Skip to Content

Easy Mexican Horchata- Cinnamon Rice Drink

There is nothing more refreshing than a glass of icy-cold drink on a sun-blistering day in Mexico or Spain. Learn how to make this Easy Mexican Horchata- Cinnamon Rice Drink using already made rice milk.

What is Horchata?

Horchata is a summer drink made out of plant milk beverages, sugar, and cinnamon. This drink has its origins in Spanish cuisine, where it is made out of tiger nuts. In Mexico and other Latin countries, horchata is made out of rice, sometimes almonds, or even melon seeds.

Mexican Horchata in a pitcher0

Mexicans made it their own, and there are multiple variations of this “bebida” based on the regions of Mexico. In the United States, rice horchata is very popular in Mexican restaurants, taquerias, and ice cream shops.

If you ever travel, you need to look on the menus for Agua Fresca De Horchata, or bebida de arroz.

Aguas Frescas translates to “fresh water,” which are beverages made out of ripe fruits, rice, seeds, or flower petals blended with sugar and water. I smile in happiness when I see these large glass jarras filled with creamy white horchata, dark brown tamarindo, or deep red jamaica.

Horchata is one of the three most popular Aguas Frescas in Mexico, next to tamarindo and hibiscus(or jamaica). The rainbow of colors, from pink guava, watermelon to light orange cantaloupe or mango, makes me love summertime even more.

Why you should try this recipe?

  • It is incredibly easy to make.

The original recipe is made by soaking ground rice overnight, then adding sugar and cinnamon. I took a shortcut here and used bought rice milk.

There are times in everyone’s life when taking a shortcut in the kitchen is a good thing. If you met me before, you know that I like making most of my food from scratch. However, I am also very busy, and there are days where convenience is the way to go.

  • It is delicious and perfect for Mexican meals.

Horchata is a wonderful beverage to accompany any meal, but it is beneficial to put out that fire in your mouth after eating spicy foods. Serve it on Taco Day. Make Chicken Tinga or Mexican Pork in Salsa Verde and serve horchata with the meal.

  • Using rice milk is better than horchata instant mixes.

You can choose to soak rice overnight and make this drink the next day, but you can also choose to use rice milk or instant mixes.

I tried them all, and I can tell you from my own experience that using rice milk was the easiest way to make this drink. The instant mixes are gritty and don’t taste good. Artificial flavors are not my cup of tea.

  • This recipe is dairy-free and nut-free.

For the ones out there who look for a healthier drink, this is a perfect choice. My recipe is dairy-free and nut-free.

Mexican Horchata in a glass with pitcher0

What ingredients are you going to need for Mexican Horchata?

  • Rice milk– Rice is the traditional Mexican way of making horchata. However, there are regions in Mexico, where this drink is made with coconut OR almond milk. I also saw recipes that add whole milk or even condensed milk. Use your common sense here and make this recipe your own, but keep in mind that if you want an almost authentic Mexican horchata, you need to use rice milk.
  • Granulated sugar– You will need only 1/2 cup granulated sugar. I would not advise using powder sugar, as it contains corn starch and changes the texture of the drink. I never tried brown sugar and never saw a recipe using it, so I do not know how horchata would taste with it.
  • Ground Cinnamon– Use the best cinnamon you can put your hands on. The flavor of horchata comes from the cinnamon and vanilla. A good cinnamon will ensure that your horchata will be delicious.
  • Vanilla– a vanilla bean would be my choice in this recipe. However, vanilla beans are expensive and more and more hard to find, so we need to go for replacements. Vanilla extract is a good way to go. Europeans: Bourbon Vanilla Sugar from Dr. Oetker is a good option for you.
  • Cinnamon Sticks(optional)– we use those for garnishing the glass
  • Blender– The modern Mexican cuisine uses a blender on a daily basis. While not absolutely mandatory, a blender is good to make this drink smooth, help dissolve the sugar faster and overall mix all ingredients really well. However, if you don’t own one, use a whisk.

How to make this Easy Mexican Horchata:

Things cannot get easier than this:

Pour rice milk into the blender, add sugar, ground cinnamon, vanilla, and blend. Voila, you just made horchata!

Fill tall glasses with ice and pour horchata, garnishing the glass with a cinnamon stick for stirring, if you like.

Mexican Horchata in a glass with pitcher Pinterest0

How to handle vanilla bean: cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the mix. Do not throw away the pod. Reserve it to make vanilla sugar by placing the pod in a jar with granulated sugar that you would use for baking.

If you use vanilla extract: Use about a teaspoon of vanilla extract in the mixture.

If you are in Europe and have these little bags of Dr. Oetker Bourbon Vanilla Sugar: Measure 1/2 cup of sugar, remove 1 tablespoon from it and add a bag of vanilla sugar to it.

Can I replace the sugar with other sweeteners?

Yes. Honey is a good option. While you can use maple syrup, I feel like it would change the flavor of this horchata. If you need a sugar-free option, stevia is the way to go.

Mexican Horchata in a glass- close up

Some other recipes to love:

Cherry Flavored Drinks&Cocktails&Smoothies

Easy Magic Cake With Vanilla

Baked Apple Rice Pudding

15 Authentic Mexican Recipes

Enjoy!

Yield: 4 servings

Easy Mexican Horchata- Cinnamon Rice Drink

Mexican Horchata in a glass with pitcher square0

There is nothing better in the summer to get a refreshing drink. Make this easy Mexican Horchata or cinnamon rice drink and serve it with spicy meals. This recipe is also dairy-free and nut-free.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 cups unsweetened rice milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 vanilla bean or vanilla extract
  • 4 cinnamon sticks for garnish

Instructions

  1. Place the rice milk, sugar, and ground cinnamon into a blender.
  2. If you use a vanilla bean, cut it half lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the mix. Otherwise, if you use vanilla extract, add it to the milk.
  3. Blend until the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Pour into tall glasses filled with ice and garnish with cinnamon sticks for stirring.

Notes

Use unsweetened rice milk, or adjust the amount of sugar that the recipe requires.

Some horchatas are made with milk, coconut milk, or even almond milk. Use what you like and make this recipe your own.

A blender is a good tool to make Mexican Aguas Frescas. However, if you don't own one, use a whisk.

Can I replace the sugar with other sweeteners?

Yes. Honey is a good option. While you can use maple syrup, I feel like it would change the flavor of this horchata. If you need a sugar-free option, stevia is the way to go.

How to handle vanilla bean: cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the mix. Do not throw away the pod. Reserve it to make vanilla sugar by placing the pod in a jar with granulated sugar that you would use for baking.

If you use vanilla extract: Use about a teaspoon of vanilla extract in the mixture.

If you are in Europe and have these little bags of Dr. Oetker Bourbon Vanilla Sugar: Measure 1/2 cup of sugar, remove 1 tablespoon from it and add a bag of vanilla sugar to it.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 275Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 141mgCarbohydrates: 60gFiber: 2gSugar: 44gProtein: 1g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Facebook

Note: “We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”

Linda

Sunday 5th of September 2021

If I use rice, do I soak it in water overnight? When blending, will the drink be smooth without residual residue? Had this problem with brown rice Horchata. Thanks

The Bossy Kitchen

Monday 6th of September 2021

Hi Linda, if I wanted to write the recipe from scratch, it would have already been on the blog. My recipe is a shortcut to the original horchata recipe that you can find all over internet. To answer your questions, though, rice is starchy, and you will always have a residue. You can try to pass the rice water through a fine mesh sieve to catch all the gritty bits. However, white rice is smoother than brown rice, and you might not need to do that. You can also add some milk to make it smoother unless you choose to buy some rice milk and make my recipe in a super-easy way.:- )

Skip to Recipe