Horchata – Sweet Rice Drink


Horchata comes from Spain. However, like most things that came to the American Continent in the 1600-1800’s it gradually changed over time. The original recipe featured ingredients like barley, almonds, sesame seeds, or tigernuts. Now, the Horchata served at local parties comes from a mixture of rice and cinnamon.

Yields 6 Servings

Serves 8oz Glass


20 minPrep Time

12 hrCook Time

12 hr, 20 Total Time

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  • 1 1/3 cups Long Grain Rice
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 1 cup Almonds
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 4 cups Water
  • 1 1/2 cups Milk


  1. Start by dumping the almonds into a pot of boiling water for two minutes. Immediately dump the almonds into a strainer and run them under cold water. Remove all the skins by pinching the almonds with your fingers, once they cool. You can throw the skins away.
  2. Place the cinnamon and rice in a food processor, or spice grinder to pulverize them into a fine powder.
  3. Dump the powder into a glass jar with the almonds. Now, pour in two cups of hot water to just cover the stuff. Allow the jar to cool completely before you put the lid on, and let it sit on your counter overnight. You usually want it to rest at least ten hours.
  4. The next day, pour the mixture into your blender and add two more cups of water as well as the sugar, vanilla, and milk. Blend it until the mixture is smooth, which should take about five minuets.
  5. Pour the mixture through a cheesecloth to separate the pulp from the drink. Squeeze the cheesecloth as hard as possible to get whatever fluid you can out of the pulp. Then discard the pulp.
  6. Store the horchata in an airtight container in the fridge until it completely chills. A little separation usually occurs at this point. Just shake it up a little and enjoy!

Horchata at Parties

My aunt used to bring horchata, limonada (a type of lemonade), and sangria to every family gathering. Recipes like these commonly circulate from family to family and can provide many happy memories.