Bring a taste of Mexico to your kitchen with this Authentic Horchata recipe! (pronounced or-CHAH-tah)
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It’s made with a blend of ingredients like rice, cinnamon, and sugar that bring out the best in this classic and very popular agua fresca.
Similar to Agua de Pepino, it is found at Mexican restaurants and local taquerias everywhere.
Cool, sweet, and easy to make at home.
Table of Contents
- 1 Ingredients
- 2 Instructions
- 3 Soaking Rice
- 4 Sweetener Alternatives
- 5 Storing Instructions:
- 6 Freezing Instructions
- 7 What’s the difference between Mexican and Spanish horchata?
- 8 More Mexican Drinks
- 9 Horchata (agua de horchata)
- white rice
- Cinnamon stick
- water (to soak rice)
- extra water (to finish the drink)
- vanilla extract
- whole milk (or evaporated milk)
- ice cubes to serve
For a creamy texture, use sweetened condensed milk instead of sugar.
To make this recipe vegan, use almond milk or coconut milk.
Traditional Mexican horchata is made with long grain white rice, but you can swap out for brown rice for a nuttier flavor.
- Place the rice and cinnamon stick in a large bowl.
- Add 4 cups of hot water.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Soak overnight, or at least 8 hours, to develop the cinnamon flavor.
Don’t confuse this with Arroz con Leche. The popular rice pudding dessert is creamier and made all over Latin America. Horchata is refreshing drink that’s very popular in Mexican cuisine.
In Mexico, you might hear this drink called horchata de arroz, horchata agua fresca, or agua de horchata.
The soaking process will allow the rice to plump up and release its natural flavors, giving the end result a richer flavor.
Alternatively, if you’re short on time, boil the mixture for 20 minutes before straining it.
- The next day, pour the rice, cinnamon, and water into your blender or food processor.
- Blend until smooth.
- Strain the mixture and add the milk, vanilla extract, the rest of the water and sugar.
Straining is an important step because you want to make sure all of the solids are removed before serving. The liquid part that passes through the strainer is the horchata.
- Piloncillo is a great natural sweetener but you need to boil it in hot water to dissolve then add to the drink.
- If you don’t want to use sugar, you can also use honey or maple syrup.
- There are plenty of artificial sweeteners like Stevia and monk fruit that work just as well.
- Sweetness is a preference. Just remember not to over-sweeten.
- Let the drink chill in the refrigerator before serving.
- The rice mixture will settle at the bottom.
- Stir before serving.
Transfer the horchata to a pitcher or jug and refrigerator for at least 2-4 hours. Overnight is best. This is to chill the drink and enhance the rich flavor.
For best results, consume within 3 days. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Don’t let sit at room temperature for longer than 30 minutes.
To freeze, place leftovers in a freezer safe bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge. To bring the cinnamon drink together, stir well before serving.
- Add a good amount of ice to a cup and pour.
- Sprinkle ground cinnamon on top for an added touch of flavor.
Once the drink has been strained, you can further customize to your liking. Try adding almond extract or other spices like nutmeg and clove.
The traditional Mexican drink recipe is very versatile. Have fun with it and try different flavor combinations.
What’s the difference between Mexican and Spanish horchata?
Mexican horchata is made with rice. Spanish horchata is made with tiger nuts. The recipes are similar in that they both soak the main ingredient. The ingredients (either rice/ tiger nuts) are blended and strained to make a drink.
More Mexican Drinks
This delicious drink is the perfect combination of sweet and creamy, made of a blend of rice and cinnamon.
Whether you’re looking to impress guests at a Cinco de Mayo party or just want a way to cool off on a hot day, this easy and authentic Mexican horchata recipe tastes AMAZING!
Hungry for More
Horchata (agua de horchata)
- Place the rice, cinnamon stick, and 4 cups of hot water in a large bowl.
- Cover with plastic wrap and soak overnight.
- Overnight is best, or 8 hours minimum.
- When ready, add the soaking mixture (rice, cinnamon, and water) into a blender.
- Blend until smooth.
- Strain into a bowl.
- Add the liquid into a large pitcher.
- Add the milk, vanilla, the rest of the water, and sugar to the pitcher.
- Stir and taste for good measure.
- Chill in the refrigerator.
- Stir well before serving over ice.
Maggie Unzueta is the writer/blogger, photographer, recipe developer, videographer, and creator of In Mama Maggie's Kitchen. She has been developing easy and authentic Mexican food, Mexican-inspired recipes, and traveling tips since 2010. From family recipes to her extensive travels throughout Mexico, she brings traditional Mexican flavors from South of the Border and into your kitchen. Maggie has been featured in notable culinary websites and other media outlets. For more details, check out her About page.