Sesame Seed Horchata

21 Mar

Last summer there was a conversation on Serious Eats about non-alcoholic drinks and how easy it is to make horchatas… and most people are familiar with the Mexican version of horchatas made from rice and cinnamon. However in Puerto Rico, horchatas are made from sesame seeds or as we call them in Spanish, ajonjolí.

I was not aware a horchata made from sesame seeds was so unique until Serious Eats editor, Adam Kuban, flagged my comment that week as something interesting on the SE Talk threads.

Sesame Seed Horchata is served a lot in our Yoga Center mostly because it’s a beverage that’s easy and economical to make. And the fact that it’s a great source of calcium and nutrition is an added plus.

It’s been awhile since I’ve made horchata at home. It’s not really difficult to make – hey, it only has 3 ingredients. But I do agree it’s a bit tedious and can be messy if you’re not organized. I made it with my new Magic Bullet, but you can certainly make this just the same in a blender.

This recipe makes about 96 ounces of horchata… but I have never ever measured the exact amount of water I use. This is something I have always “eye-balled”. But do not be intimidated by the lack of measurements… horchata is so forgiving that you’ll not mess it up. Here we go…



1 ½ cup sesame seeds – soaked in 3 cups water
1 cup brown sugar


Start by soaking the sesame seeds in some filtered water. I like to soak the seeds for about 1 hour. This is certainly not necessary, but I think it helps extract more flavor and creaminess from the seeds. I soak in about 3 cups of water, just to give you an idea of the amount I use. Do not soak for too long (longer than 8-10 hours) because the water and seeds may start to ferment and will give you a weird aftertaste.

Sesame seeds just starting to soak...

After aboout 2-3 hours of soaking... See how much they plump?

  1. Gather all your equipment – a large pot with a fine sieve, a bowl to collect the sesame seeds after they’ve been blended once.  I also like to have the container where I’ll store the horchata with a funnel on hand.
  2. Drain all the water from the soaking seeds.
  3. Place some of the sesame seeds in the large container of your Magic Bullet or blender. Fill almost to the top with filtered water. Process for a few minutes in 30 second intervals to puree the seeds as much as possible.
  4. Drain the milky sesame seed pureed water over the sieve. Use a large spoon to move the slush around, but you don’t need to press extremely hard to release all the liquid. If you do, you’ll only push a lot of sediment into the finished horchata that will not be very palatable in the end. So there’s no need to use extra muscle for this. Allow gravity and a slight firm hand to do its job.
  5. Save the leftover seed slush in a bowl for re-processing. Repeat with all the never-processed seeds in the same way as before. I usually divide the original seeds into 4 batches because the Magic Bullet large container is not as big as a regular blender. If using a regular blender, I might divide into only 3 batches because you can accommodate more water too. After processing all the seeds once, reprocess in the exact same way, diving it into batches, but this time after passing it through the sieve, just discard the leftover seeds.
  6. Add the sugar with some additional water to the blender and process to break up the sugar and make it easier to dissolve in the horchata. Add the processed sugar water to the horchata. I usually get about 96 ounces of total liquid.
  7. Mix well all-together. Chill before serving.

The horchata will separate when standing in the fridge… but just mix well before serving.

This is an excellent source of calcium and is great to drink by itself, in oatmeals, other hot cereals and smoothies.


One Response to “Sesame Seed Horchata”

  1. Adriana Martin (@AsBestRecipes) February 27, 2014 at 7:09 pm #

    que rico suena esta horchata tendre que probarla saludos Madelyn!

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