Easy vegan horchata recipe

This vegan horchata brings a delightful twist to the traditional recipe by incorporating dairy-free milk and vanilla extract for added depth and flavor. Follow these instructions to create a refreshing and flavorful drink that's perfect for any occasion.
Three glasses of creamy vegan horchata topped with ice cubes, positioned on wooden coasters. The drinks are set against a soft pink background, garnished with cinnamon sticks and scattered rice grains in the

About this recipe

This traditional Mexican drink, often called agua de horchata or horchata agua fresca, is beloved for its sweet, creamy flavor and cooling properties. Traditionally made from rice, milk, cinnamon, and sugar, horchata has been savored in various forms across cultures. I’m excited to share a typical Mexican horchata recipe beautifully adapted for those who follow a vegan lifestyle or prefer to avoid dairy—introducing the vegan horchata or dairy free horchata.

What is Horchata?

Before we dive into the recipe, let’s explore a bit more about what horchata is. Horchata originated from a Mediterranean tradition, where it was initially made from tiger nuts, chufas in Spain spanish. However, the recipe evolved when it made its way to Mexico, using rice as the base ingredient. This delightful agua fresca combines cinnamon’s soothing flavors and sugar’s sweetness, transforming it into a refreshing drink perfect for any day.

Vegan Horchata Recipe: No Condensed Milk, All the Flavor

This vegan version of the classic horchata de arroz drink avoids condensed milk and animal products, making it a perfect choice for vegans and those with dairy allergies.

pouring rice into a glass measuring cup


  • White long rice
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Cup sugar (adjust according to your taste)
  • Water for soaking and fresh water for blending
  • Dairy-free milk
  • Vanilla extract
  • Ground cinnamon
adding soaked rice and cinammon into a blender

How to make vegan horchata?

To make horchata, soak 1 cup of white long-grain rice and 2 cinnamon sticks in 4 cups water for 4 hours or overnight. Blend the soaked white rice with 4 cups water and 1/2 cup of sugar.

Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth and discard the solids.

A person pours a stream of creamy milk from a measuring cup into a glass pitcher filled with frothy, light brown vegan horchata, set against a kitchen backsplash.

Add 2 cups of dairy-free milk and 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract to the strained liquid. Chill for 1-2 hours and serve over ice with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon. Enjoy!

How to make Horchata with store-bought rice milk

Using store-bought rice milk simplifies the process even more and makes for a very quick and easy horchata. Mix 4 cups of store-bought rice milk with half a cup of cane sugar, one teaspoon of vanilla extract, and one teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Enjoy chilled or over ice.

Horchata Frequently asked questions

Vegan Horchata Recipe

Alejandra Graf
This vegan horchata brings a delightful twist to the traditional recipe by incorporating dairy-free milk and vanilla extract for added depth and flavor. Follow these instructions to create a refreshing and flavorful drink that’s perfect for any occasion.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Soaking time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Course beverage
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 8 servings
Calories 229 kcal


  • 1 blender
  • fine mesh or nut bag


  • 1 1/2 cups white long rice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3/4 cup sugar adjust according to your taste
  • 4 cups water for soaking
  • 4 cups fresh water for blending
  • 2 cups dairy-free milk such as almond, soy, or oat milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Ground cinnamon for garnish


  • In a large bowl, combine the white long rice and cinnamon sticks with 4 cups of water. Allow this mixture to soak for at least 4 hours, or overnight, to soften the rice and infuse the cinnamon flavor.
  • After soaking, drain the rice and cinnamon sticks and discard the soaking water. Place the soaked rice and cinnamon sticks into a blender. Add 4 cups of fresh water and the sugar. Blend on high until the mixture is as smooth as possible. This might take a few minutes to ensure everything is well processed.
  • Pour the blended mixture through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth into a large pitcher or bowl. Press or squeeze to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids. You may want to strain the mixture a second time to ensure it’s extra smooth.
  • To the strained liquid, add the dairy-free milk and vanilla extract. Stir well to combine everything evenly.
  • Refrigerate the horchata until it's thoroughly chilled. This usually takes about 1-2 hours or serve your vegan horchata over ice. Sprinkle a little ground cinnamon on top for a hint of extra flavor.


Serving: 1cupCalories: 229kcalCarbohydrates: 49gProtein: 4gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.3gSodium: 43mgPotassium: 128mgFiber: 1gSugar: 20gVitamin A: 234IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 108mgIron: 1mg
Keyword agua fresca, Horchata


Nutritional information of this recipe is only an estimate, the accuracy for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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