Homemade Horchata

a guest post

This post marks the start of my guest posting series, and who better to inaugurate this series than with my Grassroots Marketing and Outreach Specialist, Nelly. I won’t tell you how all kinds of awesome she is at managing Constant Contact and helping me plan successful events all over the country; oops, I guess I just did. [If you’d like to do a guest post here at HGGH, please pop over to the FAQs page and read about how to do so.]

Nelly’s blog, SALT, is beautiful and charming and on it she features all sorts of delicious things like an array of recipes a la comida Mexicana, vegetarian cooking and lifestyle, and (majorly impressive) meal planning.

Please welcome Nelly writing about the delicious beverage we sipped last night at an Austin Food Bloggers party for HGGH.


You may have seen horchata before; it’s the milky, white drink that they serve with a ladle from those huge glass jugs at local taquerias. It can be gloriously refreshing on a hot afternoon and nothing keeps your savory breakfast taco better company.

There are pre-made horchatas that come in shelf-stable cartons and a trip to your local Mexican market will find you bottles of concentrate. I usually find these variations way too sweet or gooey. Not to mention that the ingredient list on the concentrate is frighteningly long and undecipherable.

Horchata, in its simplest form, is rice, water, cinnamon and sugar. Any kitchen pantry can swing it. By way of kitchen tools you need a bowl, a blender and a sieve. That’s it.

My latest batch was inspired by a set of glasses that I inherited from my mom this past weekend as we were clearing out her kitchen of 25 years. I needed something worthy of the yummy memories that filled those glasses over the years. This horchata met the task perfectly.

Agua de Horchata

1. Combine in a medium-sized bowl:

2 cups uncooked rice (brown or white will do)
3 cups water
2 cinnamon sticks

Cover and let sit overnight (at least 12 hours).

2. Pour soaked mixture and 3 more cups of water into a blender (or food processor, done in smaller batches) and let it do its thing till you have fine meal.

3. Pour liquid through sieve and press out as much of the liquid as you can. A fine metal sieve is ideal, but a regular sieve draped in a couple layers of dampened cheesecloth (or a jelly bag if you’ve got one!) will work great, too.

4. Stir in 1/3 cup of sweetener (I like a mixture of agave and turbinado sugar) and 2 Tbs of the leftover meal until dissolved.

It’s best when chilled or poured over a generous helping of ice. It goes perfectly with tacos or any other casual Mexican meal you have tucked into your recipe repertoire.

I also love horchata for entertaining as it is dairy-free, gluten-free AND vegan!