Refreshing and tasty, there is something about horchata that always seems to hit the spot no matter what time of year it is. Served throughout Latin America and Spain, if you love ordering this rice-based beverage at your favorite taco restaurant, you might be surprised to learn how easy it is to make at home. 

We’ll show you how to make this plant-based drink using Mahatma® Rice and other delicious pantry staple ingredients you probably already have at home. And the best part? horchata can be made in a variety of ways using milk, water, or even adding in coffee! The tasty flavors can also be whipped up into a smoothie or ice cream. So, keep reading to find out more recipe ideas and delicious versions using our rice varieties. 

But first, let’s start with the basics — what is horchata?

Horchata Basics 

Typically made with rice, cinnamon, sugar and water, horchata is a sweet drink with a milky texture. In the summer time there are few things better than a cool glass of horchata with ice cubes. 

Horchata goes with any meal, though it can also be enjoyed by itself as a lovely snack drink. In addition it can be used in a wide variety of different recipes. 

Whilst many associate horchata with Mexico, it actually originates from Spain. The original version was made with tiger nuts as opposed to the Mexican version which is made with rice. Today we will be focusing on the latter and how we can use it in our own recipes.

Before we delve into different varieties, let’s learn how to make a basic horchata recipe using delicious Mahatma® White Rice. 

How to Make Horchata

Making a tasty Horchata  has never been easier than with Mahatma® Rice. You can make a Homemade Horchata in many different ways, though for this recipe we just need:

  • Mahatma® White Rice
  • Cinnamon Sticks
  • Water
  • Sugar

Step 1 – Mix the rice, cinnamon stick and 4 cups of water together until the rice is coarsely ground.

Step 2 –  Decant the mixture into a bowl and let it sit for 4 hours.

Step 3 –  Using a cheesecloth or a fine-mesh strainer, strain the rice mixture until it is smooth. 

Step 4 – Add some more water along with the sugar.

Step 5 – Stir the mixture until the sugar dissolves and chill in the fridge. For best results chill between 1-2 hours before serving.

Step 6 – For best results, stir the horchata once more just before serving.


Tips for preparing horchata

Replace the 4 cups of water with milk instead for a richer, creamier drink. 

Using a cheesecloth will make your mixture smoother, though if all you have is a fine-mesh strainer, be sure to strain the rice twice.

If you want to turn up the sweetness, you can add in some vanilla to the mixture.

Now we have our horchata, let’s learn about some of the other ways we can prepare this drink.

Other Ways to Make Horchata

You may typically think of horchata as a sweet drink, though believe it or not there are actually plenty of ways we can use it in recipes. As with all rice based recipes, it’s very important to use quality rice products which is why we will be learning to make these recipes with Mahatma® products.

Horchata Coffee

This fluffy and foamy Horchata Whipped Ice Coffee made with Mahatma® Jasmine Rice is the perfect way to start your day. Alternatively, If you are hosting friends, you can also easily turn this drink into a cocktail by adding in a shot of spirit like rum or a liqueur such as amaretto.  


Coffee lovers will enjoy this Cafe Horchata, which combines horchata with espresso into a delicious combination.

Horchata Desserts

Due to its sweet flavor and creamy texture, horchata is perfect for desserts. This Horchata Ice Cream, for example, tastes great when served by itself but, you can serve it with cinnamon, hot fudge or dulce de leche if you really want to turn up the sweetness. If you don’t have an ice cream maker in your kitchen, you can use Ziploc bags in the freezer instead to make your ice cream.


Horchata Smoothies

If you like a nice fruity smoothie, try this quick and easy Banana Horchata Smoothie. This smoothie works well as a breakfast, a snack or even a tasty dessert! 

banana and rice horchata smoothie recipe

Other Meal Inspiration

If you enjoyed this Mexican classic, why not learn how to make these more savory Tacos Dorados With Rice and Beans or these Enchiladas with Salsa Verde. If you are craving something with more of a Mediterranean flavor, why not try a Traditional Paella Recipe


For more international recipe ideas or for cooking tips like how to make rice in a rice cooker, stay up to date with Mahatma® rice.

logo loading
Searching Retailers