Agua de Horchata Recipe (Rice Water)

Agua de Horchata is the perfect receta (“recipe” in Spanish) to enjoy on a hot summer’s day! A classic beverage among numerous Latin American countries, agua de horchata is a summertime drink to enjoy with tacos, burritos, or both. Creamy, silky, luscious, sweet, this flavor can’t be beat!

Three glasses of Agua de Horchata.

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What is Agua de Horchata?

Literally translating to rice water, agua de horchata is a traditional milky beverage made from rice, water, cinnamon, milk, sugar, and vanilla. The rice is first soaked for a few hours or overnight, then blended and strained to make a smooth puree. Sweetened condensed milk and vanilla are added for sweetness, while additional water is added to balance out the flavors.

Where did Agua de Horchata originate?

The sweet beverage originated in Valencia, Spain, but has become a popular summertime refreshment enjoyed chilled or over ice throughout the world.

A Mason jar pitcher with a spout at the bottom filled with agua de horchata with a bouquet of flowers next to it.

But wait, I thought it came from Mexico?

Yes, in Mexico horchata is made with rice, cinnamon, and vanilla. The United States has adopted the rice version, and it is sold in grocery stores in powder form or ready-made. However, other parts of central America use the more common tiger nuts (chufa nuts), or even ground almonds, sesame seeds, barley, or oats (agua de avena).

What does Horchata taste like?

Basically, it’s like sipping sweet cinnamon milk. The rice water creates the luscious texture while the addition of cinnamon and vanilla add a naturally sweet flavor.

Agua de horchata in three glasses.

Can you make Agua de Horchata vegan?

Yes, and it’s super easy! Simply replace the sweetened condensed milk with sweetened almond milk or coconut milk.

Agua de Horchata in three glasses on a sliver serving tray lined with a checkered towel.

Agua de Horchata Recipe (Rice Water)

Agua de Horchata is the perfect receta ("recipe" in Spanish) to enjoy on a hot summer’s day! A classic beverage among numerous Latin American countries, agua de horchata is a summertime drink to enjoy with tacos, burritos, or both. Creamy, silky, luscious, sweet, this flavor can’t be beat!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Mexican
Cook Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 24 servings
Calories: 117kcal
Author: Meggan Hill

Ingredients

  • 1 cup long-grain white rice or rolled oats
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 5 cups water divided
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, combine rice, cinnamon sticks, and 3 cups water. Soak for 2 hours.
  • Remove cinnamon sticks and transfer to a blender. Process until smooth.
  • Pour through a fine-mesh strainer. Add sweetened condensed milk, sugar, vanilla, and water (1 cup at a time) to taste.
  • Serve over ice or chill until serving time.

Nutrition

Calories: 117kcal
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  1. Carolyn

    Best ever.5 stars

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