Rice Milk

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

If you’ve been buying that stuff in the carton, you’ve been paying like a sucker. A cup of rice and some tap water are all that’s needed to produce a superfresh, superflavored dairy-free alternative for your morning bowl of flakes and more. Note that a blender is necessary for this recipe.

Preparation Time - TextAt least 6 hours



Total Timehalf-day

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian


Five Ingredients or LessYes

Mealbreakfast, snack

Taste and Texturecreamy, sweet

Type of Dishbeverage, non-alcoholic beverage


  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 tablespoons sugar (optional)


  1. Soak the rice in the water for at least 6 hours or overnight. Transfer the rice and the soaking liquid to the blender and whirl on its highest speed for a full 2 minutes. If you’re using sweetener, blend it in with the rice. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer and discard the solids, Enjoy immediately, or serve cold or over ice.

  2. Kept refrigerated, rice milk will last for up to 1 week. Frozen rice milk will keep for up to 4 months.

  3. Variation: Horchata

  4. As anyone who lives within sniffing distance of a taqueria can tell you, horchata is an outrageously enjoyable beverage made from rice milk. On a hot day and/or with hot food, its sweet cinnamon coolness is most welcome. To make it, make the Rice Milk and soak I (3-inch) cinnamon stick in the water along with the rice. Include the cinnamon stick in the blender when pureeing the rice, along with a pinch of kosher salt and 4 tablespoons of your favorite sugar or natural sweetener, adding more to taste. Strain and enjoy immediately; or serve cold or over ice.

  5. Horchata will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days, but it does not freeze well.


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