Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.



Recommended Posts

I don't have a recipe to share, but when people post I'd like to hear the difference in Mexican, Spanish, Central or South American horchata. Each region/country seems to have a different variation. My favorite so far has been the Spanish horchata - a bit creamier and thicker, at least the one I had.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

gfron1, good question. me too.

I think mexican horchata is made with rice. When I was in Madrid, our waiter insisted rice had nothing to do with horchata. He brought out a dried seed he said it was made from. I cant remember what he called it.

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From an old newsgroup posting, I have no idea of the contributors names

You will find Horchatas made from Chufa in most areas of Spain . It

remains a very popular and refreshing summer drink. This is the real deal,

the authentic and ancient recipe for Horchata from Chufa. Trust me on this

one, Horchata made from Chufa nut tastes nothing like Mexican Horchata made

from rice. Don't confuse the two because they are VERY different. And I have

to add this little bit of funny: In Spain this drink is accompanied by a

'farton', a foot long donut-like pastry to dunk in. Oh yeah, I'll have a


1 lb. Chufas

1 Cup Sugar (or to taste)

2.3 Quarts of Water

1 Cinnamon Stick

a.. Bathe your naked Chufas very well, rubbing and rinsing them in

clean water. If you find them having little hairy fibers, get them off.

b.. When they are completely clean, drown them for 14 hours in cold

water. (make good and sure they stay under.)

c.. Rinse the naughty little Chufas in clean water, until it is

completely clear, then drain.

d.. Mash the Chufa or put them in a blender - to make them into a

soft paste. Add a little water if needed. (Some have told me that it MUST

be done with a mortar and pestle. I say Yeah, right.)

e.. Add the 2.5 qt of water to the paste that you have made and put

in the cinnamon stick. Stir and let it sit in a cool place (I have heard

fridges are cold) for 2 hours.

f.. Add the sugar and stir until completely dissolved.

g.. Strain the mix through a metal mesh filter, and then through a

wet, damp cheesy fine-cloth. Repeat until the strained liquid does not have

any particles left. Particle man, particle man.

h.. You now have a fine, cloudy-milky liquid that keeps in the

fridge for about four days.

Try: Serve the Horchata in slushy form as you would ice-cream. Simply

put it in the freezer, scraping the sides off and stirring occasionally or

it will freeze ice solid. Those freezing liquid cup thingies work well


As a drink process, removing grain and nut oils and tasty nutrients

and mixing them with water is nothing new. All cultures have done it like,

well, forever. But the Horchata - Chufa style - has its origin in ancient

Egypt. Chufa is one of the earliest domesticated crops and in fact, was

found in vases and used in the embalming methods in the tombs of the

Egyptian pharaohs. The Chufa nut was widely used in Egypt and Sudan. The

Arabs dragged the plant by excessive force to Spain during the time of the

Moorish kings (700 B.C. a 1200 A.D.). The eastern Spanish province of

Valencia was the best environment for growing Chufa. (remember Valencia:

oranges, and Chufa nuts. Oh, and sausages, and paellas, and..)

This nut is like psycho good for your health, with high levels of iron

and potassium. It does not contain sodium, is very low in fat content, and

is valued for its minerals and vitamins.

Wild and unfounded conclusions: The Egyptians knew something of the

awesome life preserving qualities of this little tuber. The Spaniards

picked up this information second hand. (Think fountain of life...) The

honorary title "drink of the gods" pops up. Plus I feel really good when I

plant my extra long straw in and vacuum my tanker dry. You be the judge.

Technical details

Chufa - Tiger nut (cyperaceae cyperus esculentus) are the tiny,

tuberous roots of a Middle-Eastern plant of the sedge family. In other

words, the Chufa (pronounced CHOO-fah) "nuts" are basically the little pea

sized roots of a middle eastern / African plant, that looks kind of basic

brown. It has a basic off-white flesh that you would suspect. In other

words if you hit an almond with a hammer you get similar pasty goo.

Technical enough?


Horchata De Melon (Melon-Seed Drink)

Iced Almond Drink ( Almond Horchata )

Rice Water (Horchata)

* Exported from MasterCook Mac *


Recipe By :

Serving Size : 1 Preparation Time :0:00

Categories :

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

-------- ------------ --------------------------------

1 cup Rice, washed

2 quart Water

1 Cinnamon stick

Sugar to taste

Mix together all ingredients; let stand 3 hours. Simmer for 1/2 hour.

Puree in a blender and strain through a cloth. Taste for sweetness

and add sugar if necessary. Chill and serve over ice.

* Exported from MasterCook Mac *

Horchata De Melon (Melon-Seed Drink)

Recipe By : Recipes from the Regional Cooks of Mexico- Diana Kennedy

Serving Size : 1 Preparation Time :0:00

Categories :

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

-------- ------------ --------------------------------

1 Cantaloupe

-----FOR EACH 1 CUP FRUIT-----

1 cup Cold water

1 1/2 Tbsp Sugar -- or to taste

1 1/2 tsp Lime juice -- or to taste

Scrape the center fleshy part from 1 cantaloupe, seeds and juice

included, into a measuring cup, and for every cup add 1 cup cold water,

1 1/2 tablespoons of granulated sugar, and 1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice.

Put all the ingredients together into a blender jar and blend until very

smooth. Set aside in the refrigerator for a minimum of 5 hours, then

strain through a fine strainer and serve over ice cubes.

* Exported from MasterCook Mac *

Iced Almond Drink ( Almond Horchata )

Recipe By : Gourmet Mag. 4/97

Serving Size : 4 Preparation Time :0:00

Categories : Cheese

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

-------- ------------ --------------------------------

1 cup Blanched whole almonds

2 cup Boiling water

1 Inch piece cinnamon stick

1/3 cup Sugar or to taste

1 Lime zest, freshly grated

2 cup Ice PLUS additional for


In a blender combine all ingredients except ice and let stand in blender

5 minutes. Blend mixture on low speed and gradually work up to high

speed (use caution when blending hot liquids). Blend mixture on high

speed 3 minutes. Add 2 cups ice and blend until melted. Pour mixture

through a large sieve lined with a double layer of dampened cheesecloth

into a bowl, stirring and discard solids. Fill 4 tall glasses with

additional ice and horchata. Garnish with cinnamon sticks and lime

zest. Note* The flavor of horchata improves if made 1 day in ahead and

chilled, covered.

* Exported from MasterCook Mac *

Rice Water (Horchata)

Recipe By : "Frida's Fiestas" by Guadalupe Rivera

Serving Size : 1 Preparation Time :0:00

Categories : * ERMC Interesting

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

-------- ------------ --------------------------------

3 cup rice

3 cup milk

3 cinnamon sticks -- broken in pieces

and lightly toasted in a skillet

1 1/4 cup sugar

6 cup water

Place rice in a bowl, add water to cover by at least an inch and soak

for 3 hours. Drain the rice. Working in batches if necessary, puree the

rice with the milk and cinnamon. Strain the mixture, discard the rice

pulp and reserve the liquid. Dissolve the sugar in water. Combine the

rice liquid with the sugar water. Serve cold or over ice.

Makes 10 servings.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

at ralphs today in west la, i bought a half gallon of kern's horchata. i hadnt seen it before.

just tasted it. very good! any cons? it has a strong milky taste to it, which i dont like in my horchata. kind of muddies the clean flavor of horchata that im used to making and drinking. in my way of thinking, adding milk kind of defeats the purpose of drinking horchata. its the same as adding milk to soymilk. why do it?

but its good for a horchata that has milk in it. maybe they can come out with a milk free line, though. i hope that kerns horchata sells well and continues to sell them.

ive made it before with the recipe below. i sometime use other flavours (weird ones like ginger horchata -- its the korean in me that forced me to do it. but its so good!),

if you like horchata and you dont mind prepackaged products, i say give this a try.

<a href="http://www.kerns.com/products_horchata.html">http://www.kerns.com/products_horchata.html</a>

my recipe for mexican rice horchata:


Take a cup of uncooked rice and soak it in some water. I use the only rice I have around, usually Japanese short grain rice. my horchata tastes the same to me as the horchata that I drink at taquerias, but if you want to be *absolutely* authentic, use whatever rice horchata makers use.<ol><li>Soak raw (uncooked) rice in water. Use a lot of water, about 2 cups of water to every 1 cup of rice. Let it soak overnight. I like to leave in the fridge. If you need it quick, try using some hot water and leave it on your counter-top for several hours.

<li>Drain the rice. Put it in the blender with about two to three cups of water. Add a cinnamon stick which has been broken into two or three pieces. Blend until you notice that the rice has been finely ground.

<li>You can do one of two things here:<ul><li> filter the solids out using a cheesecloth or a coffee filter

<li>just let the rice settle in your blender for 10 minutes and pour carefully into a container</ul><li>if the drink isn't to the consistency you like, thin it with more water. Add sugar to taste at this point. It's kind of like making lemon-aide. The sweetness depends solely on the drinker.

<li>Chill ice cold and serve!</ol>

thats it, just rice, water, cinnamon, sugar and *no* heat!

"Bibimbap shappdy wappdy wap." - Jinmyo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

      Wild and unfounded conclusions:  The Egyptians knew something of the

awesome life preserving qualities of this little tuber.  The Spaniards

picked up this information second hand.  (Think fountain of life...)  The

honorary title "drink of the gods" pops up.  Plus I feel really good when I

plant my extra long straw in and vacuum my tanker dry.  You be the judge.

Thanks woodburner!

I particularly enjoyed the one about the chufas.

Interesting that Horchata may or may not involve dairy. I don't usually drink milk. From what I can tell most horchata I find in burrito joints in SF is made with dairy and/or far too sweet. Now I'm going to have try and make it myself.

edit - grammar

Edited by eje (log)


Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...

My 2 cents - Mexican Horchata

There are a lot of lactose intolerant people in Mexico. So I've read. That's where horchata was born from: a need for a dairy free milk substitute. Although many commercial ones contain dairy products. There are 2 ways to go for Mexican Horchata


Go to TJ's and get a quart of vanilla rice milk and a quart of almond milk. Mix the two together with a little cinnamon and add some sugar or piloncillo to taste.

But if you’re like me and need to explore how something gets where it is by deconstructing it then rebuilding then...


Get yourself a good starchy rice like basmati, something you would normally have to wash several times before cooking. Sure basmati isn't "traditional" but you'll get creamier results from a starchier rice.

1 1/2 cups rice

1/2 blanched slivered/skinned almonds

1 cinnamon stick about 2 inches

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup sugar or piloncillo

4 cups water

Grind first three ingredients in a spice mill or food processor till very fine. Mix with vanilla and sugar. Add water and allow to sit over night occasionally stirring. The next day filter through a cheesecloth.

Taste. If it's too concentrated for you add another cup of water till desired consistency. For my money I like it concentrated.

I've made it once. Although it came out fresh and spectacular I personally think the effort wasn't worth the final result. Grinding the rice and almonds and putting them through a cheesecloth was a PITA.

But then again I'm lucky enough to live in a SoCal neighborhood where acquiring a good horchata takes less effort then making one yourself.

Edited by Six-pack-to-go (log)
Scooby Doo can doo doo, but Jimmy Carter is smarter
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Saveur had a nice recipe for Mexican horchata made with rice, almonds and coconut. Very labor-intensive, though.

I prefer the Mexican horchata to the Spanish version, which I sampled many times on our trip to Spain a few months ago. I'll take a good quality horchata of whatever origin, though. I don't think Kern's is all that great; local places make their own, which is definitely preferable.

You can order chufa nuts at chufa.com. If you do, though, be forewarned that the recipe from the site makes a VERY sweet drink. My whole batch was ruined as I couldn't even finish it.

A drink that I actually preferred in Spain was llet malorquina (milk with cinnamon, lemon and sugar) from Cafe Granja Viader in Barcelona.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 10 years later...

I've been making a lot of Mexican-style horchata lately. It's such a nice cooling drink when it's hot outside.


I've made it with the rice I normally have in my pantry, which is Trader Joe's white basmati rice. But I was wondering if there was a type of rice that was favored in horchata? Most recipes specify "long grain white rice" and that's about it.

Someone mentioned brown rice which seems like an interesting twist but I am mostly interested in white rice varieties.

Edited by FrogPrincesse
add link (log)
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Where are the horchata experts? :)


Here was my first attempt a couple of years ago. I made it to use it in a cocktail (of course) and the recipe was from PDT.


Highlights of the recipe:

The rice ("uncooked white long-grain) is ground with the water in a blender

The mixture is left to stand for 12 hours at room temperature

The mixture is strained (it doesn't say how, but I used a metal strainer lined with a nylon cheesecloth)

Milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and sugar are added and the mixture is blended again



4:1 water to milk ratio (40 ounces water and 10 oz whole milk)

6:1 liquid to rice ratio (by weight) (8 oz rice)

25 g/L sugar (3 tablespoons of sugar for 50 ounces of liquid)


I remember not being too crazy about the texture which was on the chalky side, and overall it was a bit lacking in flavor. It tasted a bit thin and wasn't very sweet.


Hochata (PDT recipe)


Horchata (PDT recipe)



Horchata (PDT recipe)


Horchata (PDT recipe)




Edited by FrogPrincesse
state sugar content in standardized unit (log)
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Attempt #2 was from another cocktail-related source. No other than Jeff Morgenthaler, the 2016 American bartender of the year at TOTC.


But I digress...

I liked that he had a few guiding principles when developing his recipe:

  1. Our horchata should be as simple as possible. A long series of complicated steps would be a failure here.
  2. Our horchata should have as few ingredients as possible. No almonds, sesame seeds, barley, or tiger nuts. Just the simple, spiced, sweetened rice milk you’d find at a taco truck.
  3. Our horchata needs to be made from simple, natural ingredients. No flavors, powders, or store-bought rice milk allowed.



As a result, he doesn't use milk and therefore the horchata is not so prone to spoilage. I think that's great because that's one less thing to worry about if you take your horchata to a picnic.


(As a side note, at the farmers markets where I often buy a cup of horchata, it's kept in a giant container - large plastic barrels also used for aguas frescas, at ambient temperature, and served on ice. It doesn't contain milk. Adding milk might be good for texture but creates storage issues and also defeats the purpose of a drink that is more or less a milk substitute. Typically, horchata doesn't contain almonds either. Just rice, water, cinnamon, (lots of) sugar as one of the vendors told me; it is quite simple.)


Tamale and a cup of horchata

Horchata and a tamale at the farmers' market

Edited by FrogPrincesse
added picture (log)
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is Morgenthaler's no-nonsense back-to-basics horchata.


Recipe highlights

Pre-soak rice (California long grain rice) and cinnamon* stick broken into pieces in hot water

Let sit overnight at room temperature

Blend until smooth, or as smooth as possible (ie, for a rather long time if you are using a regular house Hamilton old blender like me)

Fine strain**

And... done!!! Can it be that simple?! (It is)



100% water (no milk) ratio (3 cups = 24 ounces)

3:1 liquid to rice ratio (by volume) (1 cup rice)

133 g/L sugar (1/2 cup sugar for 3 cups of liquid)***


*He says to use the softer Ceylon cinnamon and not the super hard cassia bark that you see everywhere. I think that's a very handy tip. It tastes a lot fresher when you grind your own of course but almost all the recipes call for already ground cinnamon.


**Here he specifies to use a "nut milk bag". I remembered another one of my virtual cocktail friends mentioning such a contraption. The thing always sounded super weird to me and I never researched it. Anyway, when I made Morgenthaler's recipe I didn't have a nut bag and used the same metal strainer + nylon cheesecloth combination I had used before. But I decided to investigate the mysterious nut bag everyone seemed to rave about for future experiments.


***The dude seems to have somewhat of a sweet tooth. I can't say I am shocked because his cocktail recipes tend to be on the sweet side. I reduced the amount to about half,


The result was good but a bit basic (haha). I thought it was somewhat lacking in richness, but it was solid, and I liked how easy it was to make (except for the straining which is messy when you don't have the famous nut bag!).


Horchata (Jeff Morgenthaler recipe)



  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

After this of course I had to go in the opposite direction. I picked a recipe that seemed quite rich with both milk and almonds! This is the recipe from Kenji López-Alt in Serious Eats, so I knew this would be a reliable/tested method.


Recipe highlights

Grind rice and almonds in blender

Add sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, water and milk and blend again

Let sit in the fridge overnight




2:1 water to milk (1 quart water and 2 cups milk)

1:1 rice to almonds (1 cup rice and 1 cup almonds)

3:1 liquid to solids ratio (by volume)

100 g/L sugar (2/3 cup sugar for 6 cups of liquid)


With the almonds, the recipe just specifies blanched almonds. Other recipes toast them first. I used roasted blanched & sliced almonds from TJ's that are a little more flavorful/nutty than regular blanched almonds. It's all a matter of personal preference/mood.


By then I had finally acquired a nut bag (about $10 on amazon). And I have to say, the stuff really changed my life. :) Not only does it make the straining process so much easier (the bag has a little drawstring so you close it once everything has been poured inside, and then you can press without worrying that things are going to fall out of the cheesecloth. Also it's fabulous for making cheese!)



This is a very creamy very rich horchata. Honestly I am not crazy about the milk in it. There is just too much of it, it practically tastes like almond-flavored milk. However the allmonds are great. Of course with the almonds, the drink is very reminiscent of one of my favorite things, orgeat.




Horchata with the new nut bag



Horchata with the new nut bag



  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another side note. The horchata at the farmers' market seems to be mysteriously stable, whereas mine always settles with the fine solids migrating to the bottom of the bottle (or glass) over time. A quick shake fixes the issue, but I am very curious as to how you can avoid this sedimentation. I am wondering if it's because the solids are significantly smaller in size (because they use a finer filter for example), or because they add something to keep everything suspended.


I wonder what happens if you use rice flour instead of rice to make horchata? Maybe that's the secret! :)

("Instant horchata" is what seems to happen based on a quick search. Is that considered cheating? I have to try this!)


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Putting it all together... Here is my current favorite recipe.



Blend rice and almonds

Add water, sugar, cinnamon, and blend again

Let sit overnight at room temperature

Fine strain into a nut milk bag



100% water (no milk) (4 cups)

2:1 rice to almonds (1 cup rice and 1/2 cup almonds)

2.7:1 liquid to solids ratio (by volume)

67 g/L sugar (1/3 cup sugar for 4 cups of liquid)

1/2 tsp cinnamon


This is a bit concentrated but this amount fits in my blender exactly. I feel that 1 to 2 more cups of water could be added. One solution is to add it when the final drink is dispensed and store the "concentrated" horchata in the fridge.


This is what it looks like after sitting on the counter all night...


Horchata batch 3




  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I didn't know there are other versions of Horchata. Only had the kind in Spain, both plain and with espresso/coffee in it. I prefer it with coffee in it.


The Spanish always get a big plate of Fartons to go with their Horchata. I only got like 4. Then I found out why they always eat a little pile of Fartons... Fartons are fluffy and light as air. Next thing you know the whole plate is gone.


Screenshot of the Fartons I ate (taken from my own source)


  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, GlorifiedRice said:

What about TRUE Horchata with Tiger Nuts?


I still have "Diet" Horchata mix from Klass Beverages


True? Well, this is the Mexican forum so it's going to be rice-based, right? From my understanding, it's Spanish horchata that uses tiger nuts (this was discussed upthread).

Edited by FrogPrincesse
clarification (log)
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
  • 10 months later...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...