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Pati's Mexican Table : TV Recipes

Pati Jinich

Horchata: Agua de Arroz y Canela
Serves 6

2 cups long or extra long white rice
3 cups hot water
1 cinnamon stick, (ceylon or true cinnamon, if you can)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
4 cups milk
1 1/4 cup sugar
Ground cinnamon to sprinkle on top, optional

Place the rice in a bowl and cover with hot water. Roughly crumble a piece of True cinnamon into the rice mix (Cassia will not let you break it…) and let is all sit and rest anywhere from 2 to 8 hours outside of the refrigerator.

Place half of the rice mixture in the blender with half of the milk and vanilla and blend until smooth, then strain into a pitcher or container (if using Cassia cinnamon, remove it). Place the other half of the rice mixture in the blender with the remaining milk and the sugar, pure until smooth and strain into the same pitcher or container.

Stir well and serve over ice cubes, or place in the refrigerator until it is cold. Serve with more ice cubes to your liking, and sprinkle some ground cinnamon on top if you wish.


Do you ever cook the rice???

No, the rice is never cooked. Just soaked in hot water. It’s usually like this when making grain based drinks o/w it’ll come out thick and too starchy.

The rice is never cooked just soaked in hot water. It’s usually like this when making grain drinks o/w it comes out too thick and starchy. This recipe for horchata is one of the best. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.

Thank you so much for this authentic horchata- I grew up on the AZ/Mex border and miss the Aguas of summer!

Hi, I was told that the original horchata was made with Tiger nuts, a kind if sedge. It was brought over to the Americas from the Spanish and was originally brought to Spain from the Moors What do you know about this? Thank you for the great program, Dena

Hi Dena,
Many thanks! So glad you enjoy it. Indeed, as far as I know: horchata was brought to Spain from the Moors and the Spanish brought it and many of the ingredients used to make it to Mexico. In Mexico it is mainly made two ways. One, believe it or not, with the dried seeds from the cantaloupe, ground with sugar. It is exquisite! Second, rice based. Some add cinnamon, or almonds or milk or vanilla to the rice mix. Then there are many other spins. Like the one with coconut water drank in the Pacific Coast…. So many horchatas to try ; )

Do you leave the cinnamon stick in when putting it in the blender or take it out before blending?
I can’t seem to find a horchata recipe which clarifies this!
thank you

Hola Helene, It all depends on what type of cinnamon you are using. If you are using True or Ceylon cinnamon, you can leave the cinnamon in while blending. But, if you are using Cassia cinnamon, you should take out the cinnamon before blending because it may break your blender!

Hi Patti,
My family loves your horchata, but I’m having a problem with it being too gritty. Can you please tell me what to use to strain it so I don’t have that problem. I use a strainer with the finest mesh but it is still gritty. Please help so I can make it again soon. Thank you, Patricia

Try using cheese cloth with three layers. Also, the more times u strain it the less grit youll have. I like to strain mine more than twice to make sure theres no more rice and whatnot in it.

Hello Pati! Can you tell me where you got your glasses & pitcher? I really love them!

Hola Mike, Yes, I got them in Tlaquepaque, Jalisco Mexico!

I am really having a problem with my Horchata turning thick and almost slimy the next day. Help! What am I doing wrong?

I think its just the recipy. I havent tryed this recipy yet so im not sure but there are many types of horchata and not every kind is good (well to me so far for what I have tryed) some are thicker, creamier, watery, thin, ect. so im asumming its just a really creamy thick horchata. Maybe that or your not following the directions completely… Try a different recipy or try using three layers of cheese cloth to strain it and strain it more than once if you want it thinner, less gritty. Hope this helped a bit for I dont know much.


Hi Pati I love your show and website. I’m a big fan. I preorder two copies of your book, one for me and one to give away to someone unsuspecting.
I’m curious about rinsing the rice before adding the hot water for the horchata. Most recipes that use rice say to rinse the rice. I’ve heard that it is to remove the excess starch however my husband told me it is to remove any dirt or dust that is on the rice. Is this step necessary for the Horchata? I think that if I rinse the rice it might take away some of the flavor.
It looks clean to me and I’ve made this without rinsing and loved it.

Hola Crystal, Thank you so much for pre-ordering the book! I hope you like it. And no, it’s not necessary to pre-rinse the rice when making Horchata.

Can I use ground cinnamon instead of cinnamon sticks? I really want to make it but I dont want to buy stuff I wouldnt usually keep around the house

Hola! Yes, you can substitute 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon for the cinnamon stick.

I am Mexican, born in the States. I enjoy watching your program and at same getting educated on Mexican history and food. Your show makes gets me motivated to try your recipes and cook. Good mix of vegetarian and non-vegetarian recipes. Excellent. Keep up the good work Pati!!! Gracias.
I love horchata, I have tried it with rice, almonds and tiger nuts from Spain. All are refreshing and so tasty.

Hola Silvia, Thank you so much for your lovely feedback! I am glad I’m helping give you motivation to cook and recreate these authentic Mexican meals in the States. I think you will enjoy the finale episode of my second season — it’s all vegetarian!

hola como estas soy trina me gusta la horchata pero no es muy dulce ?

Hola Trina! No es muy dulce, todo depende de si le pones más o menos azúcar, lo puedes moldear a tu gusto.

hello, I have made authentic horchata a couple times now with rice, almonds, and simple syrup and i love it, now the recipy called for a cinnamon stick witch i never used but this time i used a cinnamon stick and left my mixture to sit for almost three days and when i went to check the mixture it smelt sour and taste sour, definitely not the same taste as the other times. Do you know why this is? Maybe i let it sit to long because i usually do 10 hours with no cinnamon stick and this time i did three days with cinnamon stick… i dont know and cant find an answer. Thank you


That was too long….(!) If you will let it sit for more than eight hours, let it sit covered in the fridge.

Hola Pati! I was wondering if by hot water you mean just the hottest water out of the faucet or water boiled on the stove?


Hi Shawn, you can use either.

Hi Pati, i enjoy your show with my husband and was super excited when i found this recipe on your site. My question is this, what type of milk should be used whole, 2% or lower?

Thank you for sharing your cooking knowledge.

Hi Kelly,
I use whole milk, but you can use any milk that you prefer! It will just be a bit richer when using whole…
Thanks for your message!

Thanks for the recipe, I’ve recommended it on my blog at Any idea if there is a lactose free recipe for agua de orchata?

Just switch the cow’s milk to any other milk you like… almond, rice, coconut… or skip the milk!

We enjoyed the recipe, yum! Thanks for sharing. God bless.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Thank you!!

Would like recipe for the summer chilled drink called Torita or something like it. I saw it on Pati’s Mexican Table on June 17, 2014. Did not have time to copy recipe.

It has cane liquor, condensed mile, milk, vanilla, and I can’t remember what else.

Hola Ruth, Thank you for watching! Here is the Toritos recipe:

Can some kind of rum be added

For sure! Add to your liking!

This is the recipe I have been looking for! I made it for work and had to portion it out because everyone was fighting over it! Very labor intensive but worth every second. thank you!

So happy you tried it! Thank you!!

Hello! I love the looks of this recipe and am excited to try it. I see someone already asked about changing the type of milk, so I will be using almond milk. My other question was about using a sugar substitute.. like Stevia? Do you have any idea if that would work and in what quantity? Thank you! I just found your site and I’m excited to go through it!

Hola Anne, Yes, you may try it with a sugar substitute. I would start out with a very small amount of sweetener, for example 1 1/2 tsp if using Stevia, and taste and add until your desired amount of sweetness is reached. Hope you try it!

Hola Pati,
When you say “cover with hot water” do you mean to just pour the water over the rice and let it sit? Or pour the water and put the tapón on the pot/bowl (after adding the canela)?

Pour the 3 cups hot water over the rice & let sit. :)

Hi Pati, can I use Jasmine rice?

Hi Pati

Just discovered your Site and love it. We are currently in Mexico and going to Tlaquepaque in 2 weeks. Can you tell me where you purchased the Ceylon cinnamon sticks in Tlaquepaque.
Thanks so much.

Cheers Diane

Hola Diane, You can find Ceylon cinnamon sticks in absolutely any market in Tlaquepaque! It’s called “canela” in Mexico. I hope you are enjoying your trip!!

I hate waste can anything be made with the ground up rice after you strain the water like arroz con leche or anything else

Hola Dalia,
If you soak for a good while and puree long enough in your blender, there should be very little left to discard… Also, after you strain once, place in the blender again with an extra cup of water and puree again.

Hi i accidently cooked the rice 1 cup to 5 cups its sitting in tje saucepan help.
I didnt relieze u werwnt supposed to cook the rice
I dont want to waiste any of this rice
Its a perfect trxture and is done perfectky

No worries, go ahead and puree it! You will have a cooked horchata drink!

Can I use ground cinnamon as a sub for the stick?

Yes you can!

Hello I added a tablespoon of ground cinnamon instead of stick, is this too much?

Hola Abby, I recommend a teaspoon of ground cinnamon to replace 1 stick. But, I’m sure you’re fine! :)

To prepare the horchata you can use also harina de arroz (rice flour) The brand is Tres Estrellas, it’s that blue box.

Hola Pati, I have a question. Does it have to be normal milk or can I also use evaporated milk instead of normal milk?

Hi Faby,
You can try it with evaporated milk as well!

The same amount of normal milk?

Have you ever made it with long grain brown rice?

I’ve never tried that!

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