Easy Homemade Horchata

I was perusing foodgawker.com the other day (as I often do) and came across this Homemade Horchata Recipe.  I love the cinnamon-y and warm smell of horchata and, after seeing how easy it was to make, decided to give it a try!


  • 1/2 cup uncooked rice, rinsed a few times with cold water
  • 4 cups hot water
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (I used Sugar in the Raw, but table sugar would work just fine)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


In a food processor, pulverize the rinsed rice as much as possible.  It was difficult to get a smooth texture, so I processed the rice for a couple minutes, until the contents became very milky in appearance.

Blended Rice

In a large bowl, mix together the blended rice, sugar, and hot water until the sugar has dissolved completely.  Add in the vanilla extract and cinnamon and stir to combine.

Cinnamon and Vanilla Extract added to mixture, then stirred to combine

Then pour the mixture into a pitcher and keep in the refrigerator overnight.

Horchata mixture in pitcher

Then strain the mixture through cheesecloth and pour over ice (I added a sprinkle of cinnamon to top the drink off) – Enjoy!

Homemade Horchata over ice with a sprinkle of cinnamon

This drink feels good on a hot summer day – Jim and I just had a glass with breakfast – Very tasty!!



  1. I’m soo glad I happen to see your post today. I first had horchata in high school and have all but forgotten the drink aside from how delicious it is. I have been wanting my boyfriend to try it, and now I can make it :)

    • My first encounter with the Horchata flavor was when I worked at a coffee shop for the summer and they had the blended ice coffee drinks and Horchata was a powder flavoring you could add – I would always take a sip of the residual drink left in the blender and Horchata was one of my favorites!

  2. I love horchata! It is my most favourite drink of all time. I grew up in Guatemala, and have fond memories of drinking this at my brother-in-law’s parents’ house where they made it from scratch, but probably stone ground by hand instead of the food processor. Most grains, when soaked in water over night, have enzymes activated that would make the seed grow if planted. These are active, live enzymes, and much more healthy than grains that have been cooked. A good quantity of the enzymes would be suspended in the water when the grains are ground up like this. Yum! Will try this with different types of rice- basmati and arborio in brown and white versions. Thanks! Cheers, Gretchen

    • Ooo, I hadn’t though about trying it with other types of rice – We always have arborio on hand for impromptu risottos – Great idea! (And thanks for the tidbit about the enzymes – I’m a chem geek and love that kind of stuff :) )

  3. My dad eats these peas, I don’t remember what kind, but he would soak them all night until they germinate. Then, the next morning he would put some lime and salt on it and have for breakfast. It is very high in fiber and the live enzymes are very good for the body. Sorry, didn’t mean to get off track. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I will definitely give it a try and also share it with my dad. :)

  4. There’s a local Mexican restaurant that has great horchata (with free refills, yes!) but I never thought to make my own. It looks relatively easy so I’ll give it a shot. Thanks for the inspiration and the tips.

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    • Thanks!! I logged in to check my views so far for the day and nearly fell off my chair in disbelief – It’s been hard to focus at work today and not read/respond to comments every 10 minutes :P

      By the way, I’m going to make your Marinated Salmon recipe tonight for dinner – I’ll have to let you know how it goes!

  7. Great idea! I would really like to know how to make other aguas frescas… especially the ones with cantaloupe (melon; recently made into a Gatorade flavor) and watermelon.

    • I was actually just talking to my Mom this afternoon and she suggested a coffee grinder too! I hadn’t thought about it while I was making it, I will definitely be testing out a few adjustments in future preparations – Thanks for the tip!

  8. Have to admit, I found your blog via freshly pressed but that you had a Horchata recipe? Great. I had no idea how easy it is and I will definitely do this as my children also love it. Thanks for the post.

    • Someone else commented on making a variety of aguas frescas earlier and I looked into it briefly – They do look very delicious and I will definitely have to try this drink with other flavors – Thanks for the tip about coconut (it is one of my favorite foods)!

  9. i have been makingb myself horchata since vampie weekend released their song, but i also discovered it makes a really nice hot drink. you should try it if you get a chance

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  11. It seems delicious, but I think that this is a cold version of the recipe for “arroz con leche”. I’m from Valencia, and the horchata is made with chufa, sugar and water. Chufa is a small tuber, but I think taht is quite difficult to get it out of Spain.

  12. This sounds YUMMY! I was thinking about the Vampire Weekend song while reading and thought Horchata was meant to be a hot drink, but anything with cinammon in it is gorgeous hot or cold!
    Lovely blog x

  13. Horchata is not made with rice, its made with tigernuts or “chufas” in Spain ( europe not south america).

    Tigernut is used since ancient egipt. This recipe seems to be an alternative version if you cant find tigernuts in your area. Do yourself a favour and try to find spanish horchata.

    • To be honest I stumbled across this recipe in my internet browsings and the flavors seemed delicious to me so I decided to try it myself (I love coming across recipes where I already have all of the ingredients :) ) and to discuss how to make it with others – I don’t know (nor do I claim to know) about the history of or the traditional making of horchata. From what others have commented, it seems like using rice is the Mexican form of making horchata, but I am unsure.

      Thanks for the tip about the tigernuts, if I ever come across them, I will be sure to bring some home with me and try horchata that way, I am always open to tweaks and suggestions!

  14. yes, the spanish version is with tigernuts (i have never seen one of this tigernuts, and i think the process to juice them its not easy, here in spain horchata its made only in the part of the mediterranean sea and i think its one of the only places in the world where is cultivated for extended commercial purposes, altough tigernuts are from egypt) Horchata is a typical drink in spain and i suppose we introduce it in south america, when was part of the spanish empire. But tigernuts didnt grow in south america, so its easy to imagine that they did an alternative version, that becomes the typical horchata in mexico. I think you could find a bottle or brick of horchata from spain and compare it with the mexican horchata, just for fun :)

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  16. I had no idea Horchata was Spanish in origin and that there were different ways to make it besides with rice! I’ve known about Horchata for years from my experiences in Mexico. If you live anywhere in the States near a Mexican-American community you will find Horchata and Aguas Frescas everywhere! Most authentic Mexican eateries will serve it also. I never thought about making it before, though. My favorite Aguas Frescas flavor is Watermelon..yum! I’ve had some different horchata flavors, too, besides the traditional cinnamon.

    I wonder if it’s possible to make horchata with brown rice. Ha. ;-) Or with a non-sugar sweetener, like Stevia crystals… hmm.

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    • From previous comments – It seems like you can make various aguas frescas from different kinds of fruit! I have never tried this myself but I’m sure a Google search would turn up a recipe if you’re interested :)

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