How to Make Horchata (Cinnamon Rice Milk Drink Recipe)

How to Make Horchata (Cinnamon Rice Milk Drink Recipe) Recipe

I actually first discovered horchata during a 1993 summer family vacation in Valencia, Spain. We loved the drink so much, we drank liters and liters of the delicious, cool, sweet horchata. That particular variety was made with tiger nuts, but there are many variations that are made with nuts and grains such as rice, blanched ground almonds, sesame seeds or barley. It all depends on which region the beverage comes from.

I’ve had the rice-based version several times at Mexican restaurants recently, and I’ve been itching to learn how to make it at home. The recipe requires patience but is worth the wait. I’m definitely going to be bringing a big jug of this to the next family picnic!


Yields: 8 servings

1 cup sweet round rice (or any other rice)
1-½ cinnamon sticks
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
½ cup agave nectar, to taste
¼ cup sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup store-bought rice milk, optional
8 cups ice cubes


The day before...

Crush about 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon.

To start, always use filtered water. You don't want a chlorine taste. Fill a small pot with 2-½ cups of water. Bring to a near boil.

Wash the rice in one water bath. Drain and rinse. Add the crushed cinnamon, the remaining whole cinnamon sticks, nutmeg and hot water. Let the water completely cool to room temperature and let sit overnight in your refrigerator.

Horchata Drink Recipe with Picture

The next day...

Remove and discard any cinnamon remnants. Place the rice and its liquid in a blender and pulse until smooth for about 3-4 minutes.

Filter the liquid through a triple-layered fine muslin cheese cloth. Squeeze as much liquid as possible. Discard any rice remnants in the cloth.

Sweeten the drink with agave nectar and sweetened condensed milk. You could increase the amount of sweetener if you prefer it a bit sweeter.

Pour into a pitcher. Add 2 cups of water (3 cups if you don't use store-bought rice milk), store-bought rice milk (if used) and vanilla extract. Mix well by stirring. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

You could add more water depending how thick you would like the drink.

To serve fill 8 tall glasses with ice. Pour in the horchata and top with freshly grated cinnamon.

Garnish with a stick of cinnamon if you like.

Relax and enjoy!


I used Hakubai brand sweet rice. You can find sweet rice in any Korean market. If you don't have any, you can use any other rice, such as brown rice. As I mentioned earlier, you could use other grains as well.

Always start with cold, fresh filtered water to avoid any off-taste because of the presence of chlorine in regular water.

For a creamier mouth feel, you can replace the agave nectar with more sweetened condensed milk.

Agave nectar Recipe with Picture

I used a combination of agave nectar and sweetened condensed milk. You could use any other sweeteners you prefer.

I used the Vitamix  blender for this recipe. It's kind of expensive, but so worth it. I got it as a wedding gift, and it's really powerful. It blends everything almost instantly. It's perfect for smoothies. Just make sure there is some amount of liquid so that the motor does not burn.

Horchata can be served chilled and warm as well. It's as delicious.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on May 5, 2011.


comments powered by Disqus

Order my latest book:
Banh Mi

Related Posts


Recent Posts

15 Fall Dessert Recipes for Dinner Parties
15 Fall Dessert Recipes for Dinner Parties
Soyrizo Mushroom Patties
Soyrizo Mushroom Patties
Mango Salsa Appetizers
Mango Salsa Appetizers
Turkey Noodle Stir Fry Recipe
Turkey Noodle Stir Fry Recipe