Horchata (pronounced or-chaa-tah, the “h” is silent) is a traditional sweet, milky drink in many parts of the Latin world. Mexican horchata (“horchata de arroz”) has a white rice base and is flavored with cinnamon, while Spanish horchata (“horchata de chufa”) is mostly made with tiger nuts.
If you’ve ever visited a taqueria or Mexican dessert shop, chances are horchata was on the menu. Mexican horchata – usually served over ice – is refreshing and light, perfect with spicy dishes or just on a hot summer day. It also makes a sweet and tasty morning drink in place of an iced latte.
Many horchata recipes call for whole milk, condensed milk, or evaporated milk to improve the smoothness of the drink. We prefer the traditional rice-based version as it is also lighter and healthier. And instead of white sugar, we use pure maple syrup, which is less refined and complements the spices well. Read on to learn the simple technique. Just keep in mind that even though the prep time required to make this drink is very short (only about 6 minutes), the rice needs to soak for at least 8 hours, so plan ahead when you know you’ll want to make you happy. in this tasty and refreshing drink.
Gather your ingredients for the Mexican horchata
To prepare this creamy drink, you will need long-grain white rice, a whole cinnamon stick, water, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
Soak rice and cinnamon
One important thing to note about homemade horchata is that it takes at least 8 hours (or up to 24) to soak the rice before blending. The soaking softens the grains and allows them to blend into a creamy “milk.” To start, combine the rice and cinnamon with water in the pitcher of a blender, cover tightly, and chill in the refrigerator until ready to blend.
Mix rice and cinnamon
Blend the mixture for a minute or two, or until completely smooth. Then strain through a mesh strainer into a large bowl.
Finish the horchata
Pour the mixture into a large serving pitcher and add more water, along with the maple syrup and vanilla. Whisk to combine.
Serve the horchata
To serve, fill a glass with ice and pour the horchata over the ice. Sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired. Leftover horchata can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Note that the starchy bits will separate and sink to the bottom; it’s perfectly normal. Just shake or whisk it before drinking.