A famous Mexican refresher, we’ve “winterized” a traditionally chilly drink and made it into an alternative to your regular mug of cocoa. You’ll love the smooth, sweet, and nutty taste and pleasant warmth of cinnamon infused throughout. Frosty nights were made for this!

Prep time
10 minutes
8 hours (preferably overnight) infusing time

Cook time
5 minutes

6 to 8 servings

Hot Horchata amaretto hero web 1


1 cup (191 g) long grain rice (raw), rinsed and drained well

1 cup (142 g) raw almonds

4 cups (1000 ml) filtered water, divided

½ cup (100 g) Redpath Simply Raw™ Turbinado Sugar

¼ tsp (2 g) salt

4 6” cinnamon sticks

2 cups (500 ml) unsweetened almond milk beverage

2 tsp (10 ml) pure vanilla extract

⅔ cup (167 ml) amaretto liqueur

Garnishes (optional):

Cinnamon sticks

Ground cinnamon


Step 1
Place the rinsed and drained rice and the almonds into a high-powered blender. Cover with 2 cups (500 ml) cold, filtered water. Process until rice and almonds are finely ground.

Step 2
In a small pot, add remaining 2 cups (500 ml) water, the Redpath Simply Raw™ Turbinado Sugar, and salt. Place pot on high heat. Stir and add cinnamon sticks (broken into several pieces). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer for 5 minutes. Let cool slightly; 5 minutes.

Step 3
Remove cinnamon sticks and discard (or save to use as for garnish mugs). Pour the hot sugar-water mixture into the blender. Pulse a few times to mix. Remove pitcher from blender base. Keep lid on and let cool to room temperature; 20 minutes.

Step 4
Place in fridge to allow flavours to infuse; at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.

Step 5
Strain mixture through a mesh sieve over a large bowl. Gently press down on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard solids, or keep the ground rice and almond mixture to use for rice pudding recipes (like our Coconut Milk Rice Pudding). Rinse strainer and line with cheesecloth. Strain mixture again through the cheesecloth-lined sieve to remove as much grit as possible.

Step 6
Whisk in the unsweetened almond milk beverage and vanilla extract until thoroughly combined.

Step 7
Pour horchata into a large heavy-bottomed pot. Place over medium heat and stir until mixture just begins to simmer; do not boil.

Step 8
Remove from heat and stir in amaretto liqueur. Pour horchata into a heat-proof pitcher or thermos or ladle into mugs. Alternatively, ladle hot horchata into mugs and top off with about 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of the amaretto.

Garnish with a cinnamon stick or lightly dust beverage with cinnamon, if desired. Serve immediately.

Chef's Tips

*Jasmine or Basmati rice can be used in place of the long grain rice.

*Any raw almonds can be used; blanched almonds may result in a “whiter” liquid.

*Coconut milk (more thick and creamy in texture) or unsweetened coconut beverage can be used in place of the unsweetened almond milk beverage. This will give a slight coconut flavour to the beverage. Alternatively, any unsweetened non-dairy milk beverage can be used in place of the almond milk beverage.

*For a family-friendly recipe, omit amaretto liqueur.

*Use horchata in place of milk in your coffee, lattes, teas, or hot chocolates.

*In the summer months, horchata is delicious served cold over ice.

*For a more traditional method of making horchata, grind the cinnamon sticks when grinding the rice and almonds. Proceed with recipe, allowing the ground cinnamon pieces to infuse in the mixture overnight. Discard solids after straining the mixture.

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