Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Horchata; 2 Gallon recipe

This year Adrian received a 2 gallon mason jar drink dispenser for Christmas. We've been waiting for a reason to use it and this weekend we decided to make Horchata. Horchata is a Spanish rice milk drink.

I've attempted to make Horchata only once before this. I made it back when we lived in Virginia because Adrian hadn't been able to find any real Horchata anywhere. He could only find the powder mix kind, which he doesn't like. I used a recipe I found online and it didn't turn out too great. This time I looked for a better recipe, but this time I needed one that made 2 gallons since we wanted to fill our mason jar. I wasn't able to find one so I tried to adjust it to my needs. Everyone in Adrian's family loved it. I'll definitely be making this more often in the future! Here is what I did:

Recipe adapted from this here. Just to warn you ahead of time, this is a two day process so plan accordingly. 

Yield: Just under 2 Gallons

2 cups uncooked white rice
4 cups whole almonds
6 cinnamon sticks
18 cups hot water
8 cups cold water
1 1/2 cups simple syrup (1 1/2 cups water + 3 cups sugar)

First day: Blanch the almonds in boiling water for a minute or two. Strain and pour into a bowl of cold water. You should be able to squeeze the shells right off of the nut. Once all of the shells have been removed, dry completely and toast in an oven set at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes (or until lightly browned).

While your almonds are roasting grind up your rice, either in a blender or food processor. Grind the rice until it's a fine powder. Separate the rice, evenly, into two large bowls (that can withstand hot water). Put 3 cinnamon sticks into each bowl. Once the almonds are finished toasting separate them evenly into the bowls. Fill each bowl with 8 cups of hot water. Once the water has cooled to room temperature, cover and let sit over night.

Second day: Here comes the tedious part. Fill your blender half way with the mixture. Make sure to get some of each ingredient in there. Top with a cup of cold water. It took me 8 separate batches to complete both bowls of ingredients, but this will depend on the size of your blender. Blend until you can see the cinnamon in small pieces. 

Next, you're going to strain the liquid from the blender into whatever container you're going to keep the Horchata in. As you can see from the pictures below, all I had on hand was a very small strainer so this step took me a little while to complete. As you pour the liquid into the strainer you want to make sure to move a spoon around in the strainer to move the liquid through. Definitely use a bigger strainer and cheese cloth if you have those available to you. Discard the leftover chunks of almond, cinnamon, and rice. Continue the blending and straining process until you've gone through both bowls of ingredients.

The last step is to sweeten your drink. In a saucepan, dissolve the sugar into the 1 1/2 cups of water until all of the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes. Whisk the syrup into your Horchata. If the drink is too sweet you can always add more water, it shouldn't dilute the drink too much.

Serve over ice and enjoy!


  1. Does this need to be refrigerated? I'm making it a day before my party but I don't have room in the fridge!!

  2. Yes, I believe so. We didn't think it would need to be, since there's no dairy etc, but the day after I made it tasted a little funny. I don't know if that's because it was sitting in a pretty sunny area in the kitchen or not. You could try keeping it in a cool spot over night. Good luck!!