Horchata is a creamy, cinnamon-y rice drink that originated in Mexico. This homemade recipe is so easy to make in just a few hassle-free steps with simple, inexpensive ingredients! It’s cool and refreshing, yet so cozy – the best of both worlds.

a glass of horchata is garnished with a cinnamon stick


There aren’t a whole lot of drinks that I love as much as horchata. However, for years, I was too scared to make it! There was something about the rice soaking and blending process that made me nervous. Now that I’ve mastered this super easy recipe, I’m annoyed that I robbed myself of the very best horchata recipe for all those years.

Essentially, all you need to do is soak the rice with cinnamon sticks, blend it up, strain it, and enjoy! It’s such minimal prep that it’s a wonder more people don’t make their own homemade horchata more often. The ingredients list is also short and sweet – all you need is white rice, cinnamon sticks, both evaporated and condensed milk, and warm water.

I also like to toss in a splash of vanilla extract, a pinch of sugar and a dusting of cinnamon, but those are all optional add-ins. Of course, you need to scroll down to the bottom of this page to see the exact measurements and step-by-step instructions… But you get the idea! This is an EASY recipe that’s equal parts refreshing and cozy. I love making it all year round!

A large pot is filled with rice, water, and cinnamon sticks.

How to Make Horchata

You’ll never buy overpriced horchata again when you make this easy homemade recipe!

  1. Soak the rice. Start off by rinsing and draining the rice. Then, place the rice, cinnamon sticks, and water into a large bowl or pot. Cover and chill in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours, but preferably overnight.
  2. Blend it. Remove most of the cinnamon sticks. It’s okay to leave small pieces behind, just not all of it. Blend the rice in two batches by adding half of the rice and water to a blender and pureeing until a paste-like texture is formed.
  3. Strain it. Use a fine strainer or cheese cloth to strain the blended rice mixture. Try to strain out as much liquid as possible. Push with a spatula or spoon.
  4. Mix it all together. Stir the milks, water, and vanilla into what you’ve strained. Taste and add more sugar if desired.
Horchata ingredients are being blended in a blender.

How do you keep horchata from getting gritty?

Soak the rice for long enough and strain it! Do NOT just blend the rice without straining all of the liquid, or you may very well end up with a chunky/gritty mess.

Do you have to wash rice before making horchata?

YES. This is very important! If you don’t rinse the rice first and drain it well before letting it soak, your horchata may have a bad taste to it. It may also spoil much quicker than it should.


  • White Rice – It needs to be uncooked, rinsed, and drained before using.
  • Cinnamon Sticks – If a little bit of your cinnamon sticks remain in the mixture before blending, that’s totally fine. You just don’t want to blend up the entirety of the cinnamon sticks or the flavor will be way too potent.
  • Milks – You’ll need both evaporated and condensed milk to create the best smooth and creamy consistency. Condensed milk also gives the drink a great touch of sweet flavor.
  • Warm Water – The key here is for it to be warm, but not not.
  • Optional Ingredients – I love to stir in some vanilla extract, sugar, and cinnamon right before serving.
Three glasses of horchata are placed next to a blue and white vase.

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a glass of horchata is garnished with a cinnamon stick

Get the Recipe: Horchata Recipe

Made from scratch ingredients you already have in your kitchen, this easy Horchata de Arroz recipe is refreshing and easy. A classic Mexican drink that's simple and sweet.
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  • 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
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, optional
  • Ground cinnamon, for garnish


  • 1 fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth


  • Wash and drain the rice. Add the rice, cinnamon sticks and 4 cups of water into a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or a minimum of 4 hours.
  • When the mixture is finished soaking, remove the cinnamon sticks. (There may be small pieces floating around and that’s fine, they will blend right into the mixture.)
  • Blend the rice in two separate batches by adding 1/2 of the rice & water with some of the remaining cinnamon pieces. Puree until very smooth and forms a paste like mixture, approximately 3-4 minutes.
Using a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth, pour the mixture over a pitcher or large bowl. Strain as much liquid as possible, pushing on the solids with a spatula. 
Repeat the process for the remaining rice, water & cinnamon mixture.

  • Stir in the evaporated milk, condensed milk, vanilla (optional), and 4 cups of water until well combined.
Taste and adjust with more sugar or water, if needed.
Chill for 1 hour.
  • Stir well before serving over ice.
Calories: 197kcal, Carbohydrates: 28g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 27mg, Sodium: 99mg, Potassium: 291mg, Fiber: 0.5g, Sugar: 27g, Vitamin A: 218IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 241mg, Iron: 0.2mg