The easiest, creamy and slightly sweet homemade Authentic Mexican Horchata. 

This post includes step-by-step recipe instructions and pictures for how to make homemade horchata.  While living in Mexico for a period of time (and with the help of some locals), I perfected several authentic Mexican recipes including Authentic Mexican Rice and Tres Leches Cake.

A tall, clear glass of Mexican horchata sprinkled with cinnamon and sitting on a wood table surrounded by cinnamon sticks.

Horchata

It’s almost Cinco de Mayo guys!  A good excuse to throw a party with your friends and make some awesome homemade Mexican food! I’ll be making several of my favorite Mexican dishes, particularly Authentic Mexican Rice and Cantina-Style Salsa.

What is Horchata?

Horchata (pronounced or-CHAH-tah) is a popular Mexican drink that is often described as a sweet rice milk beverage. Horchata is made out of rice, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon and is served in many Mexican restaurants.  There’s an important balance to the creamy rice and cinnamon flavors found in horchata and I think  you will find that this homemade Horchata recipe is the perfect balance.

The ingredients for making horchata including a liquid measuring cup with milk, measuring cups with rice and sugar, two cinnamon sticks and a small bowl of vanilla extract.

How to Make Horchata:

  • Blend. Blend the rice, water, and cinnamon sticks until the rice and cinnamon sticks are roughly ground. Add the remaining water and blend again.
  • Let Sit.  Pour the contents into a pitcher or container with a fitted lid and place on your countertop overnight (or for at least 8 hours).
  • Strain. Pour the rice mixture into a fine mesh strainer, into a pitcher and discard the rice.
  • Add.  Stir in the milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and sugar (to your preference). Chill until ready to serve. Stir well before serving and serve over ice.
Four process photos for making Horchata with text instructions including rice, water and cinnamon sticks in a blender, blended, strained, and poured into a pitcher.

What is Hochata de Chufa?

Horchata de chufa is popular in Spain and it differs from Mexican horchata (or horchata de arroz) in that Mexican horchata is made with rice and horchata de chufa is made with chufa (also known as tiger nuts).

For Vegan Horchata:

To make vegan horchata, simply substitute equal parts almond milk for the milk in the recipe.

A large clear, glass pitcher with horchata, ice and a wooden spoon in it.
You may also like these Mexican recipes:
Creamy white horchata in a tall clear glass topped with cinnamon.

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Recipe

Prep 8 hrs
Total 8 hrs
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Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/3 cups uncooked long-grain white rice s
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 cups water , divided
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ⅓ – 1/2 cups granulated sugar , to taste

Instructions
 

  • To a blender, add rice, 2 cups of water, and 2 cinnamon sticks. 
  • Blend about for 2 minutes or until the rice and cinnamon sticks are roughly ground. Add the remaining water and blend again. 
  • Pour contents into a pitcher or container with a fitted lid and place on your countertop overnight (or for at least 8 hours). 
  • Pour the rice mixture into a fine mesh strainer, into a pitcher. Discard the rice. 
  • Stir in the milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and sugar (to your preference). Chill until ready to serve. Stir well before serving and serve over ice.

Notes

Serve this with one of my favorite authentic Mexican meals.
 
Adapted from All Recipes

Nutrition

Calories: 191kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 4gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 36mgPotassium: 126mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 100IUCalcium: 104mgIron: 0.5mg

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Have you tried this recipe?!

RATE and COMMENT below! I would love to hear your experience.

I originally shared this recipe April 2016. Updated July 2019.

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. Thank you for the Horchata recipe…this is the first time ever that I made this drink…. I’ve always loved the drink, and was surprised how easy it was to make!! My family loved it too
    Thank you again💙. Victoria

  2. 5 stars
    This recipe was simple and so delicious! I used less cinnamon then recommended, just my preference. Exactly what I was craving 😋

  3. 5 stars
    I love this recipe!! I used only one teaspoon of cinnamon because two teaspoons was a bit too much cinnamon in my opinion. Taste very good overall!!

  4. I made this recipe and my family loved it however the next time I make it I will decrease the cinnamon by 1 teaspoon. My family thought it had too much cinnamon. Otherwise is was delicious.

  5. 5 stars
    My horchata has come out very well. At the bottom of my mixer there was a bunch of brown rice and cinnamon clumped together, I decided not to reencorporate that into the upper liquid and it came out good. From the other comments I’m getting the sense that this recipe calls for too much cinnamon, but as I didn’t reincorporate my cinnamon mixture into the drink, and it came out very good, I have to assume that the clumped up cinnamon would’ve mal-effected the drink. Although I really can’t complain, as my horchata has come out as nearly perfect.

    1. I think grinding the cinnamon sticks and then adding 2 tsp more of ground cinnamon is why so many people are commenting about too much cinnamon.

      I’ve used a recipe that calls for soaking the rice and cinnamon sticks and then discarding the cinnamon sticks before blending.

  6. I ground the cinnamon sticks for about 40 seconds before adding the rice so could get a fine grind of the cinnamon without pulverizing the rice. The first time I made it the rice was too fine and I had a hard time straining it without a bunch of particulates in the final drink, which I didn’t like. I then added rice and ground the mix for the remainder of the time. I only used 1 tsp of ground cinnamon as I felt 2 tsp lent an overwhelming flavor of cinnamon, instead of a hint.

  7. I modified replacing the milk with soy milk. Tasted the mix before sprinkling the extra cinnamon and it was perfect, so no added cinnamon. Great no lactose alternative.

  8. Since it’s so high in sugar content what can be used to replace the granulated sugar for a sweetener without tasting artificial (a natural product/low calorie)?

    Thank you.

  9. 5 stars
    Turned out great. Per prior reviews, I took it easy on the ground cinnamon , just sprinkled on top. Is there a shelf life for it, because we didn’t finish it all. Used the leftovers the next day for horchata milk shake! Delicious

  10. 3 stars
    The added ground cinnamon was too much. It ruined the smooth flavoring that is supposed to be the horchatas and each time I stopped drinking I was left with a sandy taste in my mouth. I did my best to try to fix just how groundy it was, but to no avail. 🙁 I’ll do it with just the cinnamon sticks next time.

  11. Just left my my blended rice, water and cinnamon mixture on the countertop overnight (as per the recipe) and it was putrid by the morning. I’ll be leaving it in the fridge next time!

    1. Let the rice, water, and cinnamon sticks soak overnight without blending. You should also probably cover whatever you’re soaking the mixture in with plastic wrap.

  12. Great recipe! To avoid wasting good ingredients, you might consider using the rice grains in another dish, like pudding or pilaf.

  13. 5 stars
    Marvellous recipe, can you tell me what your usual yield is in litres? After all is said and done that is with adding extras

  14. If I have lightly sweetened vanilla almond milk, should I use the same amount of water to almond milk ratio? Also maybe cut back on the sugar closer to 1/3 cup or less based on taste? What if I wanted to use agave or maple syrup instead of sugar? Just use to taste? Since I plan on using vanilla almond milk, should I take out the vanilla extract or based on how vanillaey the almond milk is, use my judgement? Use only 1 tbsp of vanilla extract instead of 2? Less?

  15. I live in Hawaii and the room temperature for a non air conditioned room is normally around 80/85 degrees. I followed this recipe but I think it started to ferment, should I leave it in the refrigerator instead?

  16. 4 stars
    Wow

    Almost as good as my local Mexican Taqueria and cheaper than $4.75 a glass. I used whole milk and since I worked I only strained it for 8 hours. Es muy sabrosa! Gracias.

  17. 5 stars
    I’ve made this about three times so far. I have another sitting on my counter (for 8 hours) I actually tripled this time because it is just so good and refreshing! It is so much better than the store bought horchata in powder or syrup form. This is an easy recipe and so delicious!

  18. The recipe says to use long grain rice. Can I just use normal white rice from the store? Short rice, I guess. Thanks!

  19. 5 stars
    I have to say my family absolutely loves Horchata… We usually do not go out but if we go to get Mexican food this is a treat for all of us. I followed the recipe exactly except for the sugar.. I added a can of sweet & condensed milk, after sweet & condensed milk can was empty I filled it to the top with whole milk then dumped in. AMAZING is the only word I can say about this recipe & the flavor of the drink. THANK YOU for sharing now we can enjoy this drink even at home!!!!

  20. 5 stars
    I made this recipe and another one which included almonds and condensed milk. They were both really good. I preferred the almond one, but my teenage daughter preferred this one, and since it was MUCH easier to make, this will be my go-to recipe. My daughter liked that it was less sweet and lighter than the other one. I used 1/3 cup sugar.

  21. 4 stars
    I made this recipe and also made it with store bought rice milk and store bought almond milk. It all is very similar in flavor. The store bought rice milk or almond milk eliminated the overnight wait and the need to carefully filter the rice particulates. I also experimented with using cinnamon oil instead of sticks and powders but the flavor of the cinnamon changes noticeably. The sticks and powder impart a Cinnabon flavor while the oil imparts a Red-Hot candy flavor. But if you like cinnamon, both are enjoyable. But use the oil very sparingly – only about 1/16th of a tsp. for the entire recipe.

  22. 4 stars
    Thank you so much for the recipe, it is very approximate to the Horchata we drink in Mexico. Cinco de mayo is not a real Mexican thing thou, we celebrate our independence day on September 15th.

  23. Has anyone tried using all rice milk–just make more of it and leave out the cow/condensed milk? I have been looking for a recipe that is less sweet–so thanks! I look forward to trying this.

  24. 5 stars
    Can I repost this on my blog?

    I just visited Merida and the hostel owner made us some, I would like to share the recipe 😀

  25. I love horchata but making my own never seems to get me enough rice flavor. I have tried leaving it for days, starting with hot water, blending it a lot, nothing is doing it. Any ideas? When in Mexico I asked my friends how to do it and they all said buy Klass (powdered mix) but it is way too sweet for me. Help, I can’t afford to have to go out to eat all the time. Lol

  26. 5 stars
    I have made this twice now because the first time was such a hit. Thank you for a delicious and easy recipe. I used cinnamon chunks instead of the sticks because it was what I had on h and and it worked very well.

  27. This recipe made a fair approximation of the horchata I get at my favorite local Mexican restaurant. I didn’t realize it was so easy. I definitely recommend using Mexican vanilla if you can get it. Also, in response to Eric, almonds are a great addition.

  28. I’ve been meaning to make this for a while. Looks good enough to drink! I’ve been reading about the history of the drink. The etymology is confusing but some sources, such as the Oxford Companion to Food, indicates that the North Africa, “horchata de chufa,” made from tiger nuts, is the origin of this one.

    What are your thoughts on almonds?

  29. I love Horchata.To make it even easier instead of milk and sugar I use sweet and condensed milk. a really good creamy flavor and i know the sugar in blended and not grainy that I sometimes get.
    Thanks for all you great tips and easy recipes