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Authentic vegan horchata recipe with almond milk! This refreshing almond milk horchata version is healthier than its original, dairy-free, and lactose-free.

vegan horchata in a glass

Mexican Horchata, also known as Agua de Horchata, is one of the most popular Mexican drinks ever!

A delicious creamy, rich, and very sweet drink with delicate cinnamon flavors made with white rice, cinnamon, and milk. It is served on every corner in Mexico, but only the one freshly made and with high-quality ingredients tastes the best. There is nothing better than a homemade horchata served with spicy Mexican food!

The traditional horchata recipe is made with evaporated milk, making it super creamy and rich in its taste through the high amount of fat and sugar in the evaporated milk. Granted, this drink in its original state is also high in sugar.

Anyhow, if you happened to be in Mexico once, you MUST try it!

almond milk horchata in glasses on a board

Agua Frescas – Authentic Mexican Drinks

Everybody who has ever visited Mexico knows that Agua Frescas are one of the most authentic Mexican recipes. You can find them at every corner, and they are always made and served the same way with a lot of sugar over ice.

The most popular ones are:

Healthier Vegan Version

My horchata recipe is a slightly healthier and vegan version of the original. It’s made with almond milk instead of sweetened condensed milk. Therefore, it’s 100% vegan, dairy-free, and so, also suitable if you are lactose intolerant.

Furthermore, I have generously reduced the amount of sugar. Authentic horchata contains a lot of sugar and is way too sweet. In my opinion, it doesn’t need that much sugar. It tastes just as delicious with less of it.

I love to sweeten it with maple syrup. Feel free to use white sugar, and please do adjust the sweetness according to your taste. For a more authentic feeling, add more sugar.

a glass with homemade horchata and a cinnamon stick

How To Make This Vegan Horchata Recipe

Read through this visual step-by-step guide with lots of extra tips! The exact quantities and everything else you need to know for the recipe can be found in the recipe card below.

  • Add rice, water, and cinnamon stick in a large bowl and let it soak overnight at room temperature. → It’s much easier to blend soaked rice!
horchata recipe step 1
  • Pour the whole mixture along with maple syrup, vanilla extract, salt, and clove powder into a blender. Blend 2-3 times at high speed until completely smooth.
horchata recipe step 2
  • Strain into a pitcher (or large bowl).
horchata recipe step 4
  • Stir in almond milk. → Please only add the almond milk once blended. Almond milk is extremely foamy milk, and it would leave you with excessive foam if you blend it along with the other ingredients.
  • Chill and serve over ice. I love to sprinkle it with ground cinnamon before serving! 
agua de horchata topped with cinnamon

Tips

Strain: I recommend straining the horchata through a nut milk bag or cheesecloth if you have one at home. Alternatively, and the quicker method is to strain it through a fine-mesh sieve. The “pulp” will settle at the bottom of the bottle when stored in the fridge. Feel free to stir it before serving or gently pour it into glasses so that the pulp stays where it is.

Sweetness: As already mentioned, this version is less sweet than the authentic recipe. Feel free to add more sugar! Replace maple syrup with sugar of choice.

More Mexican Recipes You’ll Love:

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📖 Recipe

vegan horchata in a glass

Vegan Horchata

Authentic vegan horchata recipe with almond milk! This refreshing almond milk horchata version is healthier than its original, dairy-free, and lactose-free.
Author : Aline Cueni
4.86 from 7 votes

Click on the stars to leave a vote!

Prep Time :10 minutes
Soaking Time :8 hours
Total Time :8 hours 10 minutes
Servings : 4
Calories : 111kcal

Ingredients
 

  • cup (65 g) basmati rice or white long-grain rice of choice
  • 4 cups (960 ml) water
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup or sugar/sweetener of choice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 pinch clove powder
  • 1 cup (240 ml) almond milk

Instructions
 

  • Add rice, water, and cinnamon stick in a large bowl and let it soak overnight at room temperature.
  • Pour the whole mixture along with maple syrup, vanilla extract, salt, and clove powder into a blender. Blend 2-3 times at high speed until completely smooth.
  • Strain into a pitcher (or large bowl) and stir in almond milk.
  • Chill and serve over ice.

Notes

  • This horchata will keep in the fridge for several days.
  • Optional: Sprinkle with cinnamon powder before serving.
  • Don’t add the almond milk to the blender, as this milk foams extremely well! 
  • Adjust the sweetness to your taste. → Traditional Mexican horchata is much sweeter than this healthier recipe version.
  • Strain: I recommend straining the horchata through a nut milk bag or cheesecloth. 

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Nutrition

Calories: 111kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 241mg | Potassium: 51mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Calcium: 112mg | Iron: 1mg

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Recipe Rating




4.86 from 7 votes (6 ratings without comment)

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12 Comments

  1. I want to make this recipe for my family, but one of my brother-in-law’s has a nut allergy, so almonds is something I would like to stay away from. Would it work if I used coconut milk instead with this recipe? Thanks!

    1. Hi Jhenny, I would suggest using oat milk instead. Coconut milk will work too, but might add too much of a coconut flavor. 😉

  2. Do you also blend the cinnamon sticks used for soaking? If so, can I just use ground cinnamon instead? I’m not sure my blender could handle cinnamon sticks.

    1. Yes, the cinnamon stick needs to be blended (it should be fairly soft after soaking for so long). But feel free to discard it before blending and season to taste with ground cinnamon. 😉

  3. When you soak the rice and cinnamon sticks do you use the same water to bend or do you strain and add new water?

    1. Hi Carla, you should use the same water in which you soaked the rice and cinnamon sticks.

  4. Maybe a stupid question but is the rice precooked or not when you add it to soak overnight?

    1. Hi Jay Jay, there are no stupid questions! 😉 You need to soak uncooked rice. No cooking involved in this recipe.

  5. 5 stars
    About 10 y/a when I started exploring with different Arroz con Leche flavors I decided to only use Basmati rice because 1. It’s my favorite rice, & 2. It gave a nutty, heartier rice flavor. The same for Horchata! It makes the drink thicker, in my opinion : )

    Since that time I have developed vegan recipes for both due to dietary restrictions but I only use Basmati rice because it’s just so darn good with that deep, rice flavor.

    Another spice I like to bounce around in my creamy Spanish rice drinks and desserts is Cardamom and/or cloves. The essence is soooooo amazing. Rose water is really good as well and it’s similar to Persian tapioca pudding but obviously on the creamier side.

    You can also get a little frisky by grinding dried cranberries, orange zest, and cloves together then adding to Arroz con Leche or heating Horchata like Hot Chocolate during colder months! Trust me you can play with these and rarely make a mistake!

    1. Lovely Michelle, thank you very much for your delicious ideas. In my opinion, basmati rice is also the best to choose for this tasty horchata. All your spice suggestions sound so delicious – I will try to add some cardamon the next time I make it.
      All the best,
      Aline