Eddie Garcia’s Homemade Horchata

For more than twenty years, the Garcia family’s Helados La Azteca has served up Jalisco-style frozen treats, candies, and savory snacks, making it one of Waco’s oldest ice cream parlors in operation. First-time visitors can’t go wrong at the brand new location on North Valley Mills Drive next to Don’s Humidor (although the smaller shop next to Lalo’s Coffee on Colcord Avenue, also owned by Eddie Garcia, is another great choice). The largest of the three Waco shops, the Valley Mills location boasts the most varieties of ice cream flavors and offers plenty of seating for friends and families.

Everyone has their own take on the traditional Mexican drink horchata, and if you can’t make it to Helados La Azteca for a cooling glass of it, try this recipe of Eddie’s at home.



You’ll need to begin the day before you plan to serve the horchata to allow time for the rice to soak. Otherwise, this recipe comes together in less than half an hour, and you’ll have horchata for days.

Recipe yields approximately 10 eight-ounce servings.


10 oz. white rice

1 cinnamon stick

1 c sugar

1 can evaporated milk

1 can lechera (condensed milk)

½ gal water


Place the rice and cinnamon stick in a small container or Tupperware and cover with water until the water reaches two inches above the rice. Store the rice mixture in your fridge and allow to soak for 8–10 hours.

Remove the rice mixture from the fridge and puree it in a blender or food processor. The mixture will appear grainy.

Strain the blended rice and cinnamon mixture into a large, 1-gallon container or large mixing bowl or stock pot. Discard the rice and cinnamon. Add the evaporated milk and lechera to the rice milk mixture and stir to combine. Taste the mixture to evaluate the level of sweetness, then gradually add in the sugar, tasting as you go until the mixture is as sweet as you wish. (You may not need all the sugar.) Serve over ice or store in jars in the fridge. Well-refrigerated horchata will be good for 3–4 days.

helados la azteca interior

Helados La Azteca has three locations: 3302 Franklin Avenue, 1500 Colcord Avenue, and 1412 North Valley Mills Drive. Most locations are open from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm, seven days a week.

Read more about Helados La Azteca in this article by Angelica Mazé.

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Angelica Mazé is a Waco transplant by way of San Francisco, New York, and Saudi Arabia. A former chocolatière and production manager, she is now a writer and freelance marketing consultant with a focus on food and cooking.

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