Homemade Horchata

So fun fact about Adrienne, my family and I moved to Guadalajara, Mexico when I was four and stayed until I was eight. I have nothing but the fondest memories of it. Walking around barefoot all day, hanging out on my (flat) roof listening to Janet Jackson, friendly locals and gorgeous vacations with family friends in Acapulco. I don't think I realized how lucky I was. I picked up a lot of traits in Mexico that are so hard-wired I think I forget they're there, like learning to take the good with the bad, that everything has meaning and there's always something to laugh about. Also, a serious addiction to mangoes. yum.

One of the things I miss most about Mexico is the fooooood, gosh the food. I'm not delving too deep today, just horchata. Well, I shouldn't say JUST horchata, but glorious horchata. Back in the day I used to drink it out of a plastic bag with a straw, in between daily mid-afternoon tropical rains and the glorious sunny, clear weather it brought.  

I can still walk barefoot and drink it from the bag, but this time I don't have to watch out for scorpions. 

If you haven't had horchata before, think cinnamon-y rice milk. 

Here's what you'll need:

  • 2 sticks of cinnamon
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of uncooked long-grain white rice
  • 8 cups of water
  • Cheesecloth
  • Powdered cinnamon and extra cinnamon sticks for garnish


  • Blend 4 cups of water with cinnamon and rice.
  • Add the other 4 cups of water and set the mixture to soak for a minimum of 4 hours. I usually set mine overnight. It's normal for it to separate. You can give it a quick stir when you notice the rice start to settle. 
  • Blend one more time in batches. You can probably do it in 2 batches. Make sure you get the rice mixture from the bottom in each batch.
  • Strain the whole mix through a small sieve or cheesecloth and add your sugar last. You can probably get away with 1/2 cup of sugar for the whole 8 cups. I like mine sweet. So, I put a full cup. Start with half. Stir it up. Test it, and take it from there. 
  • Serve chilled