This homemade Horchata recipe is so easy to prepare, made with rice, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and water. It’s my take on the popular favorite.

Do you love Mexican recipes as much as I do? Check out my versions of Tacos Al Pastor, Elotes, or Tres Leches Cake.

Two glasses of Horchata in a glass with ice and topped with two cinnamon sticks and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

We love to make homemade Horchata at our house because I usually always have the ingredients I need, and it’s easiest enough for my kids to do. Plus, horchata is an extra fun addition to taco night. I can’t say this recipe is authentic, but it’s my take on it and I think it tastes incredible. (Here’s an authentic Horchata recipe from Isabel Eats.) Let me know how you make horchata, in the comments below!

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 this homemade horchata recipe is my favorite.

How to Make Horchata:

Blend: Combine the rice, hot water, and cinnamon sticks in a blender and blend 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 refrigerate overnight (or at least 8 hours).

A blender filled with rice, hot water, and cinnamon sticks to make homemade Horchata.

Strain: Pour the rice mixture into a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth over a pitcher and discard the rice.

Horchata being poured into a glass through a fine mesh strainer.

Finish Horchata: Stir in the milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and sugar (to your preference). Chill until ready to serve. Stir well before serving and serve over ice.

Two glasses of Horchata topped with two cinnamon sticks and a dusting of cinnamon and a bottle behind it.

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).

Recipe Variations:

Vegan: To make this recipe vegan, simply substitute equal parts almond milk for the milk in the recipe.

You may also like these Mexican recipes:

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Horchata in a glass of ice topped with a cinnamon stick.
Prep 8 hours
Total 8 hours
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  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked long-grain white rice
  • 2 Mexican cinnamon sticks
  • 4 cups hot water
  • 2 cups milk , or almond milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ⅓ – 1/2 cups granulated sugar , to taste


  • To a blender, add rice, 2 cups of hot water, and 2 Mexican cinnamon sticks. 
  • Blend 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 refrigerate overnight or for at least 8 hours. 
  • Pour the rice mixture through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth, 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.


Serve this with one of my favorite Mexican meals.


Calories: 269kcalCarbohydrates: 53gProtein: 6gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 42mgPotassium: 185mgFiber: 2gSugar: 15gVitamin A: 137IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 136mgIron: 1mg

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I originally shared this recipe April 2016. Updated July 2019 and April 2023.

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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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Recipe Rating


  1. Can you specify the temperature of the hot water?
    I put boiling water in the blender and the rice absorbed all of the water and cooked as it was blending and it just became a doughball.

  2. 5 stars
    I’m obsessed with this recipe– the horchata is fantastic, so refreshing and delicious. It satisfies my sweet tooth while still tasting healthy and filling.

  3. 5 stars
    This came out really nice!! I was a bit worried about the vanilla extract and if it would make the drink taste alcohol-y, but the 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon at the end perfected it :))

  4. 2 stars
    Not impressed. The final product had a “dusty” texture and I also had to skim a large amount of cinnamon off the top. Too bad, I really love horchata.

    1. If you didn’t properly wash and strain the rice that chalky texture and cinnamon bits are all on you. At some point you have to use common sense while cooking

  5. Sadly this recipe didn’t turn out !! I ended up with paste and no liquid . I tried it again and same thing !! Sad because I was excited to make it for my elderly mom .

    1. There are six cups of liquid in the recipe, so if you follow it according to the instructions, it’s not possible for it to be a paste.

    1. Great question! In this recipe, we discard the rice after blending it with water because the purpose of the rice is to infuse the water with its flavor and creaminess. Once the rice has done its job, it has become soft and has released its starch into the water, which gives the horchata its characteristic texture.

      While you may be able to find other uses for the rice, it’s typically not used again in traditional horchata recipes. However, if you want to reduce food waste, you could try adding the leftover rice to other dishes such as soups or stews for added texture and flavor. Thanks for asking!

    2. I’ve made coconut milk/cream from a coconut before. With the leftover coconut meal, I dried it in the oven and ground it up once it was completely dry and I ended up with coconut flour. I’m thinking you could do the same with the leftover rice in this recipe. Or you could also make rice pancakes/waffles (old Farm Journal recipe).

    3. Hey William! Actually YES if you really really wanted to use the rice for something and not throw it away you could make arroz con leche

  6. 4 stars
    I know this as “Horxata”, it is pronounced the same but, most English speaking nations will get it wrong. “Horchata” is easy for Scots, Irish and Germans to say because they have the ‘achlaut’ sound (look up the German word “ich”, or Scottish “loch”). It is not a “ch” as in “church” or “chocolate” as you suggested in the article. Anyhoo… going to try this drink tomorrow. Thanks for the info.

    1. For your information, it’s always been HORCHATA with a CH.. 🤦 pronounced OR-Chah-Tah
      You’re welcome for the info and hope you enjoyed the HORCHATA

    2. I live in South Florida with many Mexicans, and they pronounce it OR-CHA-TA. Go into any Mexican restaurant or fruit stand and they have Horchata.

  7. I was wondering if it’s possible to over soak the rice. I have ti go on a trip this weekend and I was planning to let the rice soak over the weekend. Would this work out ok?

  8. Great recipe, but not sure why anyone would add 2 tsp ground cinnamon. It just sits there. I had to scoop it all out.

    1. America is just obsessed with cramming cinnamon into everything, usually for no good reason other than they saw some other American do it. A little goes a very long way regarding cinnamon. It does not belong in everything.

      1. This is a traditional Mexican drink. Every traditional, Mexican run, Mexican restaurant I have been to sells it and there’s always a good amount of cinnamon.

        1. Soy Mexicano y deja decirte que esta receta no es correcta
          La horchata no lleva leche si no leche condensada para darle la testura cremosa
          Esta persona no sabe como hacer horchata

          1. La horchata tambien se puede hacer con leche. Tambien hay horchata en America Central, de donde yo soy. En que partes de Mexico la hacen con leche condensada? yo nunca la he probado asi.

  9. 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

  10. 5 stars
    This recipe was simple and so delicious! I used less cinnamon then recommended, just my preference. Exactly what I was craving 😋

  11. 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!!

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

  21. 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

  22. 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?

  23. 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?

  24. 4 stars

    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.

  25. 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!

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

  27. 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!!!!

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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 😀

  33. 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

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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?

  37. 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