Mexican Horchata Recipe

Horchata (pronounced or-chaa-tah, the "h" is silent) is a sweet, milky drink traditional to many parts of the Latin world. Mexican horchata ("horchata de arroz") has a base of white rice and is flavored with cinnamon, whereas Spanish horchata ("horchata de chufa") is made primarily with tiger nuts.

If you've ever visited a taqueria or Mexican dessert shop, there is a strong chance horchata was on the menu. Mexican horchata — typically served on ice — is refreshing and light, perfect with spicy food or just by itself on a hot summer day. It also makes a sweet and flavorful morning beverage in place of an iced latte.

Many horchata recipes call for whole milk, condensed milk, or evaporated milk to enhance the creaminess of the drink. We prefer the traditional rice-only version since it's lighter and healthier, too. And instead of white sugar, we use pure maple syrup, which is less refined and complements the spices nicely. Read on to learn the simple technique. Just keep in mind that while the hands-on time required to make this drink is very short (only about 6 minutes), the rice needs to soak for at least 8 hours, so plan ahead for when you know you'll want to indulge in this tasty and refreshing drink. 

Gather your ingredients for Mexican horchata

To make this creamy drink, you'll need some long grain white rice, a whole cinnamon stick, water, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.

Soak the rice and cinnamon

One important thing to note about homemade horchata is it takes at least 8 hours (or up to 24) to soak the rice before blending it up. Soaking softens the grains and makes it possible for them to blend into a creamy "milk." To get started, combine the rice and cinnamon with some water in the pitcher of a blender, cover tightly, and chill in the fridge until it's ready to blend.

Blend the rice and cinnamon

Blend the mixture for a minute or two, or until completely smooth. Then strain through a mesh strainer into a large bowl.

Finish the horchata

Pour the mixture into a large serving pitcher and add more water, as well as the maple syrup and vanilla. Whisk to combine.

Serve the horchata

To serve, fill a glass all the way with ice and pour the horchata over the ice. Sprinkle with cinnamon, if you like. Leftover horchata can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Note that the starchy bits will separate out and sink to the bottom; this is perfectly normal. Just shake it up or whisk it before drinking.

Mexican Horchata Recipe
4.9 from 32 ratings
If you're unfamiliar with Mexican horchata, this dairy-free cinnamon-flavored beverage is refreshing, sweet, and surprisingly easy to make.
Prep Time
Cook Time
mexican horchata in a glass
Total time: 6 minutes
  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 cups water, divided
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Place the rice and cinnamon in the pitcher of a blender, and add 2 cups water. Cover and chill the pitcher in the fridge for at least 8 or up to 24 hours.
  2. After chilling, blend the mixture until completely smooth. Strain through a mesh strainer and discard any leftover solids.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a pitcher and stir in the remaining 3 cups water, plus the maple syrup and vanilla.
  4. Serve over ice.
Calories per Serving 112
Total Fat 0.0 g
Saturated Fat 0.0 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 27.8 g
Dietary Fiber 0.7 g
Total Sugars 24.1 g
Sodium 28.7 mg
Protein 0.1 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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