Home RecipesDrinks No Sweat Mexican Horchata

No Sweat Mexican Horchata

by Paula

For a self-professed rice lover, a creamy, ice-cold rice-based drink like horchata works like Pavlov’s bells on me.

I love rice. There really is no other way to describe my fondness for rice but in the most glowing terms. So you can imagine my excitement when I first came across a recipe for horchata back in 2015.

Pitcher of horchata

For those unfamiliar with horchata, it’s a beverage that’s made with ground rice and flavored with cinnamon. Similar to our various samalamigs, horchata is a common agua fresca that’s sold by street vendors in Latin America.

The good news is, we don’t have to fly to Latin American countries to sample some horchata.  You can easily whip up a batch of horchata with ingredients that you likely already have in your kitchen. These are:

  • rice (any self-respecting Filipino kitchen would have some)
  • evaporated milk
  • condensed milk
  • cinnamon sticks (or powder, in a pinch – pun intended)
  • water
Horchata in Glasses with Cinnamon Sticks and Cinnamon Powder

Yup. 5 ingredients in total. Well, you could add some raw almonds too, if you have.

Horchata How-To

In addition, most of the prep work happens overnight! The first step in making horchata is to soak a cup of rice, half a cup of almonds, and a cinnamon stick in a cup of water. Next is to store that mixture in the fridge for a few hours while you go to sleep or do some errands.

I used normal, uncooked white rice and a cinnamon stick that’s been broken into pieces. Sadly, I didn’t have any almonds this time around.  The horchata turned out really tasty although the almonds would have given more creaminess to the drink.

Top View of Horchata in glass with cinnamon stick and ice

I put the soaked rice, cinnamon, and the soaking water in a food processor/blender and ground them until they were fine. One tip I could give – don’t put all the soaking water with the rice and cinnamon all at once! I’m not sure if it’s my food processor, but it didn’t grind well when I put all the water in.

Once everything’s ground, add some evaporated milk and condensed milk.  Then blend, blend, blend! Transfer to a big pitcher, add some ice cubes, and voila!

Viva horchata!?

Horchata in Glasses with Cinnamon Sticks and Cinnamon Powder
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No Sweat Mexican Horchata

  • Author: Paula
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 1.5 Liters 1x


  • 165 grams (1 cup) uncooked white rice
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
  • 50 grams (1/2 cup) raw almonds (optional)
  • 1 cup (240 ml) evaporated milk
  • 1 cup (240 ml) condensed milk
  • 4 cups (960 ml) water
  • ice cubes



  1. Soak the rice, cinnamon stick pieces, and almonds in 1 cup of water overnight, or at least 5 hours. 
  2. In a food processor or blender, grind the rice, cinnamon stick pieces, and almonds with the soaking water. 
  3. Once grounded finely, add the evaporated milk and condensed milk. Pulse for a few times until well blended. 
  4. Strain the mixture and transfer to a big pitcher. 
  5. Add the rest of the water and ice cubes. Stir well before pouring out to serve.


  • There may still be some gritty bits after 1 straining. I personally like the gritty bits but if you want a smoother texture, strain some more. 
  • Add more condensed milk if you want a sweeter taste.
  • Category: Drinks

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