You already know that horchata is originally from Spain and the best places to get some IRL. And if you've spent any real time eating tacos at a taco truck or taqueria, you've probably tamed a spicy salsas bite with one of the most classic aguas frescas of all: horchata aka agua de horchata.
But do you know how to actually make real deal Mexican horchata? Well, we've got you covered.While classic Spanish horchata is made with tiger nuts, Mexican horchata is most commonly made with rice and almonds. We say "most commonly" because, as with so many Mexican recipe, there are a lot of variations.
While some people take shortcuts and use condensed milk to make it quickly, we think it's a simple enough recipe that it's worth it to make it the classic way. All you need is some patience and a really good blender. Just like with a really good nut milk, the quality of the ingredients and a long soak makes all the difference in making a great horchata. Because, let's be real, horchata is essentially the original nut milk except it has rice and delicious canela or ceylon cinnamon added.
To us, a perfect horchata is a little thick -- say like a oat milk latte -- not too sweet, and a balance of nut and spice. All in all this Mexican horchata recipe is super classic except that we use dates instead of granulated sugar to sweeten in because we want to be a touch healthier. Oh, if you make a big batch, you can use leftovers to make lattes, a twist on tres leches cake, or even this spiked tequila cocktail!
plus 1 stick more for garnish
for garnish (optional)
for garnish (optional)
Bring 6 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Combine boiling water, rice, almonds, dates, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Cover and let stand at room temperature for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours.
You can buy raw almonds and blanch them at home. Follow our friend Tori's tip for how to easily blanch almonds yourself.
Remove cinnamon then put half of the mix into a blender. Make sure to add equal parts solids and liquids to help the blender along. Set to the highest speed and process the horchata until smooth, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Horchata will keep in the refrigerator for up to five days. Shake before using.
Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve. The horchata will be a touch chalky thanks to the rice. If you want it silkier and smoother, strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve lined with a double layer of cheesecloth. If you want it sweeter, add some maple syrup or agave nectar and stir to combine. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight before serving.
Serve over ice and garnish with grated cinnamon or grated lime zest or toasted coconut or all three!
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