Mexico is not the most vegan friendly country with it vast amount of tacos, quesadillas, fajitas, and love of chicken, pork, goat and fish. But Mexico has a great dairy free, gluten free aqua fresca that is a Mexican staple that is vegan friendly for those looking for vegan options while on vacation in the Mayan Riviera.
Horchata (or-chat-a) is a rice drink flavored with cinnamon and vanilla with a rice milk base. This drink originated in Spain but has become a popular drink in Latin America. In Mexico the milky liquid is rice based, in South America the milky liquid could come from almonds, sesame seeds, or in some states, milk, so beware. If you are traveling outside of Mexico, ask first what the milk is made from.
Like the pitaya agua fresca, Horchata is found in Flor de Michican in Tulum across from the ADO pus terminal or behind the Municipal offices. Most restaurants, taquerias, and grocery stores also carry this popular drink so if you like it, you will be able to find it almost anywhere.
Horchata is a Mexican staple – Don’t miss out!
Go ahead, try it when you are roaming the streets of Tulum. It is one of the most refreshing drinks you can have in the middle of a hot day. The cinnamon aids in decreasing any inflammation you may have and aids in digestion. The vanilla, true vanilla not extract, is a known aphrodisiac, so watch out!
This agua fresca is easy to make and can be duplicated at home once you return from the beautiful beaches of Tulum. Experiment with the amount of cinnamon and vanilla so you find the exact amount of these flavors in your homemade Horchata. For those wanting to go even further with this basic drink see our Horchata rum punch and Horchata martini recipes below!
Horchata agua fresca – Mexican style
1 cup long grain rice, rinsed
2 quarts water
1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
1/2 cup white sugar
1. Combine the water, rice and cinnamon stick in a saucepan. Without heating, let the ingredients sit for up to four hours and soak.
2. Once the soaking process is completed, add the sugar and bring the ingredients to a boil. Do not strain rice before you boil, use the water that you soaked the ingredients in. Simmer for 30 minutes on low heat.
3. Blend the ingredients in a blender and strain the liquid either through cheese cloth or a coffee filter. Add vanilla, and serve over ice.
Horchata will keep in the fridge for up to 7 days.
Horchata Rum Punch
8 ounces of prepared Horchata drink
2 ounces of spiced or dark rum
Mix the Horchata and rum in a tall glass over ice. Sprinkle fresh cinnamon on the drink and serve. This can be served as an individual drink or made up as a punch to a group of people.
4 ounces of prepared Horchata drink
1.5 ounces of vanilla vodka
sprinkle of cinnamon
In a martini shaker, put the Horchata mixture, ice, and vanilla vodka together. Shake well. Rim the martini glass with sugar and cinnamon and pour the contents of the martini shaker into the martini glass. Sprinkle some ground cinnamon on top and garnish with pecan, almonds or put a stick of fresh cinnamon bark in the martini. Serve.
Have any other Horchata drink recipes that you want to share? This gluten free, dairy free drink is a dream. Enjoy it while you can under the sun while sitting on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, the Tulum beach.