Cardamom horchata is a wonderful sweet and spicy beverage made from long grain rice and sweetened condensed milk.
Every Christmas (with the exception of last year) Jeff and I travel to Tucson, Arizona for the holidays. Most of his immediate family lives there and over the past 6 1/2 years I have really grown to love Tucson like it’s my second home.
Spending time there in December means I can slip back into my Spring/Fall wardrobe and enjoy used bookstores, funky coffee shops, family time and copious amounts of authentic Mexican food.
It was in Tucson that I first tried horchata.
Horchata is a Mexican drink made from white rice. If you’ve never tried it before I’m guessing that sounds questionable, right?
I certainly wasn’t convinced. The first time I tried it I thought it was just ok. Perhaps it’s an acquired taste because over the years it has really grown on me.
And since it’s very easy to make at home I can tweak the flavors to my liking. Sweetened condensed milk gives horchata a creamy consistency and enhances the earthy qualities of the rice. Sometimes I like to add a splash of vanilla. Cinnamon is a must.
I’m not sure where I came up with the idea for cardamom horchata but it kind of rules. Cardamom is one of my favorite spices and I’m always trying to find new ways to use it.
Here it adds just the right amount of spiciness. Would people in Tucson enjoy this version? I have no idea but I bet you will.
- 1/2 cup white long grain basmati rice
- 2 cups lukewarm water
- 3-5 cardamom pods (see note)
- 1/2 cup full fat sweetened condensed milk
- In a blender, puree the rice, water and cardamom pods for a minute on full power. Allow the mixture to steep for at least 2 hours.
- Strain the liquid into a measuring cup or bowl through a cheesecloth or nut milk bag. Discard the rice and cardamom.
- Whisk the sweetened condensed milk into the liquid and pour into two glasses. Top each with a dash of cinnamon.
Please read my full post for additional recipe notes, tips, and serving suggestions!
For immediate help troubleshooting a recipe, please email me using the form on my contact page. I’ll try to respond to urgent questions as quickly as possible! For all general questions, please leave a comment here :)
Averie @ Averie Cooks says
I have a homemade horchata recipe and it’s one of my most popular (random!) recipes. Yours looks amazingly good, creamy, rich, and perfect. Gorgeous photos! Pinning!
Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet says
I had my first horchata just last week! It’s amazing! Not sure why it took me so long to make it. Yours sounds so delightful with cardamom. Gorgeous photo! Love the white :) Pinning!
This is really amazing. I love horchata, and never considered making my own. And with cardamom? Excellent!
Jen – the photos make me what to try this out stat, although I’ve been hesitant before. Such a hard thing to imagine the flavor of until you try it, I’m imagine. Love the addition of condensed milk and cardamom – I’m sold!
Marie @ Little Kitchie says
I love horchata! Never made it at home, but my husband’s family goes to Santa Fe every Christmas and we always drink it there! Would love to try your recipe!
I need to try Horchata! I have never had it or made it, but everyone keeps making is sound and look delicious!
Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking says
Such a yummy looking Mexican drink! I would love to have this warm over the holidays!
dixya| Food, Pleasure, and Health says
i have never ever had traditional horchata but saw on two different blogs and made it last week – it was one of the best drink ever..although for healthier version – I used dates instead of condensed milk and spiked it up with some baileys. I m totally liking this cardamom version!
I love horchata. I discovered it in Mexico and now every chance I get I order it. Never thought to make it at home. But I think I may have to try.
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
I’ve never tried horchata but I love your use of cardamom!
Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious says
Love these white shots! And dude, Jason LOVES horchata.
Sounds yummy :). Two questions: what do you think of a vegan version that uses coconut cream/creamer instead of milk? And, I understand that cardamom seeds and pods are edible – could one use the leftover rice to make a rice pudding (without removing cardamom pods)?
Jennifer Farley says
You can certainly try! I’ve never made it this way so I cannot guarantee the results. Same with the rice pudding but I say go for it!
Laura Dembowski says
These photos are absolutely gorgeous! I have always wanted to try horchata and baking with cardamom.
I lived in Finland and love cardamom in baked goods, so I bet this tastes delicious even though I’ve never tried horchata.
I mean, you can’t go wrong with sweetened condensed milk.
The rice is raw, right?
Jennifer Farley says
yes, it’s raw
Jenny @ BAKE says
I love horchata the addition of cardamon sounds delicious!