Homemade Horchata Recipe

Horchata is a classic agua fresca (fresh water) drink made of rice, cinnamon and vanilla. The sweetness isn’t overpowering like other flavored milks and should leave you craving more! It’s always served cold and over ice, to help water it down. Stir before serving to ensure the milk and cinnamon are blended into each other.

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Infusion: 3 hrs
Total time: 3 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 8 Servings


  • 6 cups water, divided
  • 1 3-inch cinnamon stick or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Steep the cinnamon in water: You can skip this step if you’re using ground cinnamon. In a small pot, cover the cinnamon stick with 1 cup of water. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Once the water comes to a rolling boil, turn the stove off and let the cinnamon stick steep for 10 minutes.
  2. Rinse the rice: While the cinnamon is steeping, give the rice a quick rinse under cold water. This will remove excess starch from the surface of the grains. Strain off any excess water before adding the rice to your blender.
  3. Blend the rice and cinnamon together: Pour the steeped cinnamon water, along with the cinnamon stick (or add the ground cinnamon), into the blender with the rice and the remaining 5 cups of water. Blend just until the grains of rice begin to break up, or about 1 minute.
  4. Transfer the rice water to a container: Pour most of the mixture into a large bowl. Swish around the remaining rice water in the blender carafe to try and remove any rice that may remain after the first pour. Add it to the container with the rest of the rice water. Try to retrieve as much of the rice as possible from the blender. Do not add fresh water to try and remove any remaining rice. It will dilute the flavor of your drink.
  5. Soak the rice: Allow the rice mixture to soak for at least 3 hours at room temperature. Stir the Horchata periodically throughout the soak time. You can stir it on the hour, but that’s not a hard and fast rule.
  6. Strain the horchata: Set a fine-mesh strainer over a large bowl. Place a layer of cheesecloth or a thin tea towel over the strainer. Pour the rice mixture through the lined strainer. Squeeze out any excess liquid from the rice then discard the solids.
  7. Sweeten the horchata: Transfer the strained rice liquid to a serving pitcher. Add the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla extract into the pitcher and whisk vigorously to break up the thick milk.
  8. Chill and serve: The horchata can now be served over ice. Try chilling until very cold before pouring it over ice and enjoying. Drink as it is or add spiced rum!

Source: Simply Recipes

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