This authentic horchata recipe is a dairy-free refreshing Mexican rice and cinnamon drink that is super easy to make and requires only 6 ingredients! Authentic horchata is a great drink to have on a warm sunny day along with an authentic Mexican dish.
Easy Horchata Recipe
This easy horchata recipe is a sweet, creamy, rice beverage with hints of vanilla and cinnamon. Horchata is one of the most popular traditional Mexican agua frescas. “Agua fresca” translates to “fresh water” in Spanish, and it typically refers to a fruit-flavored drink that is sweetened. Other agua frescas include agua de jamaica, melon, cucumber, and tamarind.
This traditional horchata recipe is unique because it is the only creamy, “milky” agua fresca that is not fruity. The main ingredient used to make horchata is rice, so it sort of feels like rice milk! This homemade horchata recipe will beat any of the horchata mixes that you find in the store, and most importantly, it only has 6 ingredients:
Horchata recipe ingredients:
- White rice: Some recipes recommend using long-grain white rice but I’ve used short grain and works just as well! Some rice may be easier to blend than others.
- Cinnamon: Try to buy Mexican cinnamon from a local Mexican grocery store but don’t sweat it if you can’t find it. Cinnamon sticks are best but cinnamon powder will work as well! I love using Ceylon cinnamon powder.
- Water: To soak the rice and blend the rice with it.
- Sugar: Regular cane sugar is best for this recipe. If using a substitute sugar like stevia, just use less because they can be sweeter!
- Vanilla extract: Choose 100% vanilla extract and do not skip this ingredient!
- Plant Milk: I personally love using oat milk for this recipe to give it a smoother texture. I also love how well rice milk and oats taste together. You can also use other plant milk like soy, almond, and cashew.
Tips and tricks
- When it’s time to sweeten the horchata, add sugar to about 2 cups of hot water. Whisk it for 30-60 seconds to fully dissolve. Add to horchata to sweeten. This will help the sugar dissolve easier into the horchata.
- Make sure to taste the horchata before adding sugar! Tastebuds differ and it’s always best to add it in slowly while tasting it.
- If you have a Vitamix or a similar high-performing blending, you don’t need to soak the rice overnight.
- When serving, do not stir the very bottom of the pitcher. There may be rice sediment down there and that is normal but do not mix it in with the drink, it can get grainy.
- Make some of the best overnight oats you’ll ever try with it! Soak 2 cups of rolled oats overnight with 2 cups horchata, full recipe below.
Aguas frescas are known for being pretty sweet and can be dangerous for those trying to watch their blood sugar. Sweetened beverages can spike blood glucose because “liquid sugar” gets absorbed into the blood almost immediately. Stevia or any other zero-sugar substitute is a great alternative for those who would like a sugar-free version of horchata. Aside from the sugar, horchata contains micronutrients and can be soothing for the gut as it does not contain dairy. remember that everything in moderation is key!