Love and Olive Oil

Homemade Horchata

Homemade Horchata from

Hello, horchata. You sexy thing you.

Horchata is a traditional Spanish or Latin American beverage, made from soaked nuts and/or rice and seasoned with cinnamon. Almond and rice or just rice is probably the most common iteration, although it can also be made with barley, sesame seeds, or tigernuts (whatever those are, but I bet they are delicious!) When developing this recipe for the KitchenAid® Kitchenthusiast blog, we chose to keep it pure and simple with a mix of rice and almonds, and lightly scented with Mexican cinnamon.

Homemade Horchata made with white rice, almonds, and Mexican cinnamon from

Making homemade horchata is surprisingly easy, although it does require a bit of patience and planning ahead. First, grind up your rice and cinnamon (I find a coffee grinder is the best tool for the task). Then you’ll want to soak the rice and almonds overnight, making them easier to blend the next day. Finally, blend them with water and a bit of sugar until smooth and frothy.

At this point you’ll probably want something called a nut milk bag (go on, get your giggles out now). While you can use a cheesecloth-lined sieve, a nut milk bag makes homemade nut milks so much easier, so you can literally squeeze all the milk out of the leftover pulp. Believe me, it’s $8 well spent.

Homemade Horchata from

Once it’s been blended and strained, season with cinnamon and serve over ice. It’s refreshing and creamy and naturally dairy free, and chances are once you’ve tried it you’ll be tempted to keep a pitcher on hand at all times.

Homemade Horchata

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  • 1/2 cup long-grain white rice (such as basmati)
  • 1 3-inch stick Ceylon cinnamon (also called Mexican cinnamon or canella)
  • 1 cup (5 ounces) raw blanched almonds*
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (or to taste)
  • ground cinnamon, for dusting


  1. In a spice grinder or a clean coffee grinder, pulverize rice and cinnamon stick until finely ground. Add ground rice to a large mason jar or bowl. Add almonds and cover with 2 cups water (use filtered water if your tap water is iffy). Cover and refrigerate 10-12 hours or overnight.
  2. The next day, pour the contents of the jar into the canister of a blender, along with granulated sugar and 2 more cups of filtered water. Blend on the highest speed for 1 to 2 minutes or until completely smooth.
  3. Pour mixture through a fine mesh sieve lined with two layers of cheesecloth, or, if you have one, a nut milk bag is ideal for this. Let most of the liquid drain through, then gather up the edges and squeeze the remaining pulp to force out as much liquid as you can. Discard leftover pulp.
  4. Keep refrigerated. Slight separation is normal, just stir or shake well prior to serving. To serve, pour over ice and dust with ground cinnamon.

*Blanche almonds in boiling water for 45 seconds, then draining and rinsing with cool water. The almonds should easily slip out of their skins when squeezed. You can also substitute whole or slivered almonds which have already been blanched.

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  1. I’m wondering if almond milk would be a good substitute for the water, since it is made from almonds and water anyway? That way I won’t waste my precious and expensive almond flour (which is essentially pulverized almonds).

    • The recipe calls for whole almonds, not almond flour, which you soak and then blend with the rice. Technically you are making a mix of homemade rice and almond milk, just without all the flavorings/stabilizers that the storebought stuff has.

  2. interesting! linked here from the horchata french toast to find out how its made and really, what is it again? Might have vaguely come across horchata before but never tried to make it, or incorporate it into french toast! thank you for this!

  3. What do you mean by soaking the rice and almond? In what??

  4. I have always loved drinking horchata since I was little. Even though I enjoy drinking the Mexican version, I prefer the Salvadorean version instead. Its such a shame that most people in the US have not tried it yet. If you love horchata try the salvadorean one. Trust me, its delicious! 

  5. I have never tried horchata before, but now I want to. This looks so good!

  6. I was just talking with my boyfriend about making horchata! Can’t wait to make this for him :)

  7. I’ve never had horchata before (except for the rum version rumchata). I do love almond milk and rice…though I haven’t had them together. I’ll have to try this some time. Not too labor intensive, just a bit of waiting ;) I love creamy drinks in the fall, so I’ll have to try this.

  8. 1. OMG remember that random twitter convo we had bc I had amazing horchata in Nashville then I had some really gross horchata in Memphis and I was dying for the Nville version?!
    2. I never made it. Eek, I know!! My husband keeps telling me he hates Horchata so I didn’t want to make it then be the only one chugging it. Wait, that’s a terrible excuse, it’s going back on the list!
    3. I love how passionate miss Spanish horchata is in your comments section and how that whole convo plays out. Good stuff. I saw tigernuts on a website recently and now this is like the 3rd time I’ve felt like I was missing out on something involving tigernuts!

  9. This is legit! I was surprised to learn that horchata is Spanish, I always assumed it was from Mexico too:) I made a cheater horchata recipe for those short on the time/patience to make this excellent recipe. Here’s the link if you want to check it out:

  10. I’ve always wanted to make my own horchata! I’m probably going to make some and have it warm once it gets cold. Yum…

  11. Hi!
    I’m spanish and I’ve just dropped on your site attracted by the fact that a foreigner would know about the horchata. Sorry to say that horchata is not from Mexico, it’s originally from Valencia (a town east of Spain, famous for its oranges as well) and is made with tiger nuts (In spanish are called chufas).  It’s mostly consumed in Valencia, Alicante and Castellón.
    FYI, tiger nuts are root seeds from a plant
    Hope this is helpful

    • Hi Natalia! I did see references to tiger nuts in my research (which I mentioned in the post), and am sure curious as to how they’d taste (although I doubt I’d be able to find them here.) Horchatas in Latin and South America, however, are predominately made with rice and nuts, which is what I am more familiar with and what this recipe is based on. But it is clearly a beverage with a long history and heritage. :)

  12. I recently went dairy-free and this looks oh so good to me right now! I would love to drink something creamy and tasty again :) Can’t wait to try it! I even have a nut milk bag around here somewhere…

  13. Sounds delicious and you had me laughing at the nut milk bag and “get your giggles out”…hilarious. Love you blog. Thank you!

  14. I tried a horchata latte on a trip recently and it kind of changed my life. I probably need to make your horchata so I don’t have to travel 3 hours every time I get a hankering for that amazingness! 

  15. Horchata is deliiicious. Especially when mixed with rum :)

  16. I was just explaining to my husband the other day what horchata is. I am so excited that now I have a great recipe to try out for him, this sounds so good !

  17. I looooove some homemade horchata, especially when it looks as lovely as this!!

  18. I have never heard of this. I LOVE new and different. What a fun drink. This is definitely something I would drink. I am going to give it a try. I have the ingredients.

  19. I love horchata, and therefore am very happy to see how easy it is to make.  Since I live on the border with Mexico, I’ve learned about agues frescas, and come to very much enjoy them.  I was not aware that it is made with almonds – thought it was just rice.  Love the idea of using basmati (or jasmine) rice for this.  That would put it over the top.

  20. Horchata is one of my all time favorite things — there is a Mexican Ice Cream parlor in town that makes it homemade and it’s AMAZING!! I can’t wait to make my own :)

  21. LOVE! 

  22. THANK YOU FOR THIS!!! i used to live just steps away from a taco truck that had the most amazinggggg horchata. now i live probably a plane ride away from the closest place that sells horchata. i will so be making this next taco night!!!!

  23. I’m from Valencia, where the real horchata is originally made. And it is NOT made of almonds and rice!!! Its made of something called “chufas”which gives it the characteristic flavour!  This is one of the most stupid perversions of the Spanish food I’ve read in a while. Why dont you just call it smoothie?

    • I should have googled it before leaving this angry comment. I was wrong, I didn´t know anything about the existance of other kind of horchatas in America.  I apologize and would appreciate if you just erased the comment. And if you ever visit Spain, and have the chance to try horchata made with chufa, you’ll see how delicious and special it is ;)

    • I’m very intrigued at the Spanish version of this as well! In my research I did see references to versions with ‘tiger nuts’ which I think are the chfuas you referred to. But yes, the almond/rice/sesame/etc versions are definitely the most prevalent in Latin and South America.

    • And by intruded I mean intrigued. :)

    • I was actually going to say you HAVE to try it with tiger nuts – I recently visited Valencia where I first tried Horchata [made from chufas aka tiger nuts] and I fell in love. I feel like it just won’t be the same with other nuts, but I’ll definitely try out your recipe!

  24. I love making horchata. It’s so creamy and soothing. I could drink it every day! Yours is gorgeous and makes me want to make some! Pinned :)

  25. Oooh that looks awesome! I love horchata, your homemade version sounds fantastic! Will have to try it sometime :) 

  26. Totally having a giggle fest over here :-) Also, I <3 horchata, but it's usually too sweet for me. Love that I can make an at-home version with just the right amount of sugar!

  27. Looks lie it tasts fantastic:-) Looking forward to try it…..

  28. I’ve always relied on the horchata from my favorite Mexican restaurant to nurse me through my worst hangovers and lazy brunches… I’ve never had a recipe to try at home! Can’t wait to give this one a shot. 

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