Monday's Food: Rice & Coconut Drink

Here in Irondequoit we have a restaurant called Monte Alban Mexican Grille. I get the same thing to eat pretty much every time we order from there: a half order of cheese nachos, the light veggie quesadillas (with spinach and mushrooms) and horchata to drink.

I was unfamiliar with Horchata until I had it at Monte Alban. It tastes like liquified rice pudding. Since rice pudding just happens to be my favorite pudding of all time, I adore this drink.

I searched for Horchata recipes, and while I found a delicious one on All Recipes, it is time consuming. Patience isn't a trait I really possess, so cooking the rice, whipping it up in my blender, and all the waiting just doesn't give me an instant fix. Do try the recipe I linked to above, though--it really is divine.

In an effort to make a similar drink anytime at home, I tried a few different recipes using Rice Dream Rice Milk. This one also needs a couple hours to chill, but it is worth it and there's hardly any mess. I make this at night and have a pitcher in my fridge. This isn't Horchata, but this concoction is really good!

I use one container of rice milk, 1 cup coconut water or coconut milk, 1 vanilla bean, 1 T. ground cinnamon, 1/2 t. almond extract, and 1 t. buckwheat honey to sweeten (if desired)

The coconut, vanilla, cinnamon and almond flavors taste great together!

Combine them all in a saucepan, stirring occasionally over medium heat.

What I like about this drink is that it tastes great warm or chilled over ice. 

On a warm day, pour into a tall glass with ice.

Even though it is June 1, it's cloudy and 61 right now. I am having mine warmed up for an afternoon snack as we speak. This is a great alternative to lemonade or sweetened iced tea on a hot day...and probably much less caloric than a cremay latte at Strabucks.


Juliann D said...

Not sure if maybe mexican horchata is different, but true Spanish horchata from Spain is made from ground, chilled chufa nuts (kind of like a hazelnut I think), not rice. It is a white slushy drink, originally from the eastern mediterranean coast.

If you want some but don't want to make it you can buy it ready made or you can also buy the chufa nuts to make it (I think they come with a recipe) you can find it at Just search for "horchata."

Karley said...


You're right--there are many different versions of Horchata, varying regionally. Spanish Horchata you'll sometimes with "Tiger Nut" in the recipe as well (I think that's another name for the Chufa).

Mexican Horchata (according to the restaurant staffers) is a traditional cinnamon rice milk also known as "Agua de Horchata" and is often a blend of almond & rice as well.

Juliann said...

I never new there was a Mexican version. I also love rice pudding, but not in the summer, and will definitely have to try this instead.

Christine said...

I ADORE Monte Alban! We should meet for dinner sometime! ( it's actually pretty reasonable and a dinner is about the same cost as 2 Starbucks!)

I have never tried that drink before. I will order the next time I'm there. I am also going to make that drink. We always have almond milk in the house perhaps I'll try it with that first!

Lady P said...

what a great idea and thanks for the simpler recipe - I miss my horchata after the dozen years of living in San Francisco, where it was plentiful, and not so often seen or drank here in my current neck of the woods

stacy di said...

I only know the Mexican version of horchata...your recipe looks yummy!

I'm loving your blog, by the way...found you via chic chick media.

Karley said...

Thank you ladies!


YES! We should meet there for sure. It is so affordable there and I always have their nacho cheese sauce :)