Did you know that traditional Mexican horchata is naturally dairy free? Made with just rice, vanilla, and cinnamon, you might even consider it the original rice milk beverage. But in some countries, and commonly in the U.S., dairy is added to store-bought horchata.
There are a few dairy-free brands that go in and out of season (like Califia), but it’s pretty easy to make your own dairy-free horchata. This recipe is also vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, and made straight from your pantry!
Dairy-Free Mexican Horchata that’s Cool, Creamy, and Easy
This horchata recipe is one that I adapted from Gale Gand. Traditional Mexican horchata is often made with just rice, but in some Central American countries almonds or other nuts are added for a richer, creamier finish. So this is more of a Latin fusion version.
The lime wedges let sippers twist in a little zest, as desired. Lime adds a flavor pop that compliments Mexican horchata quite nicely.
Special Diet Notes: Mexican Horchata
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian.
- Place the rice in your spice grinder or food processor and grind it as finely as possible.
- Add the ground rice, almonds, and cinnamon to a large bowl. Heat 2 cups water until hot and pour over the rice mixture. Cover and let soak for several hours or overnight (room temperature is fine).
- Place the soaked rice mixture with liquid in your blender, and blend on high until the mixture is as smooth as possible. Add the remaining 2 cups water, sweetener, and vanilla. Blend for about 1 minute.
- Strain the horchata through a nut milk bag or a fine mesh strainer lined with a double layer of cheesecloth. Squeeze to extract as much of the liquid as possible. If the horchata is too thick for your taste, stir or blend in a bit more water.
- Serve the horchata over ice and garnish each glass with a lime wedge.
- Store any leftovers in the refrigerator. The horchata will settle as it sits, so stir or blend it before serving.