Homemade Horchata

I made horchata for the first time a few weeks ago.  I’ve never tasted it before, so it’s hard to say if my version is authentic.  I do know that mine is good, and I’d definitely make it again.  I came up with my recipe by studying several horchata recipes on the internets.  Horchata is a refreshing sweetened rice milk drink from Latin America.  Some recipes call for milk, and others do not.  I used milk in mine, along with granulated sugar and medium grain rice.  Most recipes call for long grain rice, but the medium grain worked for me.


I used skim milk, but in the future I think I’d use two percent, or maybe even coconut milk for a creamier version.  Also, I was thinking that basmati rice might be good in horchata, since it’s so nutty and flavorful.

Okay, to make horchata, you blend together rice and water in a blender for a few minutes until very finely ground. I stirred the mixture a bit, and then blended it again. You want to blend the rice as finely as possible. This would be great to do in a Vitamix blender, if you have one. Sadly, I do not.

The rice water soaks together for a couple of hours after it’s blended; the longer you soak, the better – it softens the rice, plus adds more rice flavor to the water.  Then the rice gets blended again for a few more minutes.  The rice water is strained into a pitcher (discard the rice), and milk and sugar are whisked in.  I also added some vanilla and a pinch of sea salt, which I highly recommend.  The salt balanced the sweetness… I couldn’t believe what a difference it made.

The horchata is finished at this point, but you should chill it down and let the flavors meld together. Drink as is, OR, blend it with ice and RumChata! 

That’s what I did.  RumChata is a horchata liqueur with rum, if you couldn’t figure that out yourself.  It’s delicious!

Top the horchata with whipped cream and cinnamon.


If you don’t make this drink this summer, I will know, and I’ll be very upset with you.  It tastes like rice pudding.

See you from Chicago!  Be good.

Homemade Horchata

3 cups water
1 cup medium grain white rice
1 1/4 cups milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 a vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
Pinch of finely ground sea salt
Ground cinnamon
RumChata (optional)

Blend together water and rice in a blender for 2-3 minutes, or until rice is very finely chopped.  Pour mixture into a large mixing bowl, cover, and allow to soak 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Blend rice again for 2 minutes; strain liquid into a pitcher.  Dispose rice.  Whisk in milk, sugar, vanilla and sea salt until well combined.  Chill until ready for use.  Serve with cinnamon sprinkled on top, over ice.

To make the cocktail, fill a glass with ice.  Stir in 1/4 cup RumChata and 3/4 cup horchata.  Serve with whipped cream and cinnamon.