Almond horchata recipe

Recipe by Neil Morris - 01 January 2013


Region: Valencia

Preparation: 10 minutes (plus time to stand overnight)

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Cooking method: on the hob

Difficulty: easy

Serves: 4


Horchata or orxata (as it is known in Valencia) is a traditional drink from the Valencia region made from chufas (tigernuts) or almonds.

The drink is popular all over Spain and Latin America where different versions of the drink can be found. It is commonly flavoured with cinnamon but can also be flavoured with vanilla, cocoa, nutmeg and even alcohol. Horchata can be purchased ready-made in Spanish supermarkets but some of these versions can be very sweet and are no match for a good home-made recipe!

The traditional chufa horchata of Valencia is regulated by a Denominación de Origen (D.O) in order to certify the origin and quality of this regional product. This D.O was approved by the Valencia Regional Government in 1995 and ensures the quality of the horchata. It also guarantees that the horchata has been prepared using the authentic Chufa of Valencia and it adheres to the guidelines required to bear the logo.

You can find out more here:

This horcata recipe uses almonds (simply because they are more widely available that tigernuts) and can be easily made at home and flavoured to your own tastes. It has a luxurious creamy texture and is very refreshing when served over ice in the summer. Horchata can also be used as an ingredient for other dessert recipes and as an alternative to milk in everyday use.

Discover the delights of horchata and you will never look back!

Shopping list

  • 400g ground almonds (almendras molidas)
  • 2 litres water (agua)
  • 2 tbsp golden caster sugar (azúcar en polvo dorado)
  • ground cinnamon (canela molida)
  • cocoa (cacao)

Method for almond horchata recipe

You can use ready-ground almonds but if possible use good quality blanched whole almonds such as the marcona variety and grind them to a powder. Add the ground almonds to the water and stir well. Cover the liquid and leave in a refrigerator overnight, stirring occasionally.

Now strain the horchata through a fine muslin cooking cloth into a large saucepan and add the sugar and a pinch of cinnamon (or experiment with flavours of your choice such as such as vanilla, cocoa or even rum!).

Bring the liquid gently to a boil and then leave to cool before chilling again in the refrigerator.

Once it is chilled, simply pour into a glass, with or without ice, and sprinkle with cinnamon and cocoa. For a more frothy drink, half fill a milk carton (or similar) with horchata and shake vigorously before pouring into a glass.

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