Coconut Horchata

The tropical fruit adds a double dose of creaminess to this Mexican thirst quencher.

  • Serves

    serves 4

  • Cook

    5 minutes


By Sara Deseran

Published on April 21, 2015

This version of horchata, the classic Mexican rice-based drink, which writer Sara Deseran adapted from one served 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.


  • 2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 1 cinnamon stick, crushed, plus 4 sticks for garnish
  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut water
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • ⅔ cups sugar
  • Pinch kosher salt


Step 1

In a medium bowl, stir together the rice, cinnamon, and 2 cups boiling water. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature for at least 8 and up to 24 hours.

Step 2

Transfer the rice mixture to a blender. Add the coconut water and blend until smooth, 3–4 minutes. Line a sieve with cheesecloth, and strain the rice mixture into a pitcher, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids; cover the liquid with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Step 3

In a small pot set over low heat, stir together the coconut milk, sugar, and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.

Step 4

To serve, stir the cooled coconut milk mixture into the chilled rice mixture, then pour the horchata into ice-filled glasses. Grate a little bit of fresh cinnamon over the top and drop the sticks into glasses to garnish.

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