Rick Martinez, Mexican 101, drinks, Horchata
Recipe courtesy of Rick Martinez


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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 8 hr 20 min (includes soaking time)
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 8 servings



  1. Grind the raw, unwashed rice in a blender on high speed into a fine powder. Transfer to a medium bowl and whisk in 5 cups room temperature water. Add the canela, cover and let it sit at room temperature for 8 hours and up to 24.
  2. Removed the canela and snap into two 1-inch pieces. Vigorously whisk the rice mixture until the rice is evenly distributed. Transfer to a blender, add the reserved canela pieces and puree on high speed for 10 minutes; the mixture will get hot and the rice will soften and start to ''cook '' and release more flavor. Add the sugar and 3/4 teaspoon salt and puree until dissolved, about 30 seconds.   
  3. Strain the rice mixture through a fine mesh sieve lined with several layers of cheesecloth into a large bowl, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible (you should have about 3 1/2 cups). Reserve the solids for another use (like cream-of-rice porridge). Stir in 3 cups very cold water. Serve over ice with a sprinkle of ground canela or cinnamon on top.

Cook’s Note

Canela (Ceylon cinnamon) is the variety of cinnamon most commonly used in Mexico. The sticks are thinner and softer than the cassia cinnamon sticks used in the US and have a more delicate, sweet and floral flavor with less of the "heat" of the cassia. If you have a high powered professional blender, reduce the blending time by half.