Why You Need to Try Our Healthier Take On the Dirty Horchata

Why You Need to Try Our Healthier Take On the Dirty Horchata

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So what exactly is a dirty horchata? Let’s start with the horchata itself. This best-when-served-chilled-over-ice drink typically calls for soaked rice and water (then blended and strained), cinnamon, and condensed or evaporated milk, although the recipe can vary. The “dirty” in the name comes from the addition of coffee, because, caffeine… and why not combine two delicious beverages into one?

Other popular versions of the basic horchata call for ground-up nuts, seeds, or other grains in place of the rice, and the addition of sweetened condensed milk, sugar, or molasses as a sweetener. While renditions of the drink are cropping up on menus across the country — Starbucks even features a blended option — the beverage originally hails from Central America, Puerto Rico, and Mexico.

Yes, the original recipe is certainly creamy and delicious, but blended white rice and sweetened condensed milk aren’t winning any awards for their healthy attributes. Our take on the dirty horchata has fewer calories, less added sugar, and less saturated fat — all the while keeping the creamy sweet flavor, and yes, the caffeine too.

dirty horchata ingredients

By using pre-made unsweetened rice milk we’re saving you time (i.e., no soaking, blending, or straining rice and water) as well as overall calories. We also used just a touch of coconut cream to keep the thicker texture but reduce the overall amount of saturated fat. The medjool dates add sweetness along with potassium, magnesium, and copper. Enjoy!

dirty horchata on wooden board
5 from 1 vote

Dirty Horchata

Course Drinks
Keyword iced drinks, rice milk
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1
Calories 181 kcal


  • 1 cup unsweetened rice milk
  • ½ cup brewed coffee cold
  • 1 Tbsp. canned coconut cream
  • 2 medjool dates pitted, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup ice
  • dash ground cinnamon
  • pinch nutmeg


  1. Place milk, coffee, coconut cream, and dates into a blender; cover. Blend until smooth.

  2. Pour over ice. Garnish with cinnamon and nutmeg.

  3. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

For a Frappuccino-style horchata, add ice into the blender with milk, coffee, coconut cream, and dates.

The Nutrition Facts box below provides estimated nutritional information for this recipe.

Nutrition Facts
Dirty Horchata
Amount Per Serving
Calories 181 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Sodium 119mg5%
Carbohydrates 32g11%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 20g22%
Protein 1g2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Openfit Blocks

½ Fruits & Vegetables

1½ Fats

1 Other Carbohydrate

dirty horchata

Photography by Anguel Dimov, AB Creative