This strawberry horchata or horchata de fresa is creamy, slightly sweet, and so refreshing. It can be served over ice and garnished with fresh strawberry slices or a sprinkle of cinnamon. It’s a popular drink during the summer months or as a tasty treat any time of the year.
Strawberry horchata is a refreshing beverage that combines the flavors of horchata, a traditional Mexican rice drink, with the addition of strawberry. The drink belongs to the category of aguas frescas which are Mexican drinks made of fruit, grains or seeds, water, and sugar.
Horchata de fresa, as it’s known in Mexico, has a smooth, creamy, and cinnamon taste with a refreshing strawberry hint.
To make strawberry horchata, fresh strawberries are blended with soaked rice, cinnamon, and water, creating a delightful pink-colored drink with a fruity twist.
- RICE: For a Mexican authentic flavor, go with a long-grain type of rice. Mexican rice should be your first choice but other substitutions work fine too, such as Jasmine or Basmati rice.
- STRAWBERRIES: You can use fresh strawberries or frozen when they are not in season. Save some for garnishing too.
- EVAPORATED MILK: You will need a can of evaporated milk for creaminess.
- SWEETENER: You can use any type of sweetener you prefer, or even go sugar-free.
- AROMA: We used a stick of cinnamon and a teaspoon of vanilla extract in this recipe but you can also use other flavors and aromas like anise, almond, or orange extract. Just be easy on them, you don’t want to cover the excellent strawberry taste.
Take a look at the visual overview of the steps to make this recipe or scroll down to see the recipe card with the detailed list of ingredients and instructions.
How To Make Strawberry Horchata
Rinse it once or twice the rice under cold water. Place it in a large bowl and add a whole cinnamon stick.
Add 4 cups of water and let it soak for at least 4 hours or better yet, overnight.
Add the soaked rice and cinnamon along with 2 cups of the soaking water to a blender.
Blend it on high speed until it is completely smooth (about 3-4 minutes).
Using a fine sieve or a cheesecloth, strain the mixture into a large pitcher and discard the leftover pulp from the rice and cinnamon.
Add also the remaining soaking water to the pitcher.
Now, place 2/3 of the washed strawberries in the blender with 2 cups of water and blend until nicely smooth.
Strain the mixture into the pitcher with the rice water discarding any leftovers.
Pour the evaporated milk, vanilla extract, and sweetener to the pitcher and stir well until combined.
Chop the rest of the strawberries and add to the horchata, adjusting also the other ingredients to your liking (sugar, extracts).
Place the pitcher in the refrigerator and let it chill for 1-2 hours. Or you can also pour over ice and serve the strawberry horchata immediately.
So, now you can see why I love this strawberry horchata recipe so much and why is one of my favorite Mexican drinks too. And if you’re still not convinced to make it, here are a few reasons why you should!
- It is easy To Make. In order to make horchata with strawberries, all you need to do is soak rice and then blend everything, mix, and serve. Can’t get easier than that!
- It is delicious. It is really delicious and creamy, think of strawberries and cream with a hit of hearty cinnamon.
- It is refreshing. Served with ice or just chilled from the fridge, is the perfect creamy drink for sunny days.
- And customizable. You can make it dairy-free, or sugar-free. You can use fresh or frozen strawberries, this recipe can be adapted to your taste preferences or diet.
Expert Notes & Tips
- Don’t add ice to the pitcher with the pink horchata because it will dilute and become less flavored, instead, add the ice to glasses and serve as you go.
- If strawberries are not in season, you can also use frozen strawberries to make this horchata de fresa. You don’t even need to thaw them, just blend them with the other ingredients.
- If you don’t have cinnamon sticks, you can use ground cinnamon (canela). 1/2 tablespoon should be enough for this strawberry horchata recipe.
- You can use any kind of milk you want, for example, coconut milk adds a very delicious and tropical hint. Or oat milk for a creamier consistency.
- As for sweeteners, other types work too. Think of stevia, monk fruit, or even honey. Sweetened condensed milk is also a delicious option because it adds more creaminess too!
What to Serve With Horchata de Fresa
This pink horchata de fresa is a fun drink and perfect to serve on its own as a treat on sunny days. But it also goes well with so many Mexican dishes, here are my favorites:
Since horchata de fresa already has a strawberry flavor, serving fresh fruit can enhance the fruity experience. Try serving along with Sandía Loca or with Mexican Fruit Cups for a light and refreshing contrast.
How To Store
Strawberry horchata lasts up to 3 days in the fridge. To store, transfer the drink to a large mason jar or a pitcher with a tight lid, so the smells from other foods won’t spoil the beverage.
Before serving the stored horchata de fresa, give it a good shake or stir to redistribute any settled solids that may have separated during refrigeration.
What makes horchata flavor?
The flavor of horchata primarily comes from a combination of rice, cinnamon, and sugar. The specific flavor profile can vary depending on the recipe, like in this strawberry horchata where strawberries add a particular flavor to the drink.
What is horchata in Mexican culture?
In Mexican culture, horchata is deeply rooted in Mexican culinary traditions, and its consumption is often associated with special occasions and holidays. It is commonly served during celebrations such as Mexican Independence Day, Christmas, and Day of the Dead.
But is also a daily drink and a popular choice in taquerias, Mexican restaurants, and street food stalls (cenadurías).
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- large pitcher
- 1 cup long grain white rice
- 6 cups water
- 10 oz strawberries (washed, hulled, and cut into chunks)
- 1-12 oz can evaporated milk (read notes)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup sugar (or any sweetener you prefer)
- ice cubes (to serve)
- Rinse the rice under cold water. Place it in a large bowl and add the cinnamon stick.
- Add 4 cups of water and let it soak for at least 4 hours or better yet, overnight.
- Add the soaked rice and cinnamon along with 2 cups of soaking water to a blender.
- Blend it on high for 3-4 minutes.
- Strain the liquid into a large pitcher and discard the leftover pulp. Add also the remaining soaking water.
- Add ⅔ of the strawberries to the blender with 2 cups of water and blend until smooth. Strain into the pitcher.
- Add the evaporated milk, vanilla extract, and sugar. Stir well until combined.
- Add the remaining strawberries to the pitcher and adjust the sweetness to taste.
- Fill some glasses with ice cubes and serve immediately.
- You can also use other sweeteners instead of sugar, such as stevia, monk fruit, or honey.
- Don’t add ice to the pitcher with the horchata because it will dilute and become less flavored, instead, add the ice to glasses and serve as you go.
- If strawberries are not in season, you can also use frozen strawberries to make this fresca. You don’t even need to thaw them, just blend them with the other ingredients.
- If you don’t have cinnamon sticks, you can use grounded cinnamon. 1/2 tablespoon should be enough for this recipe.