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Horchata: An Easy and Refreshing Mexican Drink Recipe

Horchata is an easy, refreshing Mexican sweet rice drink made with rice, water, milk, and a hint of cinnamon. I’ve absolutely fallen in love with this drink and this easy Horchata recipe is the perfect refresher on a hot day!

I am proud to be partnering with Princess Cruises to bring you this sponsored post. As always, all opinions are 100% my own. See below the recipe for my review and pictures on our Tulum excursion!

When it’s hot and muggy outside, I don’t really want anything to eat. I just want something ice-cold and delicious to quench my thirst. This popular Mexican drink is a great choice!


I had the best Horchata when I visited Tulum, Mexico as part of my Western Caribbean cruise with Princess Cruises. I can’t remember ever being as hot as I was that day in Tulum! 

The Horchata I had for lunch after our tour was quite cold and very refreshing on that hot, muggy day. I couldn’t wait to start making my own at home. It takes a bit of time to prepare, but it is so worth the effort to have this delicious drink waiting for you in your fridge!

Did You Know?

Though I think of horchata as a Mexican drink, the original recipe most likely came from North Africa! A horchata-like, grain-based beverage spread from there throughout Spain and Portugal, eventually making its way to Latin America.

There are many different versions, all made with various grains. The Mexican version we are featuring here today is more properly called horchata de arroz, or rice milk.

Ingredients for Horchata

You only need a handful of simple ingredients for this delicious drink recipe:

Uncooked long-grain white rice

2 whole cinnamon sticks


Evaporated milk

Milk– whole milk or 2% works best for this recipe

Granulated white sugar

Pure vanilla extract

How to Make This Homemade Horchata Recipe

This rice-based drink takes some time, but it’s super simple to make! Plan ahead so you have this sweet horchata waiting for you on the next hot day!

First, pour uncooked rice, 2 cups of fresh water, and cinnamon sticks into a blender. Blend on high for one minute.

For the next step, add the remaining 2 cups of water and blend again on low for another minute.

Allow the horchata mixture to sit at room temperature for a minimum of three hours.

Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a pitcher. Add the evaporated milk, regular milk, sugar, and vanilla. Mix well.

Refrigerate until well chilled. Serve on ice and sprinkle with cinnamon, and a touch of freshly grated nutmeg, if desired.

*See list of complete ingredients and full instructions in the recipe card below.

Tips for Making Horchata: An Easy Refreshing Drink Recipe!

Use uncooked long-grain white rice.

Use whole cinnamon sticks as ground cinnamon tends to clump and will not mix in as well.

Be sure to use evaporated milk as opposed to sweetened condensed milk. That will be TOO sweet.

Adjust the sweetness to your tastes. I originally used a 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, but I thought that was too sweet. I’d cut it back to 1/3 cup from now on. When I had it in Mexico, it didn’t taste similar to the ones I’ve had here in Mexican restaurants in the United States, and I was a bit disappointed. It was a thinner consistency and not as sweet, but it was more authentic I suppose, so I’ll give them that!

Use a powerful blender if you have it, and blend longer for a creamier consistency.

After blending, allow the rice mixture to sit on the counter for a minimum of 3 hours so that the water can become infused with the rice. Restaurant-style Horchata usually sits overnight, so you can experiment with a longer soak time and make it the next day.

This recipe will make about six cups!

Recipe Variations

Some people like to soak the rice with nuts such as almonds. The nuts help emulsify the rice and water. 

​You can omit the cinnamon if you’re not a fan.

Add a splash of coconut milk for extra creaminess!

Spanish horchata is made with tiger nuts instead of rice, but the process is similar. 

How long will Horchata last in the fridge?

This drink will last for a week stored in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Can I use ground cinnamon instead of cinnamon sticks?

Yes, you can substitute ground cinnamon for the cinnamon sticks, though it does tend to clump a bit. Since 2 cinnamon sticks are called for, use 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon as 1 cinnamon stick is equal to about ½ teaspoon. Enjoy!

If you liked this Horchata drink recipe, then you’ll enjoy these other recipes:

Fresh Strawberry Lemonade– fresh strawberries and lemons make for the perfect balance of sweet and tart. It will be a great refreshing drink for summer or any time of the year!

Copycat Chick-fil-A’s Frosted Lemonade– Part lemonade, part milkshake, it’s sweet, tangy, and creamy all at once! Our version of the delicious Chick-fil-A frosted lemonade tastes just like the original, only with NO added sugar!

Frozen Marshmallow Mudslide– Enjoy this creamy cocktail on a hot summer evening. It’s the perfect drink for a date night at home!

Frozen Bahama Mama– With a combination of grenadine, orange juice, pineapple juice, dark rum, coconut rum, lime juice, and ice, this tropical delight is the perfect way to cool off.

Pina Colada Milkshakes with vanilla ice cream and crushed pineapple are a cold, refreshing taste of the tropics! Blend up a batch of these to beat the summer heat. 

Coconut Cooler– Want a refreshing drink that will make you feel like you’re in the tropics without the alcohol? This is it!

Coffee Milk is an Ocean State staple. Made with a sweet coffee flavored syrup and milk, you’ll learn how to make the famous Rhode Island drink with this easy recipe!



Horchata is an easy, refreshing Mexican sweet rice drink of rice, water, milk, and cinnamon. I’ve fallen in love with this Horchata recipe, and you will, too! It’s a perfect refresher on a hot day!
Course Drinks
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword Horchata
Prep Time 10 minutes minutes
Resting Time and Refrigeration 4 hours hours
Total Time 4 hours hours 10 minutes minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 433kcal
Author Lynne Feifer


1⅓ cups uncooked long-grain white rice2 whole cinnamon sticks4 cups water12 ounces evaporated milk½ cup milk cup sugar2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


Into a blender, pour rice, 2 cups of the water, and cinnamon sticks. Blend on high for one minute.
Add remaining 2 cups of water and blend again on low for another minute.
Allow mixture to sit at room temperature for a minimum of three hours.
Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a pitcher.
Add the evaporated milk, regular milk, sugar, and vanilla. Mix well.
Refrigerate until well chilled. Serve on ice and sprinkle with cinnamon.


This recipe makes about 6 cups.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 433kcal | Carbohydrates: 78g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 119mg | Potassium: 369mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 255IU | Vitamin C: 1.7mg | Calcium: 299mg | Iron: 0.8mg

This post was originally written on June 9, 2019. It has been updated in format and with photos on April 22, 2024.

I was inspired to make this drink at home when I visited Tulum, Mexico on my Western Caribbean cruise with Princess Cruises.
It was SO hot that day, and needless to say, we were sweating quite a bit while walking around the ruins.

The ruins were so fascinating to see. 
Tulum, meaning wall or fence, was built on 12 meter high cliffs on the Yucatan peninsula in the Caribbean Sea. It is located south of Cancun.

It was one of the last cities built by the Maya and was busiest between the 13th and 15th centuries.
Tulum is also one of the best preserved Maya sites located on a coast.

I absolutely love when I take a cruise with Princess Cruises because I can go to different destinations, see incredible things, learn about history and experience the local culture. 
Tulum Mexico was no different. 

I was amazed that these structures built hundreds of years ago have stood the test of time. They’re still in pretty good condition! 
It’s difficult to imagine, but I love to think about what life may have been like back then and what their daily life might have been like.

Pictured below is the Castillo (castle). It is the largest structure on the site and sits on the edge of the property overlooking the Caribbean Sea. In front are steps leading up to the entrance.

Tulum was just one of the four excursions we took on our cruise through the Western Caribbean this past April.

Also included with our tour of Tulum was swimming in a cenote.
Cenote means “Sacred Well” in Mayan and there are over 6,000 of them in the Yucatan Peninsula.

I had never heard of them, but learned that they are natural pits or sinkholes. The limestone bedrock that has collapsed to form the opening exposes the natural groundwater under the earth. They are pretty fascinating.

It was most refreshing after a day of touring the ruins, that’s for sure!

Pictured above (left to right) are Erin of Dinners, Dishes and Desserts, her friend Jessica, Sandra from Dash of Sanity, her daughter Jojo, and my daughter, Emma.
The cenotes were sometimes used by the ancient Mayan culture for sacrificial offerings. They were also one of their only sources for fresh water as there is no river running through the Yucatan Peninsula.

After swimming we canoed to where we would be served lunch – chicken, pork, rice, beans fresh fruit, and THE best guacamole I have ever had! I’ll have to make it and add it to the blog SOON!

Photo credit: Sandra at Dash of Sanity.

The Horchata I had while in Tulum was quite cold and very refreshing on that hot, muggy day. I couldn’t wait to start making my own at home. 

The post Horchata: An Easy and Refreshing Mexican Drink Recipe appeared first on 365 Days of Baking.

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