Horchata Recipe

5 from 2 votes

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This horchata recipe makes a creamy refreshing Mexican drink with sweet cinnamon flavor. Make some to serve for Cinco de Mayo or taco night!

orxata (Spanish milk drink) and stick of cinnamon in tall glass rimmed with cinnamon sugar

This deliciously sweet drink has roots going back to 13th-century Spain, where it is known as orxata. The spanish version starts with a blend of soaked tiger nuts and milk. 

Mexican Horchata Recipe

In Mexico, the drink has a base of white rice. There are versions that include coconut and/or raw almonds, but primarily, cinnamon is the flavor of choice.

My blended beverage has a few unique ingredients that I feel other recipes lack. It’s about balance of flavor right? Let me show you how to make horchata and serve it up at your next Taco Tuesday or other Mexican themed party.

If you’ve ever had almond milk, then you can imagine the consistency of this drink.

With the addition of cinnamon, vanilla and cloves, it makes a drink that pairs exceptionally well with everything from barbacoa beef to mole and chicken enchiladas.

side view: creamy cold Mexican horchata drink in tall glass with condensation on the outside.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Sweetened condensed milk– This ingredient adds sweetness to the drink. Condensed milk is made by adding sugar to evaporated milk, then reducing it to a thick, syrupy consistency.
  • White rice– Use regular long or short grain white rice, just avoid par-boiled (quick cooking) blends. Although I have never made the horchata recipe with brown rice, I can’t think of a reason that it won’t work.
  • Whole milk– It may go without saying, but using high-fat milk is key to a creamier drink. While you can certainly use low-fat milk, or even almond milk, the consistency will be very different.
  • Slivered almonds– Be sure to use raw almonds. These are usually available in the bulk natural foods section of most grocery stores.
  • Cloves were to me what had been missing in all other recipes I tried and salt is a must to balance out the sweetness from the sweetened condensed milk.
overhead: ingredients in small bowls and liquid measuring cups to make a horchata recipe

Horchata Recipe Video

When you get to the recipe card, be sure to watch the video to see how easy it is to make. Then, fix a batch and surprise your guests with the creamy rice and almond milk drink.

3 Ways to Make It

After trying several different recipes and tweaking them to my flavor profile over time, I have come to the conclusion that there are three ways to approach making horchata.

I’ll explain each, then you decide which makes the most sense to you and your palette. The second version is my favorite.

4-photo collage shows white rice soaking in water, then being combined with sweetened condensed milk

How to Make Pork Medallions

  1. Grind, soak, then strain.
    Add the water and rice to a blender and turn it on for a second, just to break up the rice. Add the 2 cinnamon sticks and soak a minimum of 3 hours or overnight, covered.

    Then strain and discard the soaked rice and cinnamon and add the remaining ingredients, blend again and chill. Serve over ice.
  2. Soak, puree, then strain.
    DO NOT blend the water and rice to break it up initially, but soak it a minimum of 3 hours or overnight with the cinnamon sticks and almonds.

    Next, purée in the blender with remaining ingredients for maximum flavor and a thicker consistency. Then strain and discard solids twice and chill. Serve over ice.
  3. Use a high speed blender.
    This option is great if you have a high speed blender such as a Vitamix or Blendtec. Add the water, rice and 2 cinnamon sticks to the Vitamix and soak it a minimum of 3 hours or overnight covered. Then, purée until smooth. 

    It does quite an incredible job basically of rendering the soaked rice into a blended liquid. Add the remaining ingredients, blend again and chill. Serve over ice.

This is a great, non-alcoholic drink to serve guests alongside my Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas.

tall glass of Horchata (rice and almond milk drink) with pitcher of it in background

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Horchata Recipe + Video

5 from 2 votes
My horchata recipe makes a creamy refreshing Mexican drink from rice milk, almonds, vanilla and sweet cinnamon. Make some to serve for Cinco de Mayo or taco night!
Servings: 8
Prep: 10 minutes
Soaking Rice: 3 hours
Total: 3 hours 10 minutes


  • 4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups white rice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (3-inch sticks) (See Note 1)
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds (raw)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves (optional)


  • In a bowl add the water, rice, cinnamon sticks and almonds to soak for 3 hours minimum or overnight, covered, at room temperature.
  • After the rice has soaked, transfer to a blender and remove 1 cinnamon stick (discard). Add the milk, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, salt and ground cloves (optional).
  • Purée rice almond mixture until smooth for maximum flavor and a thicker consistency. Then strain and discard solids twice and chill.
  • When ready to serve, stir well (See Note 2) and pour over ice in glasses rimmed with cinnamon sugar (optional).



  1. If whole cinnamon is not available, then use 3-4 teaspoons of ground cinnamon.
  2. Separation of the liquids and rice mixture is completely normal, especially if it’s been sitting in the fridge for a day or two. Just mix it together with a spoon and serve.


Calories: 319kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 381mg | Potassium: 284mg | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 205IU | Vitamin C: 1.3mg | Calcium: 215mg | Iron: 0.5mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Mexican
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
titled image for Pinterest (and shown): Horchata Recipe


Whether in the kitchen or on the grill, you’ll find me cooking American favorites with a love for BBQ, Mexican and Tex Mex. I’m passionate about making tasty food because life’s too short to be bland!

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    1. I have it written in the recipe card at the bottom in the Nutrition section Paula: 319k, hope this helps!

  1. 5 stars
    Hi Kevin,
    I made your second version the first time for my youngest who loves it from our local papuseria. Then, I decided to make it with almond milk, cooked rice, and no condensed milk just to see.It came out similar, but not quite the same.And I only did it because he drank the whole thing within a few hours!! He liked it, but noticed. It has less carbs, less starch, less cholesterol and fat, but a little on the lighter side, so good if you can’t get enough!

  2. Hi Kevin, love you recipes and learned a lot about Mexican cooking. Thank you.

    How do I cut back sugar in this drink? Also, can this be scaled down to 4 servings?

    1. Yes I do Victoria, although if want, try it without, you can always add it after to see the difference.

  3. Hey Kevin. I have heard of this, but had no idea how to make it. Sounds very tasty and refreshing! And it’s something adults and kids can enjoy. Have a fun weekend!

    1. Hey there Dorothy, don’t know how I missed responding to your comment here!
      Every once in a while we make this for a Mexican themed dinner party. Not all of our friends drink alcohol (nor do we) so it hits the spot. 🙂