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Strawberry Horchata | The Recipe Critic


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Elevate the flavors of traditional horchata with this strawberry horchata recipe! It’s a creamy drink soaked in rice water and cinnamon sticks, then sweetened with a strawberry puree. Everyone loves the strawberry version of this rich, milky Mexican drink!

Any time the weather gets warmer, I love to break out all of the refreshing drink recipes! Some of my favorites are Brazilian lemonade, a mango lassi, or a mint julep

Close view of a glass of strawberry horchata with a pitcher behind it.

What is Strawberry Horchata?

Horchata is a popular Mexican drink known as a sweetened rice milk and this strawberry horchata version is even better! It starts with a blended combination of rice, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon sticks then mixes with a sweet strawberry puree. Then comes the addition of sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk. It adds the perfect sweetness and creaminess to the drink! I love balancing out the creamy cinnamon sweetness by adding a fresh strawberry puree makes this horchata irresistible.

It’s super creamy, refreshing, and filled with sweet strawberry flavor. The fresh strawberry flavor adds the perfect touch. In fact, strawberries are the perfect touch in a lot of my favorite recipes. Try this tasty salad, this easy cake, or the best strawberry banana bread!

Ingredients You’ll Need

This homemade strawberry horchata uses simple ingredients that you get at the grocery store. It is a true authentic Mexican treat and a perfect refreshing drink for a warm day.

  • Cinnamon Sticks: Find these at your local grocery store in the spice section.
  • Vanilla: This is the best flavor combination with vanilla.
  • Rice: Long-grained white rice is best.
  • Hot Water: It is best to use hot water. After soaking in the rice it becomes a creamy milk rice.
  • Sugar: Add in more sugar to sweeten or less if it is too sweet.
  • Strawberries: The star of this drink! Use fresh strawberries and save some to garnish when serving.
  • Lemon Juice: The acidity balances out the sweetness and brightens the flavors in the strawberry puree.
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk: The creamy sweetness this adds to the strawberry horchata is a must!
  • Evaporated Milk: Adds richness and creaminess to the horchata.
  • Ice: Horchata is served with ice so that it is nice and cold!
Ingredients labeled to make strawberry horchata.

How to Make Strawberry Horchata

Homemade strawberry horchata is time-consuming but only because of the time it needs to soak. The rest of the recipe is very easy and I walk you through all the steps! Plan ahead of time to make this refreshing beverage. It’s worth it!

  1. Soak: Break the cinnamon sticks into pieces and the cinnamon, vanilla, rice, and hot water to a container or bowl and stir until combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours to soak the rice.
  2. Blend the Strawberry Mixture: Prepare a strawberry sauce by adding the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a container, cover, then refrigerate until you are ready to finish preparing the horchata.
  3. Blend and Strain the Rice Mixture: After the rice mixture has soaked for at least 6 hours, add it to a blender and blend for 2-3 minutes on high speed. Strain through a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth or a coffee filter into a large pitcher, but discard all of the solids.
  4. Add in the Both Kinds of Milk and Strawberry Puree: Add in the sweetened condensed milk, and evaporated milk. Stir in the strawberry puree.
  5. Serve: Taste and adjust to your preferences by adding cold water, a little more sugar, or milk. When it tastes the way you like, fill the rest of the pitcher with ice and fresh strawberries. Serve immediately.

Strawberry Horchata Tips

Here are some extra tips below to make your strawberry horchata a success! Everyone loves horchata and the added strawberry flavor is a crowd-pleaser.

  • Use Frozen Strawberries: You can use frozen strawberries to make your puree! Thaw them completely before blending them with the remaining ingredients. This will allow you to make delicious strawberry horchata when strawberries are out of season.
  • Dairy-Free Option: You can make this a completely dairy-free recipe by using dairy-free sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk.
  • Rinse the Rice: Sometimes horchata can be a little too chalky for some people. To lessen the chalkiness, rinse the rice under cold water until the water is clear before using it in the recipe.

Close view of a large glass pitcher full of horchata with the strawberry puree pouring in.

Storing Leftovers

Strawberry horchata can be a little time-consuming, that’s why it’s great to make ahead of time. It’s a labor of love, but so worth every sweet sip!

  • In the Refrigerator: Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Make in Advance: The strawberry puree may be made a day in advance and kept chilled in the refrigerator for 1 week. You can also freeze the puree in the freezer for up to 3 months. Move it to the refrigerator to thaw before using.
  • In the Freezer: Store in an airtight container or Ziplock bag for up to 1 month. Move it to the refrigerator to thaw. It can take up to 24 hours to completely thaw.

Close view of strawberry horchata in a glass pitcher with a large gold spoon for stirring.

Make These Tasty Strawberry Drinks

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  • Break the cinnamon sticks into pieces and the cinnamon, vanilla, rice, and hot water to a container and stir until combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

  • Prepare a strawberry sauce by adding the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a container, cover, and refrigerate until you are ready to finish preparing the horchata.

  • After the rice mixture has soaked for at least 6 hours, add it to a blender and blend for 2-3 minutes on high speed. Strain through a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth or a coffee filter into a large pitcher. Discard all of the solids.

  • Add in the sweetened condensed milk, and evaporated milk, then stir in the strawberry puree.

  • Taste and adjust to your preferences by adding cold water, a little more sugar, or milk. When it tastes the way you like, fill the rest of the pitcher with ice and fresh strawberries. Serve immediately.

Calories: 115kcalCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 2gFat: 0.4gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 0.1mgSodium: 7mgPotassium: 132mgFiber: 2gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 11IUVitamin C: 40mgCalcium: 27mgIron: 0.5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.





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