Toasted Rice and Almond Horchata

Horchata is a sweet, rich agua fresca commonly prepared throughout Mexico.  It was brought to Mexico by the Spanish and originates from Valencia, Spain where it was prepared with chufa or tiger nuts.  While horchata has become known as a typically Mexican beverage the drink is prepared in various European countries as well as Central and South America and can be prepared with a base of barely, sesame seeds, cantaloupe seeds and/ fresh fruit.  The most common version of Mexican horchata is made with rice and cinnamon.  

The version you’ll find below is a mix of a variety of recipes I’ve look at as well as my own experiments in the kitchen.  I decided to lightly toast almonds and rice which gives the horchata which gives it a nutty, toasted flavor.


  • 1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
  • 1 cup blanched almonds
  • ½   cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (plus a little extra for serving)
  • 4 cups of water
  • 2 cups milk

Lightly toast the rice over medium heat stirring constantly so as not to burn.  Set rice aside and do the same with the blanched almonds. Blend toasted rice and almonds, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract and milk in a blender. Pour the mixture into pitcher, add water, stir and let steep overnight in the fridge. The next day strain the mixture, serve on ice and sprinkle on a little bit of ground cinnamon.

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