Horchata Recipe

I know I missed Cinco De Mayo by a few weeks, but I figured better late than never.  Right?

Horchata Recipe by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

I have a fondness for horchata that is hard to describe.  I just love the creamy, cool, soothing feeling I get when I drink an horchata.

Horchata Recipe by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

Oddly enough, I had never really thought about making it before.  Until I kept seeing it talked about for this past Cinco De mayo. It was like it was calling to me, after all these years.

Horchata Recipe by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

Recipes like this make me realize just how many easy things are out there that can be made easily and well at home.

Horchata Recipe

All you practically need is some rice, cinnamon sticks and water.  It’s crazy simple.

Horchata Recipe by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

You will need some cheesecloth on hand to remove the fine pieces of rice that sneak through the fine mesh sieve.  Otherwise, you probably have everything you need in your kitchen right now.
Oh, and be sure to let the rice soak in the water for at least 8-10 hours, preferably overnight, to get the tasty horchata flavor.

Horchata Recipe

Try it out for yourself and enjoy a refreshing Mexican horchata at home!

Horchata Recipe by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

¡Buen provecho!

Horchata Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Make this easy, refreshing and cool Mexican Horchata Recipe at home!
Recipe type: Easy
  • 1 cup long grain white rice, rinsed
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon, plus more for garnish
  • 1 cup milk
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar, plus 2-3 tbsp. to taste
  • 1¼ tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • ice
  1. Wash and drain rice. Combine rice with cinnamon sticks in water and soak overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. After the rice has soaked for at least 8-10 hours, preferably overnight, discard the cinnamon sticks and pour rice and water into a blender.
  3. Add ¼ tsp. cinnamon and blend on low for 3-5 minutes until well blended.
  4. Pour blended rice mixture through fine mesh sieve two times and then through cheesecloth one more time to remove all gritty bits of rice.
  5. Pour strained mixture into a pitcher, add milk, brown sugar and vanilla and stir well to combine. Add more sugar if needed, to taste.
  6. To serve, pour over ice and garnish with ground cinnamon, if desired.



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About the author: My name is Lacey and I’m so glad you’re here. I am a foodie, a photographer, a chef, and a project manager at a local tech start-up in Austin. But, most importantly, I am the mother of three adorable little kiddos (Jordan, Savannah and Hunter) and am madly in love with and married to my high school sweetheart, Dustin.

31 comments… add one

  1. Dustin May 30, 2011, 7:53 am

    I am bummed I didn’t get to try this I was really looking forward to it.

    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef June 3, 2011, 12:34 pm

      Yeah, I wanted you to try it also. Jordan had it and loved it. It was so easy to make, I can do it again soon.

  2. NanaBread May 30, 2011, 8:54 am

    I love horchata! It’s the first thing I look for in a Mexican market. I get a glass of plain vanilla horchata, sprinkle some cinnamon on top, and enjoy it while I shop. It’s so lovely and refreshing. Now I can make my own. Thanks, Lacey!

  3. Elena June 5, 2011, 11:26 pm

    How many servings of horchata does this yield? Can’t wait to make it!

    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef June 6, 2011, 11:03 am

      Hi Elena! It made a large pitcher of horchata — about 4-6 servings, depending on the size of your glasses. Enjoy!

  4. Dixie Caviar June 19, 2011, 9:39 pm

    I love making horchata. It’s one of my favorite late night treats. And I have friends that make strawberry horchata…oh so good!

  5. valburps November 27, 2011, 4:41 am

    Hi! We usually buy kilos of rice, but it’s not the longrain variety. Will that be okay? Also, how long does horchata keep for?

  6. Seize January 7, 2012, 11:52 am

    Horchata? OMG! This is definitely NOT horchata.
    First: Horchata is Valencian product (Spanish, not Mexican).
    Second: It’s made from tigernuts as Nik said.

    This is a kind of weird fussion of “Leche Merengada” (also Spanish) and “Arroz con Leche” (Rice pudding)

  7. Robert January 7, 2012, 1:06 pm

    @ Seize: Horchata? OMG! This is definitely how horchata is made in Mexico. From Wikipedia: “In Mexico, horchata is made of rice, sometimes with vanilla and always with cinnamon.”

  8. Adara January 7, 2012, 2:42 pm

    I laughed at the above exchange. Food/drink can really get people riled up…

  9. Gilbert January 7, 2012, 3:28 pm

    @nik @Seize
    Calm down people, THIS IS how Orchata is made in Mexico, good gawd.

  10. Iryna January 10, 2012, 2:04 am

    is it ok if my rice was in the frige for about 24 hours?

      1. Iryna January 13, 2012, 3:08 pm

        Yes, thats what i ment)
        But I already did it and it tasted just awesome! Luv horchata :)

  11. Brooke January 11, 2012, 11:13 am

    Thanks, Lacey! My first attempt at horchata turned out very well!

  12. Leslie February 11, 2012, 10:54 am

    My daughter and I will be trying this for a school project and can’t wait! How long can this be left prepared in the fridge before serving? Thanks so much for the recipe!

  13. Mary April 2, 2012, 6:45 pm

    YUMMM! I am so making this! :)

  14. Lacey April 30, 2012, 1:27 pm

    Hi Lacey, I’m Lacey ;) but funny, i just saw this pinned and i’m stoked! we had it last night at a local mexican restaurant because was saw some ethnic folks drinking it glass after glass. Thank-goodness we had it! SO yum. it’ll be perfect for a little cinco-de-mayoing. Your recipe looks far better (for you) than what they described at the restaurant. Thank-you!

  15. april May 1, 2012, 4:14 pm

    You have have been late for last year, but you posted just in time for my Cinco de Mayo menu planning! (see the post below!):) Thanks for this – I adore Horchata!

  16. Sandy May 1, 2012, 9:29 pm

    I’m assuming you’re soaking “cooked” rice? You didn’t say and I’ve never done it..

  17. Amanda May 17, 2012, 1:48 pm

    Hi!! My husband and I love this recipe!!! We also add some sweetened and condensed milk to make it a little my creamy and delicious. Thanks for posting!

  18. Allison May 19, 2012, 6:57 pm

    Tried the recipe today. The overall flavor was good, but it was a bit watery.

  19. Denise August 15, 2012, 4:56 am

    I make this all the time and to my opinion horchata tastes better with a can of condensed milk than with regular milk. It is a lot more creamier. I also blend the soaked rice with the cinnamon sticks so that it has that cinnamon taste in the water and all of the debris will be sifted out in the end.

  20. Kristina September 8, 2012, 10:05 am

    I tried this today and thought it was pretty close to my favorite horchata I’ve ever had. I will try to blend the cinnamon sticks next time because I didn’t feel like there was enough cinnamon flavor. It was good but I like more. Also, my vanilla was double strength so I would probably only use 1 Tbsp next time. Thank you for this awesome recipe!

  21. Katie October 31, 2012, 12:59 pm

    I am also wondering.. is the rice cooked?

  22. Amanda February 7, 2013, 5:46 pm

    My husband and I have tried this multiple times and we absolutely love it! The only thing we change about the recipe is we also put in sweetened and condensed milk. It just makes it more creamy and delicious!

    1. Jwmom2eee September 23, 2013, 5:32 am

      Amanda, please tell how much sweetened an condensed milk?


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