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Milk Street Cookbook Club

Agua de Horchata

3 Quarts

5 Minutes Plus 8 hours of resting

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"A sweet and refreshing drink, horchata is often served during lunch or dinner, or enjoyed by itself throughout the day, especially during the hot summer season. Its fresh, creamy flavor makes it an excellent beverage to have on hand when you find yourself eating a dish that is spicy. Horchata is the most prevalent of the aguas frescas in Mexico. It is usually made with rice, cinnamon, and vanilla extract, but in the south of the country, you can also find it made with almond or coconut. Some people like to add milk in the preparation of this drink, like me, while others prefer it without." — Mely Martínez

Reprinted with permission. "The Mexican Home Kitchen." Rock Point (September 2020)




If you have a high-performance blender, you won’t need to rest the rice to soften it, as the blender will be powerful enough to grind the hard rice grains. Additionally, you probably won’t need to use a strainer to strain the rice water, as the rice mixture will be finely processed. Always taste the drink before adding the sugar in step 4. You might prefer more or less sugar than the amount indicated in the ingredients. If you find that the consistency of the horchata is too thick or dense for your taste, simply add more water. This drink can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

5 Minutes

Plus 8 hours of resting



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Philip H E.

Do you refrigerate the rice while soaking over night? It seems risky from a food microbiology point of view if you don't keep it cold.

Lynn C.

Hi Philip -

Since this recipe was part of our Cookbook Club it is not a recipe that we tested here at Milk Street so I can't say for sure. But I definitely agree that it should be refrigerated for safety.

The Milk Street Team

Nguyen T.

Should I clean/rinse the rice before soaking?

Lynn C.

Hi Nguyen -

Since this recipe was part of our Cookbook Club it's not a recipe that we developed or tested here at Milk Street. However, we always recommend rinsing rice to remove any surface dirt or impurities.

The Milk Street Team