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 Drink ready in no time. Here is how to make it.
Mexican cuisine, one of those cuisines which is very popular in India. You will find many Mexican restaurants all over India offering this delicious cuisine. From Nachos to Quesadilla, you will find everything.
But then there are some traditional recipes, that you won’t find in all the Mexican restaurants.
And that’s why I try them at home and share the recipes with you, so that you can try them too.
And that’s why today I will share a Mexican drink recipe with you, Horchata.
I first found this recipe on Internet, when I was exploring Mexican cuisine and I thought Its a nice drink to have for a change.
When I made it, I loved it so much that I immediately wrote the recipe and shared it with you guys.
What is Horchata?
Many people would think what is Horchata? It 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?
Some people also add shredded coconut and almonds in their Horchata Recipe so feel free to experiment.
I read an interesting article on the history of Horchata. You too can read it here.
How to pronounce it?
Horchata is pronounced as or -CHAH-tah.
To make Mexican Horchata Recipe, 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 this dink 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, pumpkin seeds or cantaloup 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 this drink?
To make this easy Mexican 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.
Common Questions about this recipe
Which rice is best to make it?
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 it be served hot?
It 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 it?
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 it 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.
What are the tools required to make this recipe?
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.
It is served in large drinking glasses. So make sure you have some in your cabinet.
What is Dirty Horchata?
When it is mixed with cold brew coffee, it’s called Dirty Horchata.
To make dirty horchata, pour it in a glass. Top with 1/4 cup of cold brew coffee.
Check this post on how to make cold brew coffee.
How to make vegan horchata?
Traditionally, Horchata is a vegan drink and no milk is added to it.
So you can either skip to add milk or replace the regular milk with almond milk or any other vegan option.
Replace honey with maple syrup for a vegan version.
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Step by Step Recipe
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.
- 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.