Vegan Toasted Almond Horchata


Several Latin American countries consume horchata, a rice and milk beverage often infused with cinnamon.  It is rich, creamy and sweet.  What more can you ask for?  Served chilled, horchata offers a great way to refresh oneself on a warm sunny day (or when it is freezing cold outside and you want to convince your brain you are not witnessing rain outside but instead you’re on the beach in Cabo.  Eh, either/or).

I created this vegan recipe because- quite frankly it tastes pretty good sans dairy milk.  The inclusion of toasted almonds really brings out the almond milk flavor.  Plus I find that by using almond milk (or soy milk) the end result is a lot creamier than the standard horchata.  It reminds me of the melted pond of sticky goodness at the bottom of an ice cream bowl after all the ice cream has vanished. mmm.

Making vegan horchata is easy.  There is no need for fancy instruments or exotic ingredients.  Just a few quick steps and you are on your way to a cold, refreshing moo-free drink.


-1 cup uncooked long-grain rice;

-1 cinnamon stick;

– 3 cups of water;

– ¾ -1 cup of sweetener (I used maple syrup but feel free to use any other sweetener of choice);

– 4 cups of almond or soy milk;

-2 tablespoons of vegan condensed milk;

– ½ cups of almonds, toasted;

– ½ -2 cups of water (optional).


Pour rice, cinnamon stick and water into a medium saucepan and cook until rice is tender and thoroughly cooked.

starting out

It is okay if there is water left over after the rice is cooking.  Optional but highly recommended: let rice cool for at least 30 minutes (optional but HIGHLY recommended).  Pour rice mixture into a blender.  Add sweetener, milk, condensed milk and almonds to blender and whirl away.


Place a fine mesh strainer over pitcher and pour horchata mixture (it will most likely take several batches).

this strainer

If mixture is too thick add water in ½ cup increments.  Place strained horchata in the refrigerator to chill before serving.  Add ice when ready to serve.

6 thoughts on “Vegan Toasted Almond Horchata

  1. This sounds great!

    I actually thought that all horchata was vegan though? (Like I thought it was just made from almonds/rice soaked in water and then blended—the way almond milk and rice milk are made—plus cinnamon and sweetener…) I guess it’s not surprising that adding some milk (or almond milk) would make it creamier.

    I’ve been wanting to make my own horchata for ages now… and I even have some almond farmer friends who have promised me some blanched almonds just for that, but so far they’ve only been making & selling either roasted or sprouted ones with the peels on, and I’m too lazy to blanch and peel a bunch of almonds first myself.

    • I’ll have to look into that. Everyone I know makes it with milk but then again I have only seen the Mexican version made so it could be true that other countries omit any dairy. Lucky you to have almond farmer friends. I need to make new friends :-). Let me know if you give it a try.

  2. Brilliant! I love your site. Have you ever considered giving up plastic straws though? They are harmful to creatures of the ocean.
    Best wishes,

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