Horchata de Arroz is a popular & refreshing Mexican drink made with ground rice, milk and cinnamon. Learn how to make this delicious drink with these step by step instructions!

One of the reasons Horchata is very popular in Mexico, is that it’s the perfect pairing for spicy & flavorful meals. Every time I make Pozole, Entomatadas, or Bistec Ranchero, you’ll see Horchata on my table….It’s also my favorite drink and it’ll be yours soon too 🙂

Three glasses with horchata placed on a pretty wood board

My recipe is for traditional Mexican horchata but I’ve seen versions around the web to fit today’s different diet needs: Some use almond or coconut milk to make it lactose-free or they use no calorie-sweeteners for diabetic needs.

While they may taste good, nothing beats the taste of the traditional version! It’s creamy, flavorful and so refreshing. I hope you treat yourself to the real deal at least once in a while.

a pretty jar with horchata placed on a wood bard

Horchata ingredients

  • Use 1 cup of any uncooked white rice and 2 cinnamon sticks
  • The milk base comes from 1 can each of evaporated milk and condensed milk. This is what gives the horchata the wonderful flavor and a creamy consistency.
  • If the condensed milk does not make it sweet enough for you, you can add more sugar to taste.
  • Ground cinnamon to garnish (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (optional) – Just don’t use too much vanilla as we don’t want to overpower the cinnamon & rice flavor.

I once tasted an Horchata from La Santisima Mexican Restaurant that is made with chunks of fruits (cantaloupe, strawberries, grapes) and pecans. It’s so good! I think I’ll do that to mine next time.

Jar pouring Mexican rice drink in glasses with ice

How to make horchata

  • Wash and drain the rice.
  • Place the rice, cinnamon stick and 4 cups of water into a bowl. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight or a minimum of 4 hours (the longer the better!).
  • Add 1/2 of the rice & 1/2 of the soaking water and some of the cinnamon stick in a blender.
  • Puree until it’s very smooth and forms a paste like texture. About 4 minutes long.
  • Using a very fine strainer (or some cheese cloth) pour the mixture over a pitcher. Strain out as much liquid as possible, pushing on the solids with a spatula or spoon.
  • Repeat this process for the rest of the rice & cinnamon mixture.
  • Stir in the milks, vanilla (optional), and 4 cups of water. Stir well.
  • Taste and add more sugar or water if needed.
  • Chill and stir before serving over ice. 


How how long does horchata keep for in the fridge?

It should last about 3 or 4 days for the best taste. But I guarantee that you’ll want to drink it all in a day!

What kind of rice can I use?

Any white rice will work: long grain, jasmine, basmati, short grain. Just make sure it’s raw white rice!

Do you need to wash the rice prior to soaking?

Yes! Since we’ll be using the same soaking water to make the horchata, I recommend you wash it to have a clean drink.

Do you leave it in the fridge overnight or just out on the counter when soaking?

Place the bowl in the fridge since we’ll be using that same water for our final Horchata drink. This water already contains a lot of the rice & cinnamon flavor and we don’t want to waste it!

How can I make it dairy free?

Use almond milk or coconut milk. But you’ll need to sweeten it with sugar or your favorite sweetener. This may change the authenticity and it may not provide the same results as this recipe.

Two glasses with the milk drink

You guys, if you go to a Mexican restaurant I guarantee you will see Horchata on the menu. You may have seen it as “Agua de Horchata”. The wonderful thing is it’s super easy to make and you can make it at home!

Other Mexican drinks you may enjoy!

Two glasses with metal straws and Mexican Horchata. A jar in the background

Traditional Mexican Horchata

Servings 12 cups
Ana Frias
4.97 from 504 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Learn how to make the authentic Horchata drink that everyone loves! With this step-by-step tutorial, you’ll be able to make the best homemade Horchata recipe made with a few simple ingredients. Skip the store-bought mixes and use this easy recipe right at home!


  • Blender
12 cups


  • 1 cup uncooked white rice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 12 ounce can evaporated milk
  • 12 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 8 cups of warm water divided
  • Sugar to taste
  • Ground cinnamon to garnish optional
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla optional


  • Wash and drain the rice. Place the rice, cinnamon sticks (see note #1 below) and 4 cups of water into a bowl. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight (preferably) or a minimum of 4 hours.
  • Once you're ready to blend the rice, remove most of the cinnamon sticks but it's okay to leave small pieces with the rice.
  • Blend the rice in two separate batches by adding 1/2 of the rice & water with some of the cinnamon stick left behind. Puree until it's very smooth and it forms a paste like texture. About 4 minutes long.
  • Using a very fine strainer (or some cheese cloth) pour the blended mixture over a pitcher. Strain out as much liquid as possible, pushing on the solids with a spatula or spoon.
  • Repeat this process for the rest of the rice, water & cinnamon mixture.
  • Stir in the milks, vanilla (0ptional), and 4 cups of water. Stir well.
  • Taste and add sugar or water if needed according to taste.
  • Chill and stir before serving over ice. 


Muy Delish Notes:

  1. Break the cinnamon sticks in large pieces before you place in the bowl to soak. This will give more flavor from the inside of the cinnamon.
  2. If you don’t have cinnamon sticks, you can soak the rice with 1 tablespoon of cinnamon powder. 
  3. If you decided to use vanilla, don’t add too much of it as it will overpower the cinnamon & rice flavor. 
  4. To make a boozy version just add some rum to make Rumchata! 

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Serving: 1cup | Calories: 170kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 132mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g

The nutritional information and US conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this data. If this is important to you, please verify with your favourite nutrition calculator and/or unit conversion tool.

This recipe was originally published in July 2014. It has been updated to revise the content and photographs. The original delicious recipe remains the same. Enjoy! 

Three glasses with horchata

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Recipe Rating


  1. Hello I’m going to make 4 gallons of horchata can you help me out on the measurements how much I would need please

    1. Hi Joshua, this sounds like a party! If you multiply the recipe by 6 times, it will make 4.5 gallons. That’s probably what I would do. Blend the rice in different batches to make sure you don’t burn the blender’s motor. Let me know if you have any other questions. Ejoy!

    1. Hi Keelia! I think it should work as long as it’s not the majority of it. I haven’t tried making horchata with brown rice but I think it may get a little nutty taste. It will blend well with the cinnamon. Please let me know how it turns out! 🙂

      xo, Ana

  2. 5 stars
    Appreciate the recipe – will adjust mine a bit. I’ve been making something similar for frozen horchata pops but cook the rice like congee (same water to rice ratio), add a couple cans of sweetened condensed milk, cinnamon, and vanilla. Rather than straining the rice, I’ve been keeping it so it has a thicker base – doesn’t melt as fast. Will try some evaporated milk and see if that helps.

    1. Hi Talia, it’s not needed to remove most of the cinnamon. You can remove a little bit of the top layer if you want. Or just use a teaspoon of ground cinnamon when soaking and don’t remove before blending. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  3. The recipe It was simple to understand, simple to follow and I ended with a Delicious drink that reminded me of the taste I enjoyed at my favorite restaurant

  4. 5 stars
    So good! I was worried at first because I couldn’t reach a paste with the blender, the rice stayed separated at the bottom still. But it was soooo yummy! Thanks for the recipe ;P

  5. 5 stars
    It was good but I messed up the blending part ig I didn’t understand half of my mixture .. but it still ended up tasting wonderful.. better then some of these restaurants..

  6. Hello!

    Just left the rice water to soak overnight ! But , to confirm, youre saying to add an additional 4 cups right at the end ?

  7. 5 stars
    I’ve been exploring for a bit making different Horchata recipes and your is truly the best! I cannot wait to make it again and again. I think my search is over. Thanks for such fantastic recipe!

  8. Hey Ana! I was looking for a recipe on this, and found yours. It looks great, and not too much trouble to make. I’m from Norway, so we have some different terms for things. Is “evaporated milk” just the unsweetened version of what you call “condensed milk”? ‘Cause here it’ll say “sweetened condensed milk” and “unsweetened condensed milk” on boxes (The latter often under the brand “Vikingmelk”), but I’ve never seen “fordampet melk”/”evaporated milk” on anything.

    1. Hi Andreas! For this you want to use sweetened condensed milk plus evaporated milk. If you don’t find evaporated milk just replace that amount with regular milk.

      However, if you know what evaporated milk tastes, experiment with the unsweetened condensed version too and see if it’s a good substitute. If not, stick to regular milk. Let me know if you have any other questions!
      Warm hugs from Portugal 🙂

  9. Hi, thanks for sharing this recipe!
    I only have normal milk on hand right now, so is it okay if I use that, or is it necessary to use sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk? And if I could use normal milk how much sugar would you recommend using to sweeten it?
    Thank you!

  10. 5 stars
    This horchata recipe turned out amazing! I served it at a recent brunch- my daughter and I love horchata- and this recipe is perfect and delicious! I’m excited to make it again and again.

  11. 5 stars
    I left the cinnamon sticks with the rice to blend and it was AWSOME the kids kept saying it was better than the restaurant:) thank you for the recipe.

  12. I plan to make this for Christmas, and I have a question about the condensed milk. Does that mean sweetened condensed milk or just evaporated milk? Thanks!

    1. Hi Caitlin!

      It’s one can of sweetened condensed milk and one can of evaporated milk. I just added that in the recipe card to clear any confusion. Thanks for the question! Merry christmas!

  13. 5 stars
    This is delicious. I doubled the recipe so that I can have one virgin batch, and a batch to mix with rum. This is absolutely divine. I definitely need to find a better contraption to strain the contents, but that has nothing to do with the recipe. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe!!!! 100/10

    1. Hi Mia, thanks for stopping by! If you soak the rice for at least 4 hours, it should puree well. You may still have a little paste that comes out but that will be strained anyways. Some people have reported that they didn’t end up with a paste at all!

      Make sure you use a blender with good power as well. That could be one of the problem for some people.

      Please let me know if you have any other questions. Enjoy!

      1. 5 stars
        Thanks! I make Horchata for my family (it is my favorite drink and I often crave it). I always soak the rice overnight and the next day I use the Oster duralast classic blender (which only has stir, milkshake, smoothie and ice power settings) I start off on stir and then alternate on milkshake and smoothie for like 5 minutes. At the end, (after straining out the liquid) there is plenty of paste/sludge at the bottom of the blender (which I choose not to strain into the pitcher because I don’t want sludge in the drink). After finishing making all my horchata and chilling it in the fridge for a few hours, I find that there is tons of sludge at the bottom of the pitcher. My blender is kinda old, but is there something else I’m doing wrong? Maybe I should only do the smoothie setting. Or maybe something wrong with my straining. Should I be straining the sludge? thanks!

        1. Hi Mia! Great question! Okay so you’ll always have some of the sludge no matter how good your blender is. It’ll settle at the bottom of the jar and glass after you serve it. You can just stir it before you serve it and just don’t worry about what settles in the glass. The only Horchatas I see that don’t do this, are the pre-made ones from an envelope (which are not as good as the homemade ones!). So don’t worry if you have some sludge settling at the bottom. However, if you have too much, perhaps it is not blended as good it should just as you suspect.

          Let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks so much for the comment…I may update the post to include your concern. Thank you and have a wonderful day! xo, Ana

    1. You can use sweetened coconut condensed milk and coconut milk (I prefer coconut cream because it’s thicker) with some sugar. The sweetened coconut milk can be difficult to find depending on where you live but can be purchase from Amazon.

    1. 5 stars
      you can make rice pudding but you wouldn’t get the rice chunks, I made it with the paste the leftover rice and water made and it turned out delish!

  14. 5 stars
    I have never had horchata. I seldom try any drinks for that matter. I think I recall an old Chinese fix for stomach upset. Rice water. This is rice water…and yum! I tasted coconut? Rice soaking as we speak. Thank you. Just wonderful.

  15. 5 stars
    I just prepared this horchata ❤️❤️❤️❤️ can’t wait to try it later!!!! Is chilling on the fridge. Thanks Ana 😊😊

  16. 4 stars
    I followed directions exactly and used a very fine mesh strainer… Yet I still had large bits of rice after blending and straining. I blended and strained a second time to try to remove some bits, which did help! However I am still left with a chalky feeling in my mouth afterwards. I added some more water to try to improve that, but not much improvement. Any ideas what I could have done wrong?? Flavor is delicious at least!!

    1. You can buy a nut milk bag. I first use a metal strainer, then I pass the liquid through a cheesecloth, then I pass THAT liquid through a nut milk bag and it filters out the pasty rice residue. I am left with pure liquid and no chalkiness whatsoever. Hope this helps!

  17. Can you substitute the last 4 cups of water with like coconut milk? Not the 4 cups that you soak the rice in but 4 that you add last with the other milks? Just curious. This will be my second time making it and it was delicious.

  18. 4 stars
    Having lived and traveled in Central America and Mexico for close to 20 years, as well as living in Egypt where Horchata originated, this horchata recipe, while good, is WAY too Creamy, and way too sweet leaving a tummy ache if you drink too much.

    The best horchata recipie is made from
    2 cups rice
    2 cups almond milk
    4 cups Water
    1/2 tsp Cinnamon
    1/4 All Spice
    1/3 cp Sugar
    1 tsp Vanilla

    Take the rice and water, blend it up, let it sit for 12 hours and add the other ingredients. Let sit for 6 hours more and strain it. Horchata should be watery light and refreshing able to drink as much as you like, not heavy and creamy.

    1. Lol people like you are obnoxious. “Hey I know you were born and raised in Mexico but my experience traveling there means I know better abd your family recipe is wrong”…That’s what you sound like
      Besides you do realize every family has their own version of horchata right? That’s how cuisine works.As for your “sensitive tummy”(seriously are you 12) that’s a you problem not a recipe problem.

      1. 5 stars
        Lol I thought the same thing!! I couldn’t have said it any better!Jeez rude much! I’ve been making it since I found it and it’s wonderful!