Holiday & Comfort Foods: Make Your Own Horchata

by | Dec 10, 2018

First, a tip and a caveat: Prep your batch of holiday horchata (PART A) in the evening and let the jar sit overnight on your counter or in your refrigerator before you go on to PART B. Also, because I tend to go ‘off-book’ when I’m in the kitchen, think of this recipe as more ‘general guideline’ than ‘precision cooking’.

PART A: Gather the ingredients, plus a one-quart glass jar, a fine mesh strainer (or not so fine PLUS cheesecloth) and your regular or Magic Bullet blender; whatever you have that will finely grind the UNCOOKED hard rice.

  • 1 cup UNCOOKED rice (Long grain white rice is most often used. I used short grain brown rice to make the horchata in the photo & it is YUMMY.)
  • 3-4 cups water
  • 1 cinnamon stick, 3-4″ long, snapped in half

Put the UNCOOKED rice*, cinnamon stick and 2 cups of water into the blender and blend for 1-2 minutes. Basically, you want to see the mixture get a bit sludgy. Add the rest of the water, blend some more. Pour into a glass jar, tighten the lid, and wait. No, you do not have to set a timer and get up every hour during the night to shake the jar.

PART B: The next day (or 8 or so hours later) set your fine mesh strainer/strainer with cheesecloth over a bowl. With the lid still on tight, give your rice mixture a shake, then pour the mixture over the mesh. Don’t smash or otherwise try to force the sludge through. Go eat your breakfast.

Rinse out your jar, pour the strained rice mixture back in, and add:

  • 1-2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tsp ground cinnamon

Shake and sample THEN: Sweeten to taste with your preferred sweetener & add 1-1/2 cups more milk, rice milk, nut milk, or even more water until the consistency is pleasing to your palate.

Store the horchata in the refrigerator and serve chilled.

(*Yes, I know I’m repeating myself but I’m trying to save you the trauma and disappointment of making horchata with leftover cooked rice. DOES NOT WORK, darling.)


I learned to LOVE horchata while living in Mexico. I learned to how to prepare this rice-based drink while one of my sons was going through chemotherapy. Horchata was one of the few foods he could tolerate at times.


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