Alright, we are going to be honest, chances are you could go out right now and find some horchata powder but where is the fun in that? We want to show you how to make homemade Mexican Horchata easily. It is refreshing, really sweet, and completely delicious. Today we will look at how it is made and give you some handy hints to make sure that you get the perfect result.
How to Make Mexican Horchata
Horchata is one of the most popular drinks in Mexico.
It gets seriously hot in Mexico, so they tend to be experts in cool and refreshing drinks. This one also happens to be very tasty and actually a little filling, so if you need a drink on the go and haven’t had time to stop for lunch, then it could be ideal.
Horchata is a rice-based drink. If you think of it as a looser version of rice pudding, then you wouldn’t be so far away from the truth.
Before we begin, we need to tell you something. To make authentic Mexican horchata, you are going to need to plan in advance. This isn’t a quick make in two minutes recipe. You have to do your homework and plan your time.
Why do we say this?
Well, as we said, this is a rice-based drink. Nobody likes crunchy rice. So, you have to soak it for a few hours to get it nice and soft.
We don’t just soak it in the water, though, oh, no. The grains of rice are like tiny little sponges, perfect for taking on flavors. For that reason, we soak them in water that contains cinnamon.
And it doesn’t end there. Horchata also contains almonds. We give these a good soak, too, to soften and release a subtle flavor into the rice.
Once the rice has been softened, we mix it with condensed milk and add sugar and vanilla before blending into a thick paste. From there, it is just a case of combining it with a few cups of chilled milk before serving with a straw.
Tips and Tricks
- We appreciate that not everyone is a huge fan of dairy. You can easily make this recipe with various dairy alternatives such as almond milk, coconut milk, and soy milk. It will taste pretty similar even if it isn’t quite an authentic horchata recipe.
- With the above in mind, condensed milk is a dairy product. And you may struggle to source a dairy-free alternative. Don’t worry, we’ve got a solution. If you are struggling, feel free to use a large scoop of dairy-free ice cream in place of the condensed milk. Just like condensed milk, it is thick, creamy, and very sweet.
- This recipe does contain a large helping of nuts. And they aren’t obvious once the final drink is made. If there is any doubt, it is worth asking your guests beforehand. A good workaround if you don’t want to include almonds is to use a little extra rice to ensure that the drink stays thick
- This tip is the most important. Make sure to soak your rice. We recommend a minimum of 4-6 hours. If you want to be on the safe side and have a really smooth drink, we recommend soaking the rice overnight.
- It might seem like a great cheat, but we recommend not using cooked rice. By cooking rice, you release the gluten, and this is part of what makes this drink thick. You’ll end up with a thin and watery rice ‘soup’… yuck!
- If you have made horchata and found it to be a little bit thin, don’t panic. Just add another handful of crushed ice to your blender and give it another whizz. This will ensure the drink turns thicker, at least until it melts… This won’t be possible as we guarantee that you have drunk it by then!
- This is one of the few recipes where there is no alternative to having a blender. To make it smooth and creamy, you really will need one. The good news is that a cheap hand blender works as well (and some might say better) than an expensive countertop version.
- How sweet should horchata be? We find that the perfect combo is to add one cup of sugar for every cup of rice. If you want it less sweet, no problem. Work your way down in quarters of a cup until you find the perfect balance.
- Not everyone likes sugar. The good news is that this recipe can be made using sweeteners too. We’ve tried it with stevia and other artificial sweeteners. It works really well!
Aside from the soaking, this Mexican horchata recipe is pretty easy. We’ve covered many other Mexican desserts that you can easily make from your home. It will keep in the fridge for a couple of days, so it is ideal if you are expecting a spell of hot weather. This is an ideal drink if you are looking for a quick carb boost on a busy day. When was the last time you had a horchata? Why not tell us about it and how our recipe compares?