Cool Off With an Horchata – A Mexican Rice Drink.

Posted · 27 Comments


One of my favorite summer time drinks is a Mexican horchata.  An icy cold rice drink with a splash of vanilla and cinnamon.

This is my drink of choice at Mexican taquerias, Latino festivals, and when visiting Mexican shopping districts in L.A.

It’s interesting that horchata is originally from Valencia in Spain.  Throughout Spain they still drink horchata, however, it’s made from tigernuts – chufa.

Having drank both versions, my favorite is from Mexico.  Like most Mexican agua frescas (natural water drinks), it’s thinned down with water which makes it a great refreshment on hot summer days.

Cool Off With an Horchata – A Mexican Rice Drink.

Cool Off With an Horchata –  A Mexican Rice Drink.

Cool off with an horchata. An icy cold Mexican rice drink with a splash of vanilla and cinnamon.


  • 1 cup white rice (I use basmati)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 cups water
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup raw honey


  1. In a large bowl, soak the rice and cinnamon stick in 4 cups water overnight.
  2. Once soaked, remove the cinnamon stick. Add the rice with the soaking water to a blender and blend contents until smooth (there will be rice solids remaining).
  3. Strain the contents into a pitcher with a fine sieve or cheesecloth reserving the rice solids.
  4. Add the strained rice solids back to the blender with about a cup of the horchata mix from the pitcher. Blend again.
  5. Strain the contents into the pitcher again reserving the rice solids.
  6. Add the rice solids back to the blender. Add 2 cups milk, 1 cup cold water, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and honey. Blend until smooth.
  7. Strain the contents back to the pitcher and discard the remaining rice solids.
  8. Mix the contents of the pitcher thoroughly and chill.
  9. Serve over ice cubes with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Have you had an horchata or a Mexican agua fresca?  What flavor is your favorite?

27 Responses to "Cool Off With an Horchata – A Mexican Rice Drink."
  1. Oh, this looks so refreshing and will inspire me to try and make this rice version at home. I do love my Spanish horchata de chufa but I actually think the rice horchata is a lighter, more refreshing option on a hot summer day. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Looks amazing!Now all I’m going to think about is horchata today! :)

  3. Lynn says:

    Maybe it’s just a slow Monday for the brain, but I can’t figure out whether this uses cooked or uncooked rice???

  4. We love horchata too. I should post a recipe for the Honduran version of Horchata… its good and has interesting ingredients in it!

    Hey, I feel kinda stupid asking, but I’m stuck on #4 of the instructions… it says to put the rice solids back in the blender with a cup of horchata mix… what is the horchata mix? the rice water? Thanks!!

  5. pat winter says:

    This sounds spectacular. After sending this off I am going to start a batch. Ill do it “right” the first time and tomorrow I will make another batch using plain water kefir in place of the water. It would then be a probiotic drink and perhaps then I could turn that into a probiotic popsicle.

  6. This is one of my favorite drinks! Delicious!

  7. Charo says:

    Hi everybody from Spain!!

    Well, you know, Diana, we drink very, very, very cold horchata, yummy!

    But if you enjoy truely, you’d eat “fartons” and drink “horchata” (made from tigernuts, yes!). That’s perfect in summertime.

    xo, x, xo from Spain!!


  8. Susan says:

    Diana- Were your ears burning?! Just yesterday my daughter and I saw a delivery truck in front of a restaurant that said “Delivering the finest Mexican beverages” with a great big picture of Horchata on the side of the truck. My daughter asked if we could go in and buy some, but I told her no because I didn’t know what was in their version. She almost did a backflip when I showed her that you had sent out a recipe for it today using wholesome ingredients. Too cool! Can’t wait to try it!

  9. what a unique recipe! sounds so refreshing and delicious!

  10. Oh thank you! We get this at our local Mexican restaurant and I wondered how to make it.

  11. Paloma says:

    I sooo wish I liked the very Mexican horchata… plus you make it sound sooo good! :)

  12. Beth says:

    Wow, that sounds simple enough. I never would have guessed how to make this. My daughter calls Horchata “liquid churros”. I need to make this for a family party.

  13. Jeanne G. says:

    I love horchata. In Guatemala, they make it without milk and it’s a bit lighter (and dairy-free, obviously). I also love agua de jamaica. Yum!

  14. Looking forward to trying this. Thanks!

  15. Sarah Acosta says:

    So glad to have found this on your site! My MIL tried to give us the instant variety (she has no idea about food additives/preservatives/chemicals, etc) which I threw out, but always wanted to make the real thing. I’m particularly fond of both kinds (Spain and Mexico) partially because when my son was just learning to talk he called it “muchacha”. LOL! XD

    Grathias por todo! :)

  16. jen says:

    I made the crucial mistake of cooking the rice instead of soaking… the horchata is very thick. can i water it down? [with milk] thanks.

  17. kimberly says:

    Hi Diana,
    My daughter just came home from serving an LDS mission in New Mexico and AZ, spanish speaking and fell in love with this drink. How much does your recipe make? I want to make it for her homecoming. Thanks

  18. Debra says:

    When I first tasted this drink was at a Mexican restaurant a friend had order it and I ask if I could try it and it was so good and now I’m tempted to make it now.

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