Latin America is known for their wide varieties of ‘aguas frescas’ (refreshing drinks). Walk into any taqueria and you will find so many options… Agua de sandia, agua de pepino con limon, agua de pina, agua de guayaba, agua de jamaica, agua de tamarindo and the list goes on.
One of our favorites is agua de horchata… a delicious, creamy, icy-cold rice drink with lovely hints of cinnamon & vanilla.
Amazingly refreshing on a hot day. Ahhh!
We have tried many different versions of horchata from Mexico, Costa Rica and Honduras… we have to say our favorite is Mexico and with Honduras coming in a close 2nd.
But, the downside with horchata is that it is usually made with refined sugar and sometimes sweetened condensed milk.
Making it sickly sweet… way too sweet for us!
Thankfully we can indulge in this refreshing summer beverage at home without going into a major sugar coma, thanks to two healthy ingredients: raw honey and stevia.
I have tried many different recipes for homemade horchata, but wasn’t able to find anything that matched what we enjoyed in Mexico… until recently.
I stumbled across an authentic recipe from Paletas (by Fany Gerson) and tweaked it a bit to use raw honey & stevia instead of white sugar.
After a few tries, I was able to get just the right amounts of sweetness (with no overpowering honey flavor) and we were swept away by our memories of drinking icy-cold horchata at our favorite local Mexican taqueria.
This horchata is extremely simple to make using 6 ingredients and the results makes it so worth what little efforts it takes!
If you want to see a step-by-step tutorial… head over to my blog and see how you can easily make Agua de Horchata.
If you don’t have a grain mill… a coffee grinder or blender will work just fine!
- 1⅓ cup rice (white or brown) *
- 6 cups warm filtered water
- 2 pieces of cinnamon sticks
- 4 cups whole milk *
- ½ cup raw honey *
- 15 drops vanilla stevia *
- 15 drops regular stevia
- Grind the rice in your grain mill (or use a coffee grinder or blender) on 'Bread' setting.
- Pour rice flour into a glass bowl and combine with warm water & cinnamon sticks.
- Cover and let it soak for at least 6 hours or overnight. You can leave it out in room-temp or store in the fridge.
- Pour the mixture into a blender and blend until very smooth. It will feel slightly grainy, but should not be gritty.
- Strain into a pitcher or bowl through a very fine sieve or a colander lined with cheesecloth.
- Press solids with a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible.
- Stir in the milk, honey & stevia. Whisk vigorously until honey completely dissolves (no need to warm up milk or anything!).
- Taste and add more honey or stevia if you like. Store in the fridge until chilled.
- Serve over ice and top with ground cinnamon.
Milk - You can used coconut milk if you have milk allergy.
Honey - Use mild honey, such as clover honey.
Stevia - If you don't have vanilla stevia, add in 2 tsp of vanilla extract and use 30 drops of regular stevia.
If you would rather use 100% stevia... add another 15-30 drops. Be sure to taste it before adding more!
If you would rather use 100% raw honey... add ¼ cup and taste. If you want it sweeter, keeping adding more until you are satisfied.
Ahh! Buen Provecho!
Have you tried a Horchata or any agua fresca? What are your favorite flavors?