Horchata in a glass

How To Make Horchata: Recipe and Tips

Horchata is a delicious, refreshing drink to complement your party menu. Served over ice, this authentic Latin American drink is sure to be a favorite on a hot summer day or served alongside a spicy dinner. Read this guide and recipe overview to learn more about horchata and how to make it at home.

Horchata in a KitchenAid® blender Horchata in a KitchenAid® blender

What is horchata?

Horchata is a refreshing drink with Spanish and African origins. It is typically made by soaking nuts and grains in water and then seasoning it with flavors and spices. Many cultures have their own variations of horchata. In Spain, horchata is often made with edible, nut-like tubers. In Mexico and other Latin American countries, horchata is typically made with rice.

The Mexican version, which is a type of agua fresca, is made with rice, sugar, cinnamon and almonds. Agua frescas are typically light, refreshing, non-alcoholic drinks made with fruit, seeds, cereals or flowers blended with sugar and water.

Easy horchata recipe

Use this recipe overview to make your own refreshing, flavorful horchata at home using your KitchenAid® blender. Serve your homemade horchata alongside some delicious Sirloin Tacos with Beet Salsa to complete your spread.

YIELDS 

  • 4 servings

INGREDIENTS 

  • Long grain white rice

  • Ceylon cinnamon sticks

  • Blanched almonds

  • Granulated sugar

  • Freshly ground cinnamon

  • Water

  • Ice

TOOLS 

PREP TIME 

  • 35 minutes

TOTAL TIME 

  • 35 minutes
Ground cinnamon

Step 1: Grind rice and cinnamon

Using your KitchenAid® blade coffee grinder, grind rice and cinnamon sticks to a fine consistency. Add them to your large mason jar or bowl. 

Seeds on a cutting board

Step 2: Add almonds and refrigerate

Add the almonds to the ground cinnamon and rice and pour water over the mixture. Refrigerate the mixture for 10 to 12 hours or overnight. 

Blue KitchenAid® blender

Step 3: Blend

After the mixture has been refrigerated for 10 to 12 hours, pour it into the jar of your KitchenAid® blender along with the granulated sugar and more water. Blend on high for 1 to 2 minutes or until it is completely smooth.

Person pouring horchata from blender into glass

Step 4: Drain

Next, pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve and two layers of cheesecloth. If you have a nut milk bag, you can use that instead during this step. Allow most of the liquid to drain through and then gather up the edges and squeeze any remaining liquid from the pulp. Discard the remaining pulp. 

Horchata in a glass with cinnamon sprinkled on top

Step 5: Refrigerate and serve

Store your horchata in the refrigerator. When you serve it, pour it over ice and dust it with ground cinnamon, adding a cinnamon stick garnish, as well, if you prefer. If it separates in the refrigerator, just stir it gently before serving. 

Shop KitchenAid® Blenders For Making Horchata

White KitchenAid® blender and stand mixer on countertop White KitchenAid® blender and stand mixer on countertop

What does horchata taste like?

Horchata has a smooth, creamy texture with a refreshing, cinnamon and milk-like flavor, although it is typically dairy-free. Horchata tastes similar to rice pudding. Vanilla is also a common flavor used in horchata.

Does horchata contain alcohol?

Although spiked versions of horchata recipes exist, traditional horchata is a non-alcoholic beverage. Some popular horchata cocktails include adding tequila, rum or coffee liqueur.

Is horchata a hot or cold drink?

Horchata is typically a cold drink served over ice. However, there are hot variations of the classic horchata recipe. Hot horchata is a variation of the traditional recipe that is similar to eggnog and would make a delicious, warm holiday drink.

Drink in KitchenAid® blender and glass Drink in KitchenAid® blender and glass

How do I achieve the right texture for horchata?

The texture of horchata is slightly grainy, but otherwise smooth and refreshing. To achieve this texture, be sure to fully pulverize the rice and cinnamon in a grinder. You will want the rice and cinnamon mixture to have the consistency of rice flour.

The creaminess of the horchata comes from the starch of the rice and the fat of the seeds or nuts mixing with the molecules of water. Because of the way fats interact with the water, a horchata base rich in fat, such as almonds, will create the creamiest result.

How long does homemade horchata last?

Horchata can be refrigerated for up to five days. You can store it in a pitcher or container in your refrigerator. If you have leftover horchata, you can get creative with it by making rice pudding or overnight oats, or even putting a splash of horchata in your morning coffee.

Person putting dressing on a meal next to KitchenAid® blender Person putting dressing on a meal next to KitchenAid® blender

What can I serve with horchata?

Horchata pairs well with a Mexican, Spanish or Latin American menu and tastes especially refreshing served alongside your favorite spicy dishes. Some dishes to try with homemade horchata include Spanish Fideo, Green Chili Tamales and Chilaquiles with Spicy Beetroot Salsa

Horchata is great served with a complementary sweet confection, too, such as Classic Mexican Flan or unique Pretzel Churros.

Horchata Recipe Variations

You can get creative with your homemade horchata with variations on the traditional recipe. Whether you add in-season, pureéd fresh fruit such as strawberries or peaches or toast the rice before grinding for a roasted flavor, horchata is a refreshing drink that you can customize to your tastes. 

There are even horchata-inspired recipes that will satisfy your horchata craving in a different way such as Creamy Corn Cake and Cinnamon Horchata Cookies.

Explore KitchenAid® Blenders

With the help of a KitchenAid® blender, you can mix up your own deliciously creamy horchata to serve at your next summer gathering. Select KitchenAid® blenders come in a wide range of variable speeds to help you achieve the perfect taste and texture for dips, drinks and spreads.

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