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
4.95 from 285 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
  • 1-12 oz. can evaporated milk
  • 1-12 oz can condensed milk
  • 8 cups of warm water divided
  • Sugar to taste
  • Ground cinnamon to garnish optional
  • 1/2 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 more sugar or water if needed.
  • 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! 

Add Your Own Private Notes

Whenever you come back to this recipe, you’ll be able to see your notes.


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. 5 stars
    This was my first time making horchata and it was amazing!! I never really leave reviews on recipes, but you definitely have to try this. Super simple and delicious. The only thing I changed was instead of adding the extra 4 cups of water, I added only 2 cups— just because I was worried about watering down the flavor. Turned out great! (-:

  2. I previously bought both of these kinds of canned milk for my cats and found the smell horrible, so I’m afraid to use them. Can one use regular dairy milk?

    1. If you are afraid to use evaporated milk and condensed milk, I think using dairy milk or any milk alternative like almond milk instead of evaporated milk will be ok. And you can add sugar instead of condensed milk. I’ve seen other recipes that use just that, but I really do enjoy the taste of evaporated milk and condensed milk, maybe yours happened to be expired or a bad batch? Usually they don’t smell.

  3. 5 stars
    Wow. I had Horchata once before in a restaurant and I saved the thought that one day I would make it. I found this recipe very easy to follow. The drink came out super great. Jut curious what would you get if you put store-bought rice pudding in a blender and added milk or sweetened condensed milk. Would it be similar? Aside from having a terrific drink, have you ever used horchata in black tea or coffee? I imagine it would cool the tea or coffee down a bit and add sweetness to it. What about freezing it? Or putting horchata through an ice cream maker. When my kids were in school I used to put flan pudding mix into an ice cream maker and it was very popular for multi-cultural food days. Thank you for this fantastic recipe.

  4. 5 stars
    I absolutely love horchata. I have only had it in restaurants. I made it exactly the way the recipe said. It was so far superior to any horchata I have ever had. I will keep this recipe and probably make it all summer long. Thank you so much for this recipe. I highly recommend you try it at least once.

  5. 5 stars
    Made this recipe and changed only 1 thing, I used only 1/2 can + 1 Tbs condensed milk. I like desserts, drinks,ect not to sweet. It came our delicious!!!
    I made it again and added 1/2 can of Coconut milk also,again delicious. My wife loves Horchata and we both are cinnamon freaks! Lol! I am part Visayan and Spanish foods are an influence in our cooking and baking styles. We use cinnamon in a dish called ” Baboy Guisantes” basically Pork and Peas stew. I bet the Horchata would taste great with it! We have tasted Horchata from some supposed Mexican foid trucks and one certain Mexican restraunt where we live, both tasted chalky and clay like.Thank you soooo much for this recipe.
    Aloha ftom Hawaii🤙

  6. 5 stars
    Delicious! And so versatile! It can be made to any preference. The whole family loves it and it’s so easy! Thank you!

  7. I used long grain white rice and soaked it for 24 hrs, the rice is still hard as a rock. Should I have used a different type of white rice?

    1. Hi Sherry! Long grain rice should work and you have soaked it for plenty time! I have no idea why is still hard? Did you soak it in the fridge or over the counter? Did you try to blend it and did not go into a paste? This is the first time I hear the rice does soften up a little bit after soaking. The consistency will not be soft like cooked rice so perhaps that’s what you were expecting?

  8. 5 stars
    I got confused. I have 4 cups of rice soaking with 4 cups of water. How do I need to proceed in terms of the amounts of the other ingredients? Any help is appreciated!

      1. I’m really confused. This recipe definitely says 1 cup of rice and 4 cups of water. That’s what I did and upon blending, mine is very watery, not at all a paste. This comment says 4:4. What did I miss?

  9. 5 stars
    I have made this horchata more times than I can count these last two weeks, and I can’t get enough. My young kids love it, too. I highly recommend it.

  10. 5 stars
    This drink is amazing! It reminds me of the days I lived in Mexico. Thank you for all the amazing Mexican recipes!!!

  11. 5 stars
    Made two batches of this over two days because the first one vanished as soon as it hit the fridge! Very easy, but a bit messy, with all the straining and blending. The flavor is excellent and far superior to any horchata I have bought from the supermarket. I didn’t have condensed sweetened milk, so I made a simple syrup with 3/4 cup regular sugar and some of the recipe’s water, and used two cans of evaporated milk per batch. Tonight’s batch is already half gone! I did add a splash of Mexican vanilla to the pitcher before serving, and it worked well without overpowering the flavors. Would make again many times!

  12. ? just want to make sure other people see this – if you double the recipe it says “2-24 oz cans” of both evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk. ONLY USE 24 OZ TOTAL. It’s a mistake the webpage makes. If you don’t double it’s 1-12 oz can of each. Unfortunately I didn’t realize this mistake until my horchata turned out horribly smelling only like sweetened condensed milk, because of the directions I added 48 oz of both sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk. I’m trying to salvage it by soaking more rice and doing all that again and then adding it to the first batch. I don’t know if it will work or not but I hope so! ALSO: when you double it, it doesn’t change the amounts in the directions. It stays at 4 cups of water instead of 8, etc. Just wanting others to not have to make the same mistake as me ♥️

  13. Hi :),
    I’m super excited to try this recipe! Horchata is by far my favorite drink. I’m hoping to make it tomorrow. I was wondering if I don’t have evaporated milk can I use 2 cans of sweetened condensed milk? Thanks!

  14. I’m allergic to cinnamon – *gasp! I know! – so what would you suggest that I replace it with? If I were guessing, nutmeg for flavor, ginger for heat, or maybe star anise. I switch out cinnamon a lot with these or cardamom, more vanilla, or fruit zest (which I wouldn’t have used in horchata, but a little orange might not be so bad?) Thanks!

    1. Hi Rachelle! So sorry to hear about your allergy! 🙁 I would use maybe a little bit of nutmeg at after you make it. Nutmeg tends to be a little overpowering so less is more! If you have vanilla beans (or paste) I would soak the rice with that to replace the cinnamon. I have never tried adding orange flavor but why not?

      I’m very curious to see what you decide to use…please please report back 🙂

  15. 5 stars
    This recipe was delicious! I added one star of anise just because I like this spice. I used a cheesecloth and added a whole 14oz can of condensed milk for more sweetness. I also added the vanilla. It came out perfect! Thank you.

  16. 5 stars
    I had a big enough blender that I didn’t have to split my soaked rice and water and it came out fine. I followed the rest of the recipe and wow! Very delicious. I added a shot of espresso in mine because of a TikTok I watched and its really divine.

  17. 5 stars
    I love this recipe made it many times, but I have a few questions: Did you use sweetened condensed milk? And do you need to add the four cups of water if you use the 4 cups it soaked in?

  18. Can you reuse the cinnamon sticks for other recipes or the same one again, or should you just throw them out?

    1. Hi Jesse! Great question! I would not reuse them unless you’ll do that on the same day with a similar recipe (like arroz con leche). Most of the time the flavor of the cinnamon sticks would be gone and wherever you use them next, would not get the same intensity that the recipe it asks for.

      Enjoy the horchata and have a great weekend!

  19. 5 stars
    This turned out very good, with a light sweetness and cinnamon flavor and a slight creaminess. However, one thing I would recommend is to prepare the rice and water mixture in two separate bowls, half in each, so that you get an even amount of rice and water in each blend. I only used one bowl like it said, and the water all just poured out first before the rice. Apart from that, it was very easy to make and tasted great at the end! Also, I only used half the recommended amount of water when mixing everything together at the end and it turned out fine. Make sure not to buy 2 24 ounce cans of either milk if you’re doubling it, though. Just 12 ounce cans. I assume it’s just an error in the code.

    1. The ingredients says 8 cups of water. 4 cups for soaking and blending… What do I do with the remaining 4 cups of water. Am I incorporating that in the blender?

  20. Hi. When it says stir in the milks, and 4 cups of water, am I stirring the milks into the rice/water mixture, or into a new 4 cups of water?

    1. Hi Gabe! You’ll stir the milks into the rice/water mixture. So mix everything together. Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Enjoy and thanks so much for making it!

  21. Hi Ana!

    I made this recipe and I’m wondering if something went wrong? I let my rice soak almost a whole day, and the rice was still hard, I assumed it should it have been soft? But so when I blended, it never became a paste. I followed the rest of the recipe despite this, and it just doesn’t seem right now that it’s finished.

    I know it’s hard to diagnose the problem without being able to see it, but I’m hoping you might be able to troubleshoot me a little to have success the next time

    1. The rice is not going to get soft and what i did after you let it set for 4 hrs was I removed the rice and add it to the blender and took about 1 cup of the water that was soaking in rice and blend it for about 4 min

  22. 5 stars
    Great Horchata recipe. I’m going to make it again for the entire family and double the recipe. Yum..

  23. 5 stars
    Great recipe, Ana, thanks for sharing! I used Jasmine rice and like another poster found that most of it blended into the liquid, however only a small amount of pulp got through the cheesecloth. Also used 1/2 cup sugar (seems just right) and blended one cinnamon stick (will use 2 next time). Absolutely delicious! My daughter introduced me to Horchata recently and she’s going to go nuts over this.

  24. Hi!! i haven’t made it yet but will later today, i needed to know since i’m making 2x the original recipe, it still says to add 4 cups to the rice water and cinnamon sticks and after blending 4 more. i don’t know if i just add x2 of that. i already have the rice soaking in just 4 cups of water but i’m sure i can add more later. would that be okay?

    1. Hi Emi! You can start adding 6 more cups of water and add 2 more later if needed. Just taste it as you go to your liking. Normally it would be 16 cups of water total if you were to double the recipe. I hope i’m understanding your question correctly. If not, let me know and I’ll keep checking the comments for further questions.


      1. 5 stars
        Hi Ana! Thank you so much, i’ll be making it soon, but to my understanding after i blend everything i just add 6 instead of the remaining 12 cups? as of currently i’ve only put 4 with the rice and cinnamon stick mixture. should i have added more?

        1. Okay so if you double the recipe to a T, it would be 16 cups of water total. You already added 4 so left to add would be 12 (you’re correct). I was suggesting to add 10 more to start with and adjust to 12 if needed. But honestly I don’t think you can go wrong with adding 12 to begin with. Sorry to confuse you with my math problems lol!

          You’re okay with soaking with only 4 cups 🙂

          1. 5 stars
            Thank you so much Ana it was no problem at all, i will be coming back after making it and let you know. Greatly appreciated!

    1. I would replace the sticks with a couple teaspoons of cinnamon powder, although, if you don’t have cinnamon sticks or powder I would definitely replace with nutmeg but only a couple dashes because it tends to have a much stronger stronger flavor than cinnamon. Star anise is also a great option! Or use both! ?

  25. 4 stars
    This recipe was delicious; better than most restaurant versions I have tried. Letting it chill in the refrigerator before serving really improves it. I blended in two large broken-up and soaked cinnamon sticks, yet it wasn’t quite as cinnamony as I like. I blended it in two batches for 2 minutes each in my high-speed Ninja blender, but maybe I should have blended it more. It was my first attempt. I will be making it again. Thank you for the great recipe.

    1. 5 stars
      After several hours in the fridge, the horchata was amazing. The flavors really melded, and the balance of cinnamon and sweetness was perfect. My wife and I drank the entire batch in 2 days, and it seemed to get better and better.

  26. 5 stars
    Hi I don’t know what I did wrong this might be a dumb question but how come I didn’t get nothing behind in the strainer I got no paste like just liquid did I blend for to long? Everyone is talking about paste and I got no paste did I add to much water in the blender with the rice?

    1. You’re all good! If you didn’t get much paste is due to the rice being very soft when you blended it. It often happens when it’s soaked overnight which happens to me often too. Or maybe your strainer was not fine enough and a lot of the pulp went to the drink? If that happen don’t worry about it. It will settle at the bottom of the jar or even glass when you serve it.


  27. 5 stars
    Thank you for this perfect and easy recipe. I wanted to get horchata just right and this recipe is sublime. It’s almost too good to chug chug chug like you want to on those hot days. It’s a very special drink. No more grainy horchata powder!!!

  28. 5 stars
    Thank you for this wonderful recipe. Simple, full of flavor, very fragrant, fresh, and good balance on ingredients. I kept the rice, cinnamon, snd water for about 1.5 days.
    I didn’t add vanilla extract since it smelled perfect as it was. I used jasmine rice. To cut down the sweetness, I used about 1 1/4 cup of rice, with 5 cups of water, 2 1/2 cinnamon sticks, and maintain proportion of 1 can of condensed milk & 1 can of evaporated milk. The result was perfect for me, to drink with ice cubes, or to make Horchata ice coffee, or to simply add cold milk.
    I used leftover paste for body-scrub, mixed with sea salt & coconut oil.
    This recipe is win-win. Love it. Thanks again.

  29. I’m making my second batch right now. Excellent recipe, absolutely delicious!
    One question… why does the rice, cinnamon stick and water need to refrigerated to soak? Since the milk hasn’t been added yet, can’t it spend overnight on the counter?

  30. So tasty! Started soaking the rice this morning and made the horchata for dinner. I used a Bullet Blender to blend the rice, and filtered the mixture in a sieve right into a pitcher—didn’t bother with a cheesecloth. Turned out beautifully rich and the perfect amount of flavor with the two kinds of milk. Thank you Ana!!

  31. 5 stars
    Light, sweet and flavourful. This recipe was very easy to follow. I would recommend when grinding use little water to start with and add more later. It makes it really hard for the rice to get finely ground with so much water. I also added about 1 tbs vanilla for extra flavour.

  32. This may be a stupid question, but am I adding the milks to the rice/cinnamon puree, or am I adding it to the liquid I squeeze out?

  33. 5 stars
    Hi Ana, I am on batch number three since finding your recipe a couple of weeks ago. Thank you so much for sharing – this has become our favorite summer drink! I made the recipe exactly as printed and it is delicious; so much so that we all think it is much better than the ones at our local restaurants.
    (I do not use any vanilla as we LOVE the rich rice and cinnamon flavor ).
    If you have not tried it, try it-you will love it as well!

    1. Hi Sari!! Thank you so much for the feedback and I’m delighted that you like this Horchata Recipe! I also think it’s better than restaurants…ha! 😀 … I hope you continue to enjoy your summer and thanks so much again for the rating! XO, Ana

    1. Hi Angie, blend 1/2 of the portion of the rice & water from the bowl that you left soaking. So you’ll blend them in two separate batches. I hope this helps but let me know! Thanks a bunch! Ana

  34. 5 stars
    Perfect! I doubled it for a party (Taco Tuesday requires Horchata, right?!) it was a first time for everyone there (except my own family) and they LOVED IT! My kids have happily finished the last bits and are asking for it to be a staple drink from now on. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. This is great to hear Emily! Thank you so much for the review and I’m thrilled that it was a success for you and your family.

      Stay well! xo, Ana

  35. 5 stars
    This recipe was a hit at my sisters graduation party !!! I made 5 gallons of it ! Boy was i exhausted haha !!! Thank you for sharing ! it was sooooo gooood, ppl wanted to take some home ?? and of course i shared your recipe with them

    1. Wow that was so nice of you Kayla for making this for your sister! 5 gallons it’s a lot! I bet you were exhausted LOL! I really appreciate the kind review and you sharing the recipe with the guest. Congrats to your sister too!

      xo, Ana