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Food & Recipes

Strawberry Horchata Is the Perfect Sweet + Creamy Refreshing Sip — 2 Easy Recipes

Plus, this genius chilling trick keeps the rice drink cold and delicious

There’s nothing like a refreshingly cool beverage on a warm day, and one drink we’re sure to lots of is strawberry horchata. It’s a chilled rice-based drink that’s blended with berries. The taste resembles rice pudding as it’s sweet and creamy — but the strawberries add a nice tart kick. You can even make it dairy-free without skimping out on creaminess. Keep reading for tips on making a strawberry horchata that’s sure to be your new warm-weather favorite!

What is horchata?

Horchata is an iced Mexican drink that starts by soaking uncooked rice in water to soften the grains. The mixture is then blended and strained for a smooth texture. Milk is sometimes added to enhance the liquid’s creaminess before it’s sweetened and flavored. Traditional horchata is flavored with cinnamon and vanilla extract; however, you can give it a fruity twist by blending in strawberries instead.

How strawberries enhance horchata

Since strawberries are sweet and slightly sharp, they complement this drink’s rich and nutty flavor. This fruit also healthy addition as 1 cup of sliced strawberries contains 53 calories and 3 grams of gut healthy fiber. Plus, this drink’s vibrant pink hue makes it appetizing enough to reach for another glass!

3 tips for making homemade horchata

If you’re new to making horchata, Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack, founder and owner of, has you covered. Here, she shares her top three tips for preparing a refreshing batch of strawberry horchata.

1. Use fresh strawberries when possible.

Fresh is always best when it comes to the strawberries as you want those bright flavors in the drink. But, if you need to use frozen be sure to thaw and drain them beforehand.

2. Strain the liquid using a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth.

A fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth will do the trick for straining the rice base properly. This ensures your horchata has a consistency that’s silky instead of gritty.

3. Make some horchata cubes.

To keep the drink chilled without making it watery, freeze some of it into ice cubes. Fill at least 8 openings of a medium ice cube tray with the horchata and freeze for 3 hours or until solid. Once frozen, place the cubes in the remaining drink, give it a good stir and serve.

How to make strawberry horchata

Below, you can find two versions of this drink — one with milk and another without. They’re both fantastic options to sip on they’re own or alongside dishes like Mexican Street Corn Dip, Baked Tacos, or Mexican Wedding Cookies.

Strawberry Horchata (Without Milk)

This Strawberry Horchata recipe from Marquesz-Sharpnack’s blog relies on the strained rice and water mixture for creaminess. Though, she notes you can add ¾ cup of sweetened condensed milk to create a rich and velvety horchata. Watch the video below to see how to whip up her version of the drink.

Strawberry Horchata (With Milk)

A glass of strawberry horchata (a rice-based chilled drink) on a table surrounded by fresh strawberries

If you want a milky drink, try this recipe from Tamara Earl, baker and executive chef at Delectablez (a Delaware-based vegan restaurant). It uses dairy-free milk, such as almond, oat or cashew, so it’s luscious while still being vegan-friendly.


  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries, thawed
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups dairy-free milk (or regular, if desired)
  • Fresh strawberries and mint leaves, for garnish. 


  • Yield: approximately 8 servings
  1. Rinse rice under cold water until water runs clear. Transfer rinsed rice to blender.
  2. Add 4 cups of water and cinnamon stick to the blender with rice. Blend on high speed for 1 to 2 minutes until rice is broken down but not completely smooth.
  3. Pour rice mixture through fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth into large bowl or pitcher, discarding any solids. This will leave you with smooth rice milk base.
  4. In same blender, combine thawed frozen strawberries, granulated sugar and vanilla extract. Blend until smooth.
  5. Pour strawberry purée into bowl or pitcher with rice milk base. Stir to combine.
  6. Add milk to mixture and stir until well combined. Taste and adjust sweetness if needed by adding more sugar.
  7. Chill horchata in fridge at least 1 hour to allow flavors to meld together. (Note: If desired, make horchata cubes so the drink stays chilled.)
  8. Before serving, stir horchata well. Pour into individual glasses and garnish with fresh strawberries and mint. Enjoy!

For more fun drinks, try these recipes below!

Homemade Coffee Milkshake Recipe: Secret Ingredient Makes It Extra Creamy + Dreamy

This Frozen Mangonada Drink Is Pure Tropical Bliss: Sweet, Spicy + Easy to Make in 10 Minutes

Homemade Boba Tea Recipe Is So Easy (And Cheap) With Just 5 Ingredients

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