Sonoratown’s coconut horchata breaks the mold

Sonoratown horchata
Sonoratown’s horchata, made silky and rich with coconut milk.
(Camily Tsai / For The Times)

This horchata, served at Sonoratown in downtown L.A., uses coconut in four different ways to add richness and complexity. If you buy a mature, brown coconut, you will get double the amount of coconut meat and water that you need for this recipe, although you can also buy pre-peeled chunks and bottled coconut water. If you like, double the rest of the ingredients to make a giant batch of horchata and store it in a cooler for a party.

All-Clad’s three-piece stainless steel strainer set makes easy work of straining rice water for silky smooth horchata.

Aug. 14, 2019

Sonoratown’s Coconut Horchata

15 minutes, plus overnight soaking. Makes 7 ½ cups.


  • 7 ½ cups long grain white rice
  • 3 sticks canela (Mexican cinnamon)
  • 9 cups room temperature filtered water, plus more
  • 2 tablespoons Mexican vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces fresh coconut meat, brown skin peeled off, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup unsweetened canned coconut cream
  • ¾ cup unsweetened canned coconut milk
  • ½ cup fresh coconut water
  • ½ cup granulated sugar, plus more to taste


  1. In a blender, combine the rice, canela and water, and blend to break up the rice, about 30 seconds. Pour the mixture into a large bowl and stir in the vanilla; rinse and reserve the blender. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the coconut meat, cream, milk, and water in the blender and blend on high until smooth. Pour the coconut mixture through a fine strainer to remove any unblended pieces then pour into a large pitcher; refrigerate with the rice mixture.
  3. The next day, stir and strain the rice mixture into the coconut mixture, then taste and add more water, if needed, to reach your desired consistency. Add the sugar, stir until dissolved, then add more to taste. Serve the horchata over ice.

Adapted from Sonoratown.