Cashew Horchata


Popular in Mexico and with origins dating back to ancient Egypt, here’s a recipe for how to make horchata—a cashew version.

Popular in Mexico and with origins dating back to ancient Egypt, horchata can be made with three basic ingredients—rice, cinnamon and sweetener

Popular in Mexico and with origins dating back to ancient Egypt, horchata can be made with three basic ingredients—rice, cinnamon and sweetener—and costs just pennies to make. Nuts may be added for extra creaminess as can vanilla. Serve it over ice or warm and blend it with melted chocolate for a decadent hot cocoa. Place a pitcher at the kids’ holiday table and they’re sure to feel extra special.

Cashew Horchata

Gluten-Free | Casein-Free | Citrus-Free | Corn-Free | Dairy-Free | Egg-Free | Fish-Free | Nightshade-Free | Peanut-Free | Potato-Free | Shellfish-Free | Soy-Free | Wheat-Free | Easily Tree Nut-Free | Sesame-Free | GFCF | Vegetarian | Easily Vegan

Makes: Approximately 5-6 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Soak Time: 4-6 hours


1/2 cup WHITE RICE

4 cups boiling WATER

1 CINNAMON STICK (2 if you love cinnamon!)


1/2 cup raw CASHEW NUTS

1/4 cup, or to taste, RUNNY HONEY (see Notes for sugar-free version)


1-2 cups COLD WATER


1. Using a blender, coffee grinder or food processor, grind rice to fine meal. Transfer to medium bowl along with cinnamon stick and vanilla. Pour boiling water over rice meal mixture. Allow to stand at room temperature 4-6 hours.

2. Add cashews to a separate bowl. Cover with water and allow to soak 4-6 hours. Rinse well.

3. Transfer cashews and rice mixture (including the cinnamon stick) to high-powered blender.

3. Blend on high 1-2 minutes or until smooth.

4. Strain mixture into large bowl using cheesecloth or nut milk bag.

5. Return liquid to rinsed blender carafe. Add honey, pinch of salt and 1-2 cups additional water to achieve the consistency of milk.

6. Blend on low 10 seconds.

7. Chill and stir before serving over ice.

8. Optional: Dust with cinnamon and garnish with a star anise pod for a festive touch (pictured above).


Cashews may be replaced with an additional 1/2 cup soaked rice or 1/2 cup almonds that have been soaked for 8-10 hours and rinsed well. Cinnamon stick may be replaced with 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon. For a subtle licorice “twist”, throw one star anise pod in with the rice/water mixture. Blend with the rest of the mixture. Easily sugar-free: Sweeten to taste with stevia instead of honey.

More Good Stuff


Wendy @ Celiacs in the House December 7, 2010 - 10:17 am

I had my first horchata last month from a taco truck. It was surprising. I didn't realize it was so easy to make and the cashews will make it extra creamy and delicious. Beautifully written and moving post from atop your soap box.

Shirley @ gfe December 7, 2010 - 12:21 pm

Lexie, I've never had horchata. Had never even heard of it frankly, but how lovely and appealing your version is. Would love to have a cup!

And, thank you for your moving post. So often, we don't mean to overlook these needs. I'll be on the lookout for such needs and programs in my area. I know one thing that always troubles me is the big push and awareness during the holidays. Oh, don't get me wrong, I'm for it, it's just that the needs are all year long. I often wonder what life is like after the holidays for those in need. Organizations like SOS work hard to keep the supplies balanced I believe. Thanks so much for sharing your heartful post. I suspect that folks will be compelled to act differently after reading it; I know I will.


Nancy @ The Sensitive Pantry December 7, 2010 - 12:37 pm

Lexie – lovely post. I think the horchata sounds amazing…never heard of it. What a great alternative to egg nog for the holidays. BTW – the photo is gorgeous!

Sara December 7, 2010 - 2:38 pm

My husband just introduced me to horchata a few weeks ago. It is absolutely delicious. I've never really been an eggnog fan, so this one will be the preferred Christmas drink for us.

Stay on your soapbox – it's a good one!

cat December 7, 2010 - 3:20 pm

I've never had horchata Ive heard its like a rice pudding taste. I loveeee rice pudding. I must try this sometime your picture is so beautiful too!

maggy@threemanycooks December 7, 2010 - 5:07 pm

This looks absolutely delicious. Had never heard of Horchata before today, but now I must try it! Sounds like it could be a good breakfast.

Kim @ Cook It Allergy Free December 7, 2010 - 7:23 pm

Lexie, our family LOVES horchata! It is pretty easy to come by here in Arizona, and my hubby is the one who actually introduced it to me when i first moved here years ago. This recipe looks fabulous since I have never even thought to make my own! What a beautiful post, by the way!

Heidi December 7, 2010 - 8:11 pm

Oh my gosh Lexie, I am making this TONIGHT!!!

Have I told you lately how much I love you, it is a blessing to have you on this journey with me!

Gorgeous photo by the way. 😀


Awwww, Heidi. ditto ditto ditto!!! let's catch up soon.


Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect December 7, 2010 - 9:32 pm

This recipe might be above my cooking talent, but I sure wouldn't turn down one if you made it for me! 🙂 Thanks for sharing. It's great to meet you and work with you for Share Our Strength!

Carol Peterman/TableFare December 8, 2010 - 12:13 am

What a gorgeous drink and beautiful post. I've never made horchata before and can't wait to give it a try.


Hi Carol. I love your site! Don't let me loose with that shopping basket 😉


Maggie December 8, 2010 - 3:00 am

Man oh man, the blogging community rocks. Thank you for sharing such a powerful message Lexie. And your recipe! There's a song that says "drinking horchata" and all this time I thought he was singing hot chocolate, just so it would rhyme because it didn't really sound like hot chocolate. Now I know it's horchata. Are you still following me 🙂 Here's the song Didn't even know it existed! It sounds delish.

Alisa Cooks December 8, 2010 - 8:07 pm

The statistics are staggering! It is so awesome to see events like this.

I make a similar horchata but use almonds. Love it!

glutenfreeforgood December 9, 2010 - 10:31 pm

What a great event! Good for you for taking this on and being part of the solution. Increasing awareness and caring. Wow, that's lovely.

And so is your photo. I'm so impressed with your photography skills. You must have really paid attention to Penny at IFBC. Nice angle shot. I do remember she said no overheads (gosh, that's about all I do).

Anyway, I had never heard of horchata, but it sounds delicious. Plus, it's such a good word! =)


Lexie December 10, 2010 - 5:09 am

Hi Melissa! Thanks for the nice words. When I go to sites like Cannelle et Vanille or Tartlette or Roost I feel my photos lack so much. I've always wanted to be a good photographer. Compared to those gals I have a long way to go. 🙂 Yeah, I think of Penny when I am shooting now. "Explore your subject! All angles." Good memories.

Michelle (What's Cooking with Kids) December 14, 2010 - 4:48 am

I. LOVE. Horchata! Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe. And yes. "CLINK" I'll raise a glass with you and toast the end of childhood hunger. I am so glad to have met you (virtually, at least!) and to be sharing this journey together! xo

Jeri December 15, 2010 - 1:54 am

I made this tonight. It is very good. My only tweak was that I did half almond-half cashew. We would get horchata once in a while in the days when I could go to a taco shop. Great recipe Lexie and easy to follow.

Jeanette December 15, 2010 - 4:27 am

I've never tried horchata, but this sounds delicious. Wonder if it works with brown rice. Do you know?


Hi Jeanette … I think it would work just fine … and add a bit more vitamins and minerals to the mix, too. Try it out and let me know. 😉 Thanks again for letting me borrow the pear pic. It is so very pretty!

tatil April 9, 2011 - 7:42 pm

You have an outstanding good and well structured site. I enjoyed browsing through it.

Cassie Q June 21, 2011 - 2:55 am

This has become a staple in our house. Ava even insists on it if we are out. I have a surplus of mochiko rice flour so I've been using that in the recipe.

Lexie June 21, 2011 - 3:37 am

Cassie, I sure appreciate your taking the time to comment : ) Keeps me inspired. Good idea on the mochiko flour, especially when you have an abundance of it!



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