salt. Pour the boiling water over the rice mixture. Stir well. Then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. (Could be overnight.)
  • Pour the rice mixture into the blender, including the cinnamon stick. Puree until very smooth.
  • Set a fine mesh strainer (sieve) over a 10-cup measuring pitcher. Pour the rice mixture into the strainer. Allow the liquid to pour through, removing any remaining debris.
  • Stir in the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and vanilla extract. Add additional cold water, until you have 9-10 cups for horchata total. (9 cups for extra-thick horchata. My kids like it a little thinner.)
  • Chill until ready to use. Stir before serving. Serve over ice as-is, or with a shot of rum.

Video

Notes

To Make Agua de Avena, substitute 1 cup steel-cut oats for the rice.
Dairy Free Horchata? Substitute 3 cups almond or rice milk + 1 cup of sugar for the canned milks in this recipe.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup, Calories: 274kcal, Carbohydrates: 41g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 23mg, Sodium: 153mg, Potassium: 310mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 25g, Vitamin A: 187IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 229mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: Beverage, Drinks
Cuisine: Mexican

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6 comments on “How to Make Horchata”

  1. I love those aqua and white cups. Do you have a link for purchase?

  2. Never knew it could me so easy to make! The flavor is amazing!

  3. I seriously love how easy this is to make!!

  4. Oh my! This was so good!! I’ve got a new favorite drink right here!

  5. This looks so delicious and perfect for summer! I can’t wait to make this! I’ll be drinking it all summer!!