Spicy tacos need a soothing drink. You may have heard that milk does the trick, but a tall glass of dairy doesn’t sound all that appealing alongside a fish taco. Instead, we like an ice cold beer or this lightly spiced non-dairy alternative. Our version of horchata is made with a combination of rice and almonds, which give the drink body and richness, but you could use cashews for an ultra-creamy alternative. The good news is this drink is largely hands off. Soak the rice and almonds overnight then blitz in a blender. You may want to use a layer of cheesecloth if your strainer has larger holes, but some paper towels will do the trick (we like Viva brand).

Robin Bashinsky


Credit: Greg DuPree

Recipe Summary test

25 mins
8 hrs 25 mins
Serves 6


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Combine rice and almonds in a medium-size heatproof bowl. Combine water, salt, cinnamon sticks, and bay leaves in a saucepan; bring to a boil over high. Pour boiling mixture over rice and almonds. Cover and chill 8 hours or overnight.

  • Discard cinnamon sticks and bay leaves. Pour mixture through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a bowl, reserving solids. Place rice mixture, sugar, and 4 cups of the liquid in a blender; process until smooth. (Use a few splashes more liquid if necessary to liquefy mixture.)

  • Pour mixture through a fine-mesh strainer or a strainer lined with a single layer of cheesecloth into a bowl or pitcher, pressing solids to extract all liquid; discard solids.

  • Serve horchata immediately over ice, or chill before serving. Garnish each serving with a pinch of ancho chile powder and ground cinnamon.