Agua de Horchata, also known as rice milk, is a creamy, sweet, plant-based drink made with rice. We’ll show you how to make Horchata – it’s easy, and such a delicious treat on a hot day!
For the best kid-friendly, dairy-free Mexican drinks for Cinco de Mayo or any day, Horchata drinks are the answer!
What is Horchata?
Agua de Horchata (Spanish for “rice water”) is just one in a class of Mexican drinks known as Horchata (pronounced or-CHAH-tah).
These milky-looking drinks start with a base of rice and sometimes ground nuts or seeds. The ingredients are mixed with water, spices (usually cinnamon) and a sweetener, then steeped and served over ice. Because of this, cold, refreshing Horchata drinks are very popular in warm-weather Latin American countries and throughout Spain.
Is rice milk better than almond milk?
From a nutritional standpoint, rice milk and almond milk are pretty similar. Both are low in cholesterol and almost equal in calories and fat per serving. Also, both are lactose-free, just as other non-dairy milks such as cashew, coconut, and soy milk.
Is Agua de Horchata good for you?
The answer to this question is possibly; it depends on the sweetener you use. My rice milk recipe calls for maple syrup as the sweetener which is a healthier option than cane sugar. You can use any type of sweetener you like, though. If you don’t need the drink to be vegan, honey is a great option.
How long does it take to make the recipe?
It only takes a few minutes of processing the ingredients in a blender to make rice milk. After that, the rice needs to release its starch into the water, which can take several hours. A benefit to this is, the more time you allow for it to steep, the creamier the Horchata will become!
How should I store rice milk?
Some recipes for rice milk, including this one, call for a bit of milk. As a result, this version of Agua de Horchata needs to be refrigerated. If you omit the milk from the recipe, you can safely leave rice milk at room temperature. That being said, I think it tastes best when it’s chilled.
It will keep well in the fridge for about a week. If you notice any separation, you can simply stir or blend the ingredients again to recombine them.
Other Mexican Drinks
Another healthy and easy Mexican drink to make is Agua de Jamaica. If the Spanish name doesn’t sound familiar, perhaps the English translation will; it’s hibiscus tea!
Agua de Horchata
- high-speed blender
- 1 cup uncooked white basmati or jasmine rice
- 5 cups water
- 1 cup milk of choice (cow's, almond, even coconut but coconut will change the flavor much more)
- 1/2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- ice cubes
- Add rice and water to a blender (preferably high-speed blender) and blend for several minutes until no more whole grain of rice can be spotted.
- Let sit for 1-4 hours.
- Add second milk, cinnamon, vanilla and maple syrup and give it a quick blend to mix well.
- Strain the milk through a nut-milk bag or sieve lined with cheesecloth and press out the pulp.
- Discard the rice pulp and serve the milk with ice.