Make Ahead

Brown Rice Horchata

April 26, 2018
1 Rating
Photo by Rocky Luten
Author Notes

Horchata is a popular milky drink in Mexico and throughout Latin America, as well as Spain. The specifics vary by the location, but the Mexican variety is often made with rice and cinnamon. It can be made with a slew of other ingredients, too, from oats to coconut. Sometimes nuts get involved. I used the recipe from Paletas, by Fany Gerson as a starting point, then riffed from there. Swapped in brown rice and brown sugar—both instead of white. Reduced the sugar and added salt. And instead of whole milk, I went with cashew milk. You could do almond milk, coconut milk, or even rice milk. P.S. Use this horchata instead of milk or cream for the best iced coffee ever. —Emma Laperruque

  • Prep time 12 hours 10 minutes
  • Makes about 5 1/4 cups
  • 2/3 cup brown rice
  • 3 cups warm water
  • 1 (2-inch) cinnamon stick
  • 2 cups cashew milk
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
In This Recipe
  1. Add the rice to a blender. Pulse until finely ground, almost like flour. Transfer to a bowl and add the water and cinnamon stick. Stir until well combined. Cover and refrigerate for 6 to 12 hours.
  2. Dump the mixture into a blender and blend until as smooth as possible. (This will still be slightly grainy!) Strain into a pitcher through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids. Stir in the cashew milk, sugar, and salt. Whisk until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Chill completely before serving. Serve over ice.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Matt Hermenau
    Matt Hermenau
  • FrugalCat
  • Emma Laperruque
    Emma Laperruque
  • vlampson
Emma is the food editor at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles on the fly, baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., and writing about the history of pie in North Carolina. Now she lives in New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's award-winning column, Big Little Recipes (also the cookbook in October 2021!). And see what she's up to on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.

5 Reviews

Matt H. May 6, 2018
Is half and half and option for the dairy? I want to use it as iced coffee creamer
vlampson May 1, 2018
Whoa!! This is destined to become a staple - throwing in espresso shots seems like a no-brainer, but maybe even using it as the base for a bourbon or dark rum cocktail would be insane. I used some local Maui true cinnamon - it's much softer than cassia cinnamon, and I found it gave the Horchata a super authentic flavor. I soaked the mix overnight with some cardamom pods and whole nutmeg, but took those bits out before blending. Added a few spoons of coconut sugar, a pinch of Maldon, and some vanilla bean paste - and used coconut milk as the finishing touch. SO GOOD
Author Comment
Emma L. May 2, 2018
I had the same thought re: bourbon! And love the cardamom addition!
Evie S. November 29, 2019
Your version sounds WONDERFUL!
FrugalCat April 27, 2018
Also good with almond milk, soy milk or (is this redundant?) rice milk.