Homemade Horchata Recipe

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This homemade horchata recipe is perfect for the warmer months. It makes a fabulously refreshing drink you can keep in the fridge to have with your next Mexican meal, or just as a hot day refreshment.

I love Horchata. It’s delicious stuff and always tastes so good on a hot summer day. It’s the perfect drink to serve with my Taco Tuesday meals and nobody ever complains around here when they find a full glass of it next to their dinner plate.

Homemade Horchata in a pitcher and a glass. A cinnamon stick rests in the glass for garnish.

Healthy Horchata

What makes Horchata healthy?

Traditional Horchata is often made with highly processed, high sugar, high fat, condensed milk. And often, additional sugar is added as well.

In this recipe, I avoid high fat condensed milk, refined sugar and I use brown rice instead of white. And it’s just as delicious as the regular version, if not more so!

I firmly believe that, in order to eat healthy, you don’t have to give up your favorites. You just have to use different ingredients. And this recipe is a perfect example of that.

Is Horchata Healthy?

Is Horchata bad for you? It can be.

While “healthy” is subjective, a homemade Horchata like this is far healthier than the mass produced stuff. So if you’re going to make some, you might as well make it with good, healthy, whole-food ingredients.

A single glass of homemade horchata with ice and a cinnamon stick.

Horchata With Rice Milk

Horchata is typically made with coconut milk or rice milk. Most of what you get in restaurants these days is rice based.

Does Horchata Have Milk In It?

While traditional Horchata doesn’t have any dairy at all, it’s not uncommon to add a bit of regular, dairy-based milk for a hint of creaminess.

What’s The Difference Between Spanish Horchata And Mexican Horchata?

This recipe is based on the Mexican version of Horchata, which as I mentioned above, is traditionally made with coconut or rice milk.

The Spanish version is made with a root vegetable called a Tiger nut. It is soaked until it is soft enough to blend, and then made with sugar and cinnamon, just like the Mexican variety.

The finished Homemade Horchata in a pitcher, and served in a glass.

What You’ll Need To Make This Homemade Horchata Recipe

1 cup brown rice

3 cups warm, filtered water

1 large cinnamon stick

1 cup unsweetened and unflavored almond milk

3 cups cold, filtered water (or more, if you like)

¼ cup honey (adjust to taste)

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

How To Make Horchata

Combining the rice, water and cinnamon in a soaking container.

The night before place the brown rice into a sealable container, pour the 3 cups of water over it and also add the cinnamon stick. Seal the container and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight for a minimum of 8 hours and up to 12.

Blending the rice and water in a blender until smooth.

The next day when ready to make your horchata, pour the rice and water into a blender. Break off half of the cinnamon stick and also add it to the blender. Blend until the rice is completely broken down. On my blender it took about 4 minutes. Blending time will depend on your blender.

Straining the blended rice through a sieve with a cheesecloth.

Once blended place a fine sieve over a pitcher, then place a cheesecloth over the sieve and pour the blended ingredients into the pitcher.

The remaining rice pulp sits in the cheesecloth after the liquid has been wrung out.

Once all the liquid has been poured over the cheesecloth gather all of the sides and squeeze out any liquid left. Discard the rice.

Adding the honey and vanilla extract to the homemade horchata.

Next , into the pitcher, pour the almond milk and the 3 cups of water. Mix until well combined then pour in the honey and stir until completely dissolved. Mix in the vanilla extract if using. At this time, taste for sweetness and add more honey if desired. Additionally you can add another cup of water if the horchata is too concentrated for you. 

The finished, homemade horchata served in a glass and garnished with a cinnamon stick.

You can now serve over lots of ice, but it’s best to place the pitcher in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to really allow the flavors come together. Stir well before serving and enjoy!

Homemade Horchata Recipe Notes

  • It’s very important that the rice has enough soaking time, otherwise it won’t break up easily. 
  • Often, Horchata has both evaporated and condensed milk added to it, the purpose is to make a thicker drink and of course to sweeten it. To make this recipe healthier I’ve omitted that and simply added almond milk.
  • Almonds are another traditional ingredient sometimes added to horchata. I’ve added almond milk instead. 
  • The cheesecloth will help prevent too much blended rice from being in your horchata and require less stirring before serving. 
  • By allowing the Horchata to sit in the refrigerator after blending, it not only helps cool it down, but also will really help the flavors come together and taste more delicious. 

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Homemade Horchata Recipe

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The finished Homemade Horchata in a pitcher, and served in a glass.

Homemade Horchata Recipe

The traditional horchata gets a healthy make over. You’ll never notice that brown rice was used instead of white. All the deliciousness of “regular” horchata is present in this refreshing and healthy drink. 
Print Pin Rate
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 1 day 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 day 10 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 167kcal
Author: The Gracious Pantry

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 3 cups warm, filtered water
  • 1 large cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup unsweetened and unflavored almond milk
  • 3 cups cold, filtered water (or more, if you like)
  • ¼ cup honey (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Garnish

  • ice cubes
  • ground cinnamon

Instructions

  • The night before place the brown rice into a sealable container, pour the 3 cups of water over it and also add the cinnamon stick. Seal the container and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight for a minimum of 8 hours and up to 12.
    Combining the rice, water and cinnamon in a soaking container.
  • The next day when ready to make your horchata, pour the rice and water into a blender. Break off half of the cinnamon stick and also add it to the blender. Blend until the rice is completely broken down. On my blender it took about 4 minutes. Blending time will depend on your blender.
    Blending the rice and water in a blender until smooth.
  • Once blended place a fine sieve over a pitcher, then place a cheesecloth over the sieve and pour the blended ingredients into the pitcher.
    Straining the blended rice through a sieve with a cheesecloth.
  • Once all the liquid has been poured over the cheesecloth gather all of the sides and squeeze out any liquid left. Discard the rice.
    The remaining rice pulp sits in the cheesecloth after the liquid has been wrung out.
  • Next , into the pitcher, pour the almond milk and the 3 cups of water. Mix until well combined then pour in the honey and stir until completely dissolved. Mix in the vanilla extract if using. At this time, taste for sweetness and add more honey if desired. Additionally you can add another cup of water if the horchata is too concentrated for you. 
    Adding the honey and vanilla extract to the homemade horchata.
  • You can now serve over lots of ice, but it’s best to place the pitcher in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to really allow the flavors come together. Stir well before serving and enjoy!
    The finished, homemade horchata served in a glass and garnished with a cinnamon stick.

Notes

Please note that the nutrition data given here is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 167kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 68mg | Potassium: 96mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 2IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 1mg

14,800$4.96110is horchata healthy480$0113how to make homemade horchata320$016healthy horchata recipe170$0114is horchata bad for you90$015how to make horchata from scratch

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