Homemade Horchata


In my opinion, part of the fun that comes with traveling to the States is getting to eat real Mexican food. As good an eating city Toronto is, there just aren’t many options when it comes to snacking south of the border. So on our recent trip to Chicago, Janice took Isabel and I to the Lower West Side neighbourhood of Pilsen—which happens to be one of the city’s Mexican communities.

We had a very enjoyable (and filling) meal. But one of the highlights of it was the cold glass of horchata that accompanied it. When we came back to Toronto, I knew that I wanted to have a go at making it myself.  And here’s how I did it:



  • 1/3 cup of long grain white rice
  • 1 cup of skinned almonds
  • 3 cups warm water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • simple syrup (to taste)
  • dash of vanilla


1. Blitz the rice into as fine a consistency as you can. A spice grinder would do a great job at this, and I found our food processor did ok too.

2. Toast the almonds in a dry pan until they become fragrant and begin to brown.

3. Add the rice and almonds and cinnamon sticks to 3 cups of warm water. Let the works sit overnight.

4.  Once the rice and almonds have softened, process the works until smooth. Strain and add a dash of vanilla and simple syrup to taste. Serve over ice.

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