If you haven’t had Mexican horchata before, you definitely have to try this traditional Mexican drink recipe. You can buy it bottled or in a package or else learn how to make horchata yourself. After sampling this tasty beverage, you can honestly say homemade horchata is the best! This iced rice milk beverage is great to try out on Cinco de Mayo! Read on to learn how to make horchata at home. It’s so much nicer than anything from a package.
Horchata made with rice milk is rich and creamy. It offers so much flavour in every sip. You’ll find the recipe easy to make and you don’t need many different ingredients for it. Refreshing served over ice cubes, this makes a refreshing beverage and pairs well with Mexican food. You can even make a vegan version by using almond milk or similar instead of rice milk or dairy.
Why You’ll Love Homemade Horchata
- Authentic: If you want to recreate the delicious drink you enjoyed at a Mexican restaurant, try this recipe. It’s just like the rich, creamy horchata you’d get south of the border.
- Easy: Horchata is an easy recipe to prepare. You don’t need many ingredients and the prep work is straightforward.
- Delicious: If you love to order this drink at Mexican restaurants, you will recognize the same amazing flavour in this one. It’s cool, refreshing, creamy, and distinctive.
What is Mexican Horchata?
First of all, let’s take a closer look at what this tasty drink is. Horchata is an iced rice milk beverage which is very popular in Mexico. It’s made with rice and flavoured with cinnamon and sugar.
Everything is blitzed together in the blender and then the solids are strained out. Some homemade horchata recipes also feature vanilla, coconut or other flavours. When you know how to make horchata yourself, you can experiment with different ingredients.
What Ingredients are in Horchata?
Since this is an iced rice milk beverage, rice and milk are two of the main ingredients, as you’d expect. You will need long grain white rice, since this is going to be the main flavour in the drink. Sliced almonds are also featured, although whole or slivered are also fine since you’re blending the drink anyway.
Cinnamon adds plenty of flavour to the Mexican horchata and the freshest kind is from cinnamon sticks you grate yourself, not pre-ground powder. However, both work fine. You also need milk for this tradition Mexican drink recipe, and some water. Add some vanilla too if you like.
How to Make Homemade Horchata
For more detailed instructions with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card.
Once you have all the ingredients to hand, you can make this iced rice milk beverage. You will need a decent quality blender – one that can handle hard ingredients like rice and almonds.
Blend some of the ingredients: The rice and water go into the blender first, along with the cinnamon and almonds. You need to blend these ingredients for about 5 minutes. When the almonds and rice are totally pulverized you can stop.
Keep going! A blender can overheat if you have it running for a long time. Make sure you stop it periodically to let the motor cool down. Even a good blender will need a couple breaks during a 5-minute blending session.
Add more ingredients: When the rice and almonds are powder, you can add the milk and sugar. Add a little vanilla too if you like. Give the mixture another couple of minutes blending time. Yes, this traditional Mexican drink recipe takes a lot of blending!
Cover and chill: Now you need to cover the Mexican horchata and chill it for 8 hours or overnight.
Strain and serve: The final step is to sieve it to remove any solids. You can then serve it over ice.
How amazing does this homemade horchata look!
You might like to sprinkle some ground cinnamon on top and use a straw to drink yours. Que deliciosa (as they say in Mexico!)
Mexican Horchata Variations
This traditional Mexican drink recipe can be tweaked if you’re making it yourself. You can use any kind of milk to make it. Coconut milk, almond milk or even evaporated milk would work.
You can even leave out the almonds if you don’t want to use nuts (it’s not necessary to replace them with another ingredient). Now you know how to make horchata with rice milk (or any other milk) you’ll want to make it soon!
Long grain white rice is the traditional ingredient in this iced rice milk beverage. However you could experiment with other types of rice such as basmati or brown rice, in your easy horchata recipe.
How to Store Horchata to Keep It Fresh
- Store: Keep the horchata in a sealed bottle in the refrigerator and drink within a week.
- Freeze: You can freeze horchata in ice cube trays or freezer-safe containers, for up to 3 months.
- Thaw: Thaw the horchata in the refrigerator, then shake well before serving.
Horchata Recipe FAQs
A lot of homemade drinks need to chill in the refrigerator but not for an hour, never mind eight! The recipe has to chill for much longer than other drinks. The reason is the rice needs time to release flavours into the horchata. Taste it before refrigerating and then after, and you’ll see what I mean.
If you don’t have a blender you can still make this drink. It just won’t be as authentic. You can whisk 8 cups of rice milk (unsweetened) with ½ cup of white sugar, a teaspoon of ground cinnamon and ½ teaspoon of vanilla until the sugar dissolves. This is a horchata-in-a-hurry. It’s pretty good but of course not as good as making the horchata recipe rice milk drink the traditional Mexican way.
To grate cinnamon from sticks, use can use a fine grater such as a microplane. Keep in mind that freshly grated cinnamon has a more robust flavor than pre-ground cinnamon.
Homemade Mexican Horchata Recipe
Homemade Mexican Horchata
- In a high powered blender glass, add the rice, almonds, cinnamon and water. Blend for 5 minutes or until the rice and almonds are pulverized. You may need to stop in between to prevent the blender from overheating.
- Add the sugar and milk and blend again for 2 more minutes.
- Cover and chill for 8 hours.
- Strain the horchata through a fine mesh sieve. Serve over ice and sprinkle with extra cinnamon on top.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.
Mexican horchata is refreshing and delicious. If you’ve never had it you’re in for a real treat when you learn how to make horchata yourself and enjoy. This wonderfully rich-tasting homemade horchata is well worth making.
Let me know if you try to make this Mexican horchata recipe. This iced rice milk beverage is a traditional Mexican drink recipe that you will love. This homemade horchata is great to try out on Cinco de Mayo! I hope this blog helps you learn how to make horchata at home.
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Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for recipes, dogs, sustainability, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.
Bella Bucchiotti is a freelance food, travel, and lifestyle writer for MSN and the Associated Press Wire.