Horcha Cha Recipe

By Jennifer Shea

August 26, 2013

Trophy Cupcakes’ Jennifer Shea riffs on traditional horchata

This article originally appeared in the October 2013 issue of Seattle Magazine.

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(*see Horchico, below, for kids’ version)


2 cups of long-grain white rice

2 cinnamon sticks

8 cups water, room temperature

2 (14-ounce) cans evaporated milk (may substitute 3 cups half-and-half and 1/2 cup whipping cream)

1 cup sugar plus 1 tablespoon

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 1/2 cups tequila plus 2 tablespoons


1 pint whipping cream

12 cinnamon sticks for garnish

Ground cinnamon for garnish


In a blender or food processor, grind the rice and cinnamon sticks until the mixture becomes the consistency of course sand. It’s OK if the cinnamon sticks simply break up. Pour the rice into a large bowl and cover with 8 cups of room-temperature water. Cover and let sit for at least 6 hours or overnight, stirring once or twice if possible. Now pour the rice water through a fine mesh sieve or double layer of cheesecloth. Discard the rice and cinnamon sticks. Add evaporated milk, 1 cup sugar and ground cinnamon to the rice water and whisk ingredients together. Refrigerate until you are ready to heat and serve (keeps up to 3 days). Heat until just hot, remove from heat and add the 1 1/2 cups tequila. Beat whipped cream with 1 tablespoon of sugar until soft peaks form, whisk in 2 tablespoons of tequila (optional). Serve in mugs and top with a dollop of tequila whipped cream, a cinnamon stick and a sprinkle of cinnamon.


Makes 12 servings



*Horichico for the niños, omit the tequila and serve warm in mugs topped with fresh cinnamon whipped cream: Simply add a 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 tablespoon sugar to 1 pint of whipping cream and beat until soft peaks form.

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