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This delicious dairy-free recipe for Easy Strawberry Horchata is a fun and fruity twist on the classic Spanish beverage. Long before plant-based milk was all the rage, horchata has been enjoyed by people around the world. Lightly sweet and creamy, this recipe highlights my favorite spring fruit.

glass jug and two collins glasses with turquoise rims filled with homemade strawberry horchata and garnished with strawberries    

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, let’s celebrate amor. For this holiday, I’m celebrating with a pretty in pink glass of homemade horchata. Whether you’re celebrating a spouse, a friend, or your children, it’s a good excuse to blend up this fruity, pink drink. 

What is Horchata?

Agua de horchata is one of the original forms of plant-based milks, dating back to at least the 13th century in Valencia, Spain.

While the versions of this drink favored in Mexico (as well as other parts of Latin America, Nigeria, and Mali) are made with rice soaked in water, the original recipe in Spain – known as orxata de xufa – was made using tiger nuts.

The classic horchata that I grew up with was a lightly sweetened, impossibly creamy, vanilla-cinnamon flavored rice milk. I used our recipe for traditional horchata, but simplified it for this springtime inspired blend.

mise en place for homemade strawberry horchata - cane sugar, fresh strawberries, long grain white rice, vanilla extract, canela and cloves

Why This Recipe is Easy

If you’ve never made homemade horchata before, now’s the time to start. This strawberry horchata recipe is as good as it gets. Watch the video to see how easy this horchata is to make.

What Ingredients are in Homemade Strawberry Horchata?

I love how sweet and creamy regular horchata is, and this strawberry version is no exception. Made with just six ingredients, many of which you probably already have on hand. If you need to stock up on any ingredients, Kroger offers great value, affordable price options and fresh berries year-round.

  • Long grain white rice: this type of rice is what gives the drink its unique flavor.
  • Cold water: once the water is soaked with the rice it will turn into a creamy rice milk.
  • Cinnamon sticks: I buy canela (cinnamon sticks) in Mexican spice pouches in the Hispanic aisle. But you can also find cinnamon sticks bottled in the baking aisle of your local Kroger store.
  • Cloves: are aromatic and give a sweet and warm flavor to this drink.
  • Vanilla extract: use Mexican vanilla for the best flavor.
  • Strawberries: fresh strawberries are available year-round.
  • Cane sugar: is made from sugar cane and has slightly more depth of flavor compared with regular granulated sugar.
  • Sweetened condensed milk: This ingredient is totally optional. I don’t add this ingredient, but I know some folks like very thick, creamy, and rich horchata.

No-Cook Horchata

As an added bonus, there is zero cooking involved with this recipe. All you need is a little bit of prep time and a touch of patience to make this delightfully sweet, naturally vegan recipe.

How to Make Homemade Strawberry Horchata

Soak rice in six cups of water for 2 – 24 hours. Make sure you use a container that is large enough to keep the rice submerged. I like using a tall mason jar for this.

large mason jar with rice soaking in 6 cups of water

Place soaked rice and soaking water with a halved cinnamon stick and a few cloves in the blender. Blend for 1 to 2 minutes until well blended. Strain through a sieve and discard solids.

overhead shot of homemade strawberry horchata in blender pitcher prior to blending in strawberries

Add strained liquid to a blender with vanilla extract, strawberries, and sugar and blend for one to two more minutes.

hand holding strainer with homemade strawberry horchata being poured through it

Strain a final time to remove the seeds, if desired.

Taste and add more water or sugar to your liking. You can also get your horchata to be a bit thicker, sweeter, and creamier by adding sweetened condensed milk. If the sweetness is to your liking, garnish with fresh sliced strawberries and pour into glasses filled with ice.

Frequently Asked Questions:

I can’t find fresh strawberries, any suggestions?

Sure! Use frozen strawberries instead. They are picked at peak ripeness prior to being flash frozen, so they should retain all of their flavor and nutrition. Just let them defrost before blending, or your strawberry horchata will end up a little like a milkshake.

What is the best rice to use for horchata?

I personally prefer using long grain white rice for the most authentic flavor. This rice flavor is neutral letting the cinnamon and strawberries shine.

Can I spike this horchata?

Absolutely! Remember this Horchata Margarita? Add two ounces of tequila or rum to individual glasses of strawberry horchata and stir. Salud!

Will this strawberry horchata recipe work with other fruits?

I don’t see why not! I bet this same recipe with pineapple, mango, or cantaloupe would be amazing.

Can I make any other substitutions?

  • Cinnamon: I prefer making horchata with canela, or whole cinnamon sticks. In a pinch, swap in two teaspoons of ground cinnamon instead.
  • Cloves: No cloves? Feel free to omit or add a pinch of ground cloves if you happen to have on hand.
  • Vanilla extract: Traditional horchata has cinnamon and vanilla, which I have used here. You can certainly feel free to substitute with almond extract.
  • Sugar: No cane sugar? Feel free to substitute with granulated sugar.

Serving and Storage

This strawberry horchata is best served nice and cold, preferably over a tall glass of ice. For best flavor, keep your horchata refrigerated and use within three days.

overhead shot of homemade strawberry horchata in glasses garnished with fresh strawberry slices on bright pink and blue striped fabric

Need more festive Valentine’s Day drinks to treat your loved one?

Check out these other drinks:

More Mexican Non-AlcoholicSippers to Try:

Did you try this easy recipe for strawberry horchata? Let me know how it turned out by commenting below!

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overhead shot of mandala shape created with a collins glass of homemade strawberry horchata and 6 whole fresh strawberries surrounding it

pitcher and two glasses filled with homemade strawberry horchata and garnished with strawberries

Easy Strawberry Horchata

5 (2 ratings)
This delicious dairy-free recipe for Easy Strawberry Horchata is a fun and fruity twist on the classic Spanish beverage. Long before plant-based milk was all the rage, horchata has been enjoyed by people around the world. Lightly sweet and creamy, this recipe highlights my favorite spring fruit.

Ingredients

Instructions 

  • Soak rice in 6 cups of water for 2 to 24 hours. Make sure you use a container that is large enough to keep the rice submerged.
  • Place soaked rice and water in blender with cinnamon stick broken in half and cloves and blend for 1 to 2 minutes until well blended.
  • Strain through a sieve and discard solids.
  • Return strained liquid to a blender with vanilla extract, strawberries, and sugar and blend for 1 to 2 minutes and strain, if desired. 
  • Taste and add more water or sugar to your liking or sweetened condensed milk if you want a creamy strawberry horchata.
  • If the sweetness is to your liking, garnish with fresh sliced strawberries and pour into glasses filled with ice.

Video

Notes

  • Cinnamon: I prefer making horchata with canela, or whole cinnamon sticks. In a pinch, swap in two teaspoons of ground cinnamon instead.
  • Cloves: No cloves? Feel free to omit or add a pinch of ground cloves if you happen to have on hand.
  • Vanilla extract: Traditional horchata has cinnamon and vanilla, which I have used here. You can certainly feel free to substitute with almond extract.
  • Sugar: No cane sugar? Feel free to substitute with granulated sugar.
  • Serving and StorageThis strawberry horchata is best served nice and cold, preferably over a tall glass of ice. For best flavor, keep your horchata refrigerated and use within three days.
  • Nutrition Information does not include sweetened condensed milk.
Calories: 153kcal, Carbohydrates: 36g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 11mg, Potassium: 116mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 15g, Vitamin A: 8IU, Vitamin C: 33mg, Calcium: 26mg, Iron: 1mg

Photography by Raemi Vermiglio / Video by Pure Cinematography

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