Homemade Horchata

We have been enjoying horchata for many years now. I had always bought pre-made horchata at the store, but never made our own, so this was an interesting experience! If you aren’t familiar with horchata, it is basically made from soaking rice and sweetening the mixture.

According to Wikipedia, “Horchata, or orxata, is a name given to various kinds of plant milk beverages of similar taste and appearance. It originated at least as far back as 13th-century Valencia, where it is known as chufa horchata. In Spain it is made with soaked, ground, and sweetened tiger nuts, but in Mexico and other parts of the Americas the base is white rice.

There are so many recipes out there, so keep this in mind when making horchata. While rice is the main ingredient, we found a lot of different versions using milk, evaporated milk, condensed milk, white sugar, brown sugar, etc.

I had fun making this recipe with my daughter, since it is a unique drink and we had never thought much about the work that went into making it.


  • 1 1/4 cups  white rice (uncooked, rinsed)
  • 5 cups water 
  • 3 cinnamon sticks 
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup milk 
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup  
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar 
  • 1 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract 

Start by rinsing the rice. Then, soak your rice with the water, almonds, and cinnamon sticks in a covered bowl in the fridge for 8-10 hours. Normally, I soak everything overnight so that we don’t have to make the recipe at night. Also, I would assume the longer, the better, so it isn’t a big deal if you don’t get to it first thing in the morning.

When the rice is done soaking, remove the cinnamon sticks, and pour the rest of the mixture into a blender.

Add your sugar and ground cinnamon, and blend the mixture.

Strain out the rice with a sieve. We started with a regular metal sieve.

Then strain the mixture through a cheesecloth. We found that this was actually difficult, even after putting the mixture through a metal sieve. The mixture has a thick sludge that clogs up the cheesecloth.

We bought some mesh bags, because straining the rice “silt” with cheesecloth was too frustrating. There are lots of mesh bags for things like making your own almond milk at home, which is a similar process.

We did find that changing to the larger mesh bags made this process go much faster!

Even after the straining was done, it was very easy to dump out the rice “silt” (which went into the compost), and wash out the bag (I turned it inside out).

Once the mixture is strained thoroughly, you can add your milk, maple syrup, and vanilla.

Mix thoroughly. We do find that if you let this mixture sit, there will still be some very fine particles that settle to the bottom, so give your horchata a swirl before serving.

You can serve with a garnish of cinnamon.

What do you think?

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  • Jen Van Haitsma
    May 7, 2020

    Never had horchata, and honestly never really knew what it was besides it being a drink lol. But based on the ingredients, it sounds good!

  • Amber Myers
    May 7, 2020

    I’ve never tried this before. I’ve heard about it though. I might have to make it and see if I like it!

  • Jazmin
    May 8, 2020

    Oh my God, this looks delicious! Trying it later!

  • Tasheena
    May 8, 2020

    This looks really refreshing. Looking forward to giving this recipe a try.

  • Milaya
    May 8, 2020

    I absolutely love Horchata and I love it more that you can make it vegan.

  • Catalina
    May 8, 2020

    This is one of my favorite drinks. So glad to make it at home now!

  • Cyndi Buchanan
    May 8, 2020

    This sounds really good! I have never tried horchata.

  • Tammy
    May 8, 2020

    This is something I have never heard of. I must try this since I love almond milk.

  • Sandra
    May 8, 2020

    I have never had this but all of the pictures make me want to try it.

  • Ruth I
    May 8, 2020

    This is the first time I’ve heard d horchata. It’s interesting and cool!

  • Erin
    May 8, 2020

    I’ve never heard of this before! How cool

  • Katie
    May 8, 2020

    I”ve never had horchata before, but I’ll definitely be giving this a try!

  • HilLesha O'Nan
    May 8, 2020

    I have never tried horchata before, but I’d love to try it sometime. Thank you for sharing your recipe!

  • Ashlyn
    May 9, 2020

    I love horchata! Thanks for the recipe.

  • Rika
    May 9, 2020

    My husband loves horcata! I can’t wait to make this drink for him!

  • Beth
    May 11, 2020

    This looks delicious! This is a new recipe for me, but I think my family and I will enjoy it!

  • Oh my goodness, that looks so yummy! Really want to try this!!

  • Surabhi
    May 12, 2020

    Looks yummy as well as healthy

  • Kim
    May 12, 2020

    Yum! I love horchata! I will try this out one day

  • Neely Moldovan
    July 2, 2020

    I’ve never had this but it sounds JUST delightful! I would love to try it!

  • Natalie
    July 2, 2020

    Sounds interesting. And so delicious. I don’t usually make my own milk, but this I would love to try. Thanks!

  • Danielle
    February 24, 2021

    I’ve never had horchata before, but I’d definitely be interested in trying and making it.

  • Neha Tambe
    February 24, 2021

    I hadn’t heard about this drink. It seems to be a great energy booster and perfect for my kids post game snack. Will try it out.

  • Kimmy
    February 24, 2021

    I am definitely going to try this recipe

  • Shayla Marie
    February 25, 2021

    I didn’t realize what “Horchata” was until I read this, but I’ve made this before! It’s marvelous!

  • Sharon
    February 25, 2021

    You are the best! My family loves horchata but never thought about making it ourselves. I’m going to try this here soon.

  • vidya
    February 25, 2021

    I have always wanted to try to make it from the time we had it at a restaurant a couple years ago.. Seeing this post makes me feel I can ..thank you