Coconut Horchata

This version of the classic Mexican rice-based drink, which writer Sara Deseran adapted from one at Fresno’s El Mercado Super, is made with a mix of coconut milk and coconut water for a beverage that is both luxurious and refreshing. Featured in: On the California Taco Trail

Coconut Horchata Coconut Horchata
A double dose of coconut—both milk and water—add unctuousness to the already creamy, refreshing Mexican thirst quencher, horchata.
Yield: serves 4
Time: 5 minutes


  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 1 stick cinnamon, crushed, plus sticks for garnish
  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut water
  • Cheesecloth, for straining
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 23 cup sugar
  • 1 pinch kosher salt


  1. Stir water, rice, and cinnamon in a bowl; cover and let sit at room temperature overnight.
  2. The next day, transfer rice mixture to a blender. Add coconut water; purée until smooth, 3–4 minutes. Strain through a cheesecloth-lined sieve into a pitcher; cover and chill until ready to serve.
  3. Heat coconut milk, sugar, and salt in a 2-qt. saucepan over low; cook until sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Let milk cool; stir into rice mixture. Serve in ice-filled glasses; grate fresh cinnamon over top and drop sticks into glasses.