An easy to make, cool, creamy, delicious beverage – this Almond and Rice Mexican Horchata is naturally dairy free. Soaked rice and almonds blended into a creamy chilled drink and then lightly spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla.
This easy Mexican horchata is a very refreshing drink that can be enjoyed year round!
What is horchata?
Horchata is a refreshingly creamy and deliciously versatile drink made with different kinds of nuts and seeds, that’s very popular throughout Mexico, Latin America and Europe. Depending on the region, the ingredients and flavors differ somewhat – from using rice and almonds to barley and tigernuts. It has its origins in Valencia, Spain, where the Horchata (Orxata) is typically made with barley.
The version that I’m sharing today is a variant of Mexican Horchata, made with rice and almonds and delicious spices to make it extra creamy and extra flavorful! And since there’s no milk here, this creamy Mexican horchata is dairy free as well.
Why I love this easy Mexican horchata recipe
- The rice and nuts are first soaked in HOT water, which enhances their flavor.
- In addition to that, I usually leave it overnight, so that the water is fully infused with all the flavors too.
- The rice and almond is blended and then drained, making this drink really creamy!
- I have made this recipe with Mexican cinnamon as well as Ceylon cinnamon. Mexican cinnamon obviously contributes to that classic Mexican horchata taste, but Ceylon cinnamon gives it a very fragrant, floral flavor profile that I love. So feel free to use whichever cinnamon you have at hand. The nutmeg and vanilla also add a beautiful warmth and floral sweetness that enhance the taste of this almond and rice Horchata.
- Another trick to make this dairy free Horchata even creamier is to substitute the water either partially or fully with store-bought or homemade almond milk! I like to reduce the final amount of water we add, because we love our horchata extra creamy. You can add milk, evaporated milk or even some condensed milk (for additional sweetness and creaminess), but I wanted this to be dairy free, and I also don’t like my Horchata to be overly sweet.
This is such a versatile and refreshing drink and pairs beautifully with some homey, spicy, comfort food! I make this all the time, because it never lasts very long in our household since we can’t stop drinking it once we’ve made it! 🙂
In fact, I took these pictures at the beginning of the year, but finally got to transfer my photos from my old broken laptop to the new one, and realized this dairy free Horchata was too good not to be shared with you guys! 🙂
This rice and almond mexican Horchata tastes better when chilled, so make sure to keep it in the fridge. Adjust the sweetness level to your preference (we like between 1/3 to 1/2 cup of sugar per batch). And as always, don’t hesitate to make this recipe your own. Cinnamon is an important part of this recipe, but you can also try other spices and ingredients like,
- nutmeg, vanilla (like in this recipe)
- cocoa powder
- cashews instead of almonds
- allspice or cloves
- sesame seeds
- evaporated milk or condensed milk (for a non dairy free version) If you prefer this, I hope you check out this version of Horchata from one of my friends.
- rum for an alcoholic version (like Rumchata!)
If you have never tried Horchata before, you’re going to love this drink! It’s so and delicious, and a perfect accompaniment to any savory dish.
Have you tried Horchata before? 🙂
Delicious and creamy Horchata (Dairy Free)
- ½ cup raw white rice wash until water is clear
- 1 ½ cup raw almonds blanched is easier, but you can blanch them yourself too
- 2 cups hot boiling water
- 2 – 3 cups cold water or regular water, I use about 2 ½ cups
- ⅓ cup sugar more if you like it sweeter
- 2 sticks cinnamon about 3 – 4 inches long each
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg freshly ground preferred,
- 2 tsp vanilla
Blanching raw almonds (if they have the skin)
- You can skip this step if you already have blanched almonds.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the raw almonds and blanch the almonds for 1 minute.1 ½ cup raw almonds
- Drain the water from the almonds and let the almonds cool down slightly. Remove the almond skin from all of the almonds (they just need a little squeeze and the skin comes right off).
- Transfer the rice, blanched almonds, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla into the blender. Add the 2 cups of hot boiling water. Cover and let it sit at room temperature overnight.½ cup raw white rice, 1 ½ cup raw almonds, 2 sticks cinnamon, ¼ tsp ground nutmeg, 2 tsp vanilla, 2 cups hot boiling water
- Next day, add the sugar, and extra cold water and run the blender until the rice and almonds are finely ground and completely blended.⅓ cup sugar, 2 – 3 cups cold water
- Use a nut bag or cheesecloth to completely strain the mix. Chill and serve ice cold or with ice. Enjoy!
Tips & Tricks
Note about the almondsYou can choose not to blanch the almonds as well because the almond skin will get filtered out in the end. However, I find that the horchata also results in a darker color if blended with the skins on.
For a creamier resultYou can substitute the cold water with a plant based milk (to keep it vegan / dairy free) Oat milk, cashew milk or almond milk work well. You can also use regular milk or evaporated milk if you prefer too (not vegan).
“This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.”
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