This Easy Mexican Horchata is a very refreshing Mexican drink traditionally made using rice and nuts and is a dairy free alternative to milk. This recipe that I have shared today has added milk but it’s totally optional. Skip the milk and you have an authentic Mexican style Horchata ready in no time. Here is how to make Horchata Recipe (Step by Step).
“Horchata, which comes from the Latin term Hordeata, which in turn comes from Hordeum (Barley), is a term related to a Mediterranean tradition of grain-based beverages.
The Valencian or Chufa horchata is made with dried and sweetened tiger nuts. This form of horchata is now properly called horchata de chufa or, in West African countries such as Nigeria and Mali, kunnu aya.
It spread to Iberia (now Spain) with the Muslim conquest, prior to 1000CE. There are 13th-century records of a horchata-like beverage made near Valencia.
From Valencia, where it remained popular, the concept of Horchata was brought to the New World.
Here, drinks called agua de horchata or simply horchata came to be made with white rice and cinnamon or Canella instead of tiger nuts.
Sometimes these drinks had vanilla added, or were served adorned with fruit.” – Wikipedia
What is Horchata?
Many people would think what is Horchata? Horchata is a traditional Mexican drink made with rice, cinnamon and nuts.
Traditionally Tiger Nuts were used to make it but you can use any like almonds, cashew nuts etc.
Apart from these ingredients, cinnamon sticks are added to it too. The choice of nuts can vary from almonds, cashew nuts, peanuts and even sesame seeds.
Although it is a Vegan drink, in some variations milk is added to it for extra flavour, but if you are lactose intolerant, just skip it.
I personally like this drink with added milk and hence tried the version with milk in it but it’s totally your choice.
The drink is quite popular in LA and that’s where I got my first taste of it.
Easy to make, very refreshing and made using basic ingredients, there is no reason for this beverage to not be a HIT with people.
Don’t you agree? Even my little picky eater also loves Horchata.
Some people also add shredded coconut sand almonds in their Horchata so feel free to experiment.
I read an interesting article on the history of Horchata. You too can read it here.
How to pronounce Horchata?
Horchata is pronounced as or -CHAH-tah.
Mexican Horchata Ingredients
To make Mexican Horchata, you will need rice. Use long grain white grain for best flavour.
I loved going through this article which explained the choice of rice to use in Horchata in detail. You must go through it too.
Traditionally, Tiger Nuts or Chufas were used to make this drink but you can replace them with almonds as I have done.
People also use sesame seeds to make this drink.
Apart from this, you will need cinnamon stick and sugar.
Refrain from adding ground cinnamon instead of cinnamon stick in this recipe as the powder keeps floating on top of the drink and doesn’t get mixed nicely.
Also if possible, try to use Mexican Cinnamon as it gives a very peculiar taste to this dish. But if not possible, use the regular one.
Traditionally, Horchata is a vegan dairy free drink, but I like to add some condensed milk and milk for extra flavour.
How to make Horchata?
To make this easy Mexican horchata drink, rice, almonds and cinnamon are made into a coarse paste and then mixed with water and left overnight on the counter top at room temperature for the flavours to mature.
It is then strained through a fine sieve. The mixture is then mixed with milk (Optional) and sugar.
Some people like to roast the rice and almonds until they are slightly browned before grinding them.
The flavour will become more intense in this case. Give it a try and choose your fav method.
If a fine mesh strainer is not available, you can also use a few layers of cheesecloth to strain the drink.
You can also use rice flour instead of rice and add some lime zest to it for that hint of citrusy flavour.
It is best to drink it chilled. I like to refrigerate it for a few hours before serving and add a few ice cubes in the glasses.
However, you can warm it up and even add some alcohol like rum or tequila in it too.
So this summers, make a big pitcher of easy Mexican Horchata using this recipe.
Which rice is best to make Horchata?
Any white rice with good fragrance can be used to make Horchata. The rice is going to be ground into a paste so it really doesn’t matter which rice you are using to make this drink.
Can Horchata be served hot?
Horchata can be served hot and can be infused with liquors like rum or tequila.
I personally like to serve it chilled but on cold winter days, you can definitely warm it up and sip to comfort your soul 🙂
Can you freeze Horchata?
You can keep the Horchata in the refrigerator for upto 7 days and freeze it for up to a month.
Just thaw it over the counter until it melts before serving. You can also freeze it in popsicle moulds and serve as ice lollies.
Can you drink Horchata when pregnant?
Although cinnamon has many health benefits, it is recommended to control the intake in pregnancy.
So you can have a glass or two in a week but I would not suggest having this drink on a regular basis. I also suggest consulting your physician regarding this.
Tools required to make Horchata
A good blender is needed to blend the ingredients to make smooth paste.
You will need a glass pitcher to leave the horchata over the counter. Glass pitcher is advised as it will not react with the ingredients and give a funny taste to the drink.
You will also need a very fine mesh strainer. Even a cheese cloth works well to strain Horchata.
Horchata is served in large drinking glasses. So make sure you have some in your cabinet.
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How to make Horchata Step by Step
Wash the rice in water and then add it in a blender along with cinnamon, water and almonds. You can chop the almonds if you wish to.
Blend the ingredient to make a coarse paste. You don’t have to make it really smooth.
Transfer the mixture in a glass jug and leave on the counter for 8-10 hours. Cover the mouth of the jug using a cloth or a plate.
Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer. We don’t want any particles coming up in the drink.
Add the remaining ingredients. Mix well until until everything is combined. You can skip to add milk and condensed milk if you want a traditional version.
Easy Mexican Horchata Recipe
Easy Mexican Horchata is a refreshing Mexican drink made using rice, almonds and milk. Here is a traditional recipe to make it.
- 1 cup Long Grain Rice
- 1/4 cup Almonds
- 4 cups water
- 2 Cinnamon Sticks
- 1/2 cup Condensed Milk
- 2 cups Milk
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 cup Sugar
Add rice, almonds, 1 cups water and cinnamon stick in a blender and blend to make a coarse paste.
Add the remaining water and transfer the mixture in a glass jug and cover and keep on the counter top for 8-10 hours.
Strain the mixture using a fine mesh strainer.
Add condensed milk, milk, vanilla extract and sugar and mix well.
Refrigerate for a few hours.
Serve chilled with a few ice cubes.
Traditionally milk is not added to Horchata but I personally like the taste of milk and condensed milk.
If you are not adding milk, replace the amount with water.
You can replace almonds with any other nuts of your choice.
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