5 Ingredients or Fewer


May 14, 2013
2 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Horchata (pronounced or-CHA-tah) is a traditional Latin American drink that is typically milky and sweet, and sometimes spiced. If you've never tasted horchata before, imagine this as sweetened rice-almond milk with cinnamon, kind of like an iced chai tea without the tea. Each country has its own version of horchata. My version calls for rice, almonds and cinnamon. It is dairy-free (yet creamy) and sweetened with agave nectar rather than sugar. I can't promise that you could find horchata quite like this south of the border, but it is incredibly delicious and refreshing nonetheless. —Cookie and Kate

What You'll Need
  • 2/3 cup long grain white or brown rice (dry)
  • 1 1/4 cups blanched almonds
  • 1 piece 3-inch cinnamon stick
  • 4 1/2 cups water, divided
  • 1/3 cup light agave nectar (up to 1/2 cup, to taste)
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the rice, almonds, cinnamon stick and 2 1/2 cups hot water. Allow the mixture to cool, then cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Pour the mixture into a blender, add agave (start with 1/3 cup; you can add more later) and blend on high for several minutes, until the mixture is as smooth as possible. Add one cup of cold water and blend for 10 seconds. Taste, and add more agave if you'd like.
  3. Place a large metal sieve over a large bowl. Line the sieve with cheesecloth (or use a nut milk bag or clean paint straining bag, found at hardware stores). Pour the mixture through slowly, stirring as you pour. Press on the solids with a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Lift the cheesecloth/bag and squeeze the rest of the liquid out. Discard the remaining pulp.
  4. Pour the mixture into a pitcher and stir in the last cup of water. Pour into glasses filled with ice and serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Lisa Muller
    Lisa Muller
  • Stephanie Wilson Jensen
    Stephanie Wilson Jensen
  • Sarah Jampel
    Sarah Jampel
  • Becky Winkler
    Becky Winkler
  • Kt4
Photographer, dog lover, vegetarian [most of the time].

11 Reviews

Victoria June 4, 2015
That's definitely not horchata, which is a beverage made with water, sugar and pressed "chufas" (which are the knots in the roots of cyperus esculentus. A similar beverage to this recipe is "leche merengada" (or meringue milk) which is made with milk, egg whites, cinammon and sugar, and you usually drink it almost frozen.
beejay45 October 19, 2015
What part of " I can't promise that you could find horchata quite like this south of the border" didn't you understand? And I think you will find that the vast majority of horchata recipes are rice-based. Can you understand regional differences?
Lisa M. December 30, 2013
I made this drink a few days ago (before I read your post) and I slightly toasted the brown rice first which gave it another layer of flavors. Thank you for sharing such a great recipe with the public!
Stephanie W. July 22, 2013
I checked some other recipes and they say to blend the cinnamon stick with all the other ingredients. There are several recipes for this on All Recipes web site.
Sarah J. July 14, 2013
Does the cinnamon stick get blended with all of the other ingredients or should it be removed?
Ger June 22, 2013
Honestly, what's the point of a recipe with cups? Shall I go to the supermarket and ask for cups of stuff?
And that's not an horchata at all, it's a mere tentative of almond milk that you can actually buy very easily.
Love the agave nectar thing, as if such a thing actually exists in every supermarket...
Kt4 January 21, 2014
Honestly, what's the point of your comment? There's nothing constructive in anything you said. I can find agave easily in nearly every market/grocery store I go to and I measure all the ingredients I use with standard measuring cups & spoons. Please make your future comments useful with suggestions instead of just complaints & criticisms.
DDawg511 June 1, 2013
If you don't have agave nectar, I've seen another recipe use sweetened condensed milk (if you want to add dairy). I'm making a large batch for some friends to try so I'll try half with agave and the other half with condensed milk.
Stephanie W. May 19, 2013
For some reason I can't pin this.
Nomnomnom May 18, 2013
A thousand thanks for this recipe. I've wanted to try making my own for a while, and now I can. Brilliant!
Becky W. May 17, 2013
Just put this together--it's soaking! Trying it with pecans instead of almonds, since that's what I had. Smells great already!