Living in LA for many years, I became a quick fan of the sweet, creamy, lightly spiced horchata on offer at taco shops around the city. I wanted to create my own take on horchata, and in researching the drink, I learned that in Puerto Rico, horchata is made with sesame seeds in place of rice. As someone who loves the flavor of black sesame, I decided to swap black seeds for white. This milk flavor was such a hit that New York-based ice cream shop OddFellows turned it into a soft serve ice cream last July.


1¼ cups Water

½ cup Black Sesame Seeds

1 tablespoon Honey, or more to taste

1 cup Almond Milk

¾ teaspoon Cinnamon


1 | Place sesame seeds in a small bowl and cover with about an inch of water, soaking overnight.

2 | Drain and rinse sesame seeds.

3 | Transfer sesame seeds to a high-power blender, adding water and honey. Blend on high until sesame seeds are completely broken down, about 2 minutes.

4 | Position a medium bowl under a nut milk bag and pour in sesame seed milk mixture. Holding the top of the bag with your left hand, use your right hand to squeeze the sesame seed milk from the pulp. Reserve the pulp for another use.

5 | Rinse blender and pour ¾ of a cup of sesame seed milk back in, setting aside the remaining milk for another use (you will have about 1 cup of milk leftover).

6 | Add almond milk and cinnamon and blend another 15 seconds.

7 | Taste milk. If it is your desired level of sweetness, transfer to a glass jar with a lid, and keep sealed in the fridge. If you feel as though the milk needs to be adjusted, pour back into blender and add more honey as needed. If covered and refrigerated, black sesame milk will keep for up to 5 days.

*Makes about 1¾ cups.

For Homemade Almond Milk:

1 | Soak a cup of raw almonds overnight. The next day, rinsing them out and adding to a high-powered blender.

2 | Throw in 2½ cups of water, one date, a pinch of salt and one vanilla bean.

3 | Process and strain through a nut milk bag or cheesecloth.

In Your Inbox