This Easy Strawberry Horchata recipe is a fun and fruity twist on the classic Spanish beverage. Also known as agua de horchata de fresa, this naturally dairy-free Mexican strawberry milk drink is sure to become a family favorite.

hero shot of a tall collins glass filled with strawberry horchata, strawberry slices, and ice.

Slurping on a tall glass of this strawberry-flavored Mexican milk drink is a surefire way to feel like a kid again. It’s sweet, creamy, and cheerfully-hued, like something your mama would give you after a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. And after that first inimitable sip? All your troubles melt away like a scoop of ice cream on a sunny day. Well, at least for a little while!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe for Agua de Horchata de Fresas

Aside from providing a 1-way ticket to simpler times, this delicious strawberry agua de horchata recipe is also:

  • Quick, Easy, & No-Cook: Soak, blend, strain, blend again, then chill. Your total active prep time will be less than 20 minutes, and the hardest part is waiting for the rice to soften!
  • Made With Only 6 Ingredients: And aside from the berries, they’re all pantry staples. 
  • Customizable: The great thing about making horchata at home is you can tweak the recipe to fit your particular needs. Want to make it sugar-free? Swap in stevia. Prefer mixed berries to strawberries? Use them instead! Read below for even more ideas.
  • Pretty In Pink! If you’re looking for a non-alcoholic pink drink for your Barbie-watching party, this is it. Not only is it delicious, but it’s also naturally vegan and gluten-free, so everyone can get in on the fun!

What is Strawberry Horchata?

Strawberry horchata is also known as agua de horchata de fresa. Regular agua de horchata is one of the original plant-based milks, dating back to at least the 13th century in Valencia, Spain. (Yep — this vegan milk has been around wayyyyyy longer than the Dutch Bros strawberry horchata you can get in the drive-thru!) 

While the versions of this drink favored in 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 Mexican horchata that I grew up with was a lightly sweetened, impossibly creamy, vanilla-cinnamon flavored rice milk. 

I used the same homemade horchata recipe here, but simplified it and added strawberries (fresh or frozen). So in a (tiger) nutshell, if plain rice horchata is like milk, then strawberry horchata is like strawberry milk!

Ingredients & Substitutions

Making strawberry agua horchata is a snap. As promised, you only need a handful of ingredients to make this easy horchata recipe with strawberries. Make sure to watch the video and check the recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and quantities.

flat lay shot of the ingredients needed to make strawberry horchata (agua de horchata de fresas) measured out on a grey table.
  • White Rice: While any variety of rice will work, I tend to reach for long grain, jasmine, basmati, or short grain. You’re definitely welcome to use more aromatic varieties like brown rice. Just note that it will impart nutty flavors to your horchata.
  • Cinnamon: Using sticks of canela (cinnamon) is the traditional way to infuse agua de horchata with spicy goodness. If you don’t have any on hand, you’re welcome to swap in 1-2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon instead.
  • Cloves: Whole spices tend to preserve more of their essential oils than ground spices, plus they’ll last much longer on your spice cabinet shelves. If you don’t have any whole cloves, you can add ¼ – ½ teaspoon of ground cloves instead.
  • Vanilla Extract: I love using Mexican vanilla extract to add rich warmth that almost makes the strawberry horchata taste like melted ice cream. Feel free to use an equal amount of vanilla paste or vanilla powder instead.
  • Strawberries: I tend to use fresh strawberries for this recipe because I can reliably find them year round. Feel free to swap in frozen berries if needed — just defrost them first so your horchata doesn’t turn into a milkshake.
  • Cane Sugar: Made from actual sugar cane, this variety of sugar has more depth of flavor than neutral-flavored granulated sugar. Feel free to swap in granulated sugar if needed!
  • Water: If you’ve been counting, you caught me! Water is the 7th ingredient for this berry-flavored horchata drink, but since it comes out of the tap, I left it off the count. If possible, use filtered water for the best taste.

How To Make Horchata with Strawberries

process shot - rice and water in a large glass mason jar.

Rinse and strain uncooked rice.

Soak rice in water for a couple of hours. Make sure you use a container that is large enough to keep the rice submerged.

Blend the soaked rice, water, cinnamon stick broken in half, and cloves in a blender for 1 to 2 minutes until well blended.

Strain through a sieve and discard solids. (They can be composted!)

Blend with berries. Return strained liquid to a blender with vanilla extract, strawberries, and sugar and blend for 1 to 2 minutes and strain, if desired. 

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

Taste and adjust. Add more water or sugar to your liking, or add sweetened condensed milk if you want an extra creamy strawberry horchata.

Serve: If the sweetness is to your liking, pour into glasses filled with ice and garnish with fresh sliced strawberries. Enjoy!

Optional Variations

As much as I love this strawberry agua de horchata recipe, there are tons of ways for you to make it your own. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Extra Creamy: Some street vendors make their Mexican rice water a bit sweeter and creamier by adding sweetened condensed milk. If you like this idea but want to keep it as a dairy-free horchata, simply use the vegan condensed milk of your choice!
  • Strawberry Almond Horchata: Replace some or all of the vanilla extract with almond extract for a nutty spin.
  • Iced Horchata Latte: I saw an ad for a strawberry iced latte the other day, and while I admit it sounds a little out there for my taste, this horchata de fresa sounds like the perfect way to make it at home. Simply pour two shots of espresso over a tall glass of ice, then top with my homemade strawberry rice milk and enjoy!

Expert Tips & Tricks

  • Use the freshest, most fragrant strawberries you can find. The better they smell, the better they’ll taste!
  • Either a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth is ideal for straining out the rice and spice solids.
  • To prevent flavor dilution, freeze some of your strawberry horchata into ice cubes — they’ll help keep your drink nice and frosty without watering it down!

Storage Instructions

  • Refrigerate: This strawberry horchata is best served nice and cold, preferably over a tall glass of ice. For the the best flavor, keep your horchata refrigerated and use it within 3 days.
  • Freeze: If you still have leftovers after 3 days, feel free to freeze them into ice cubes or make them into paletas de horchata!
closeup shot of a tall blue-rimmed collins glass filled with homemade strawberry horchata garnished with strawberry slices next to a ceramic bowl filled with fresh strawberries.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is horchata vegan?

While I can’t speak for all recipes, this homemade strawberry horchata is vegan so long as you don’t add sweetened condensed milk as a sweetener. Although, now that I think about it, you can always use plant-based sweetened condensed milk if you like! 

Is horchata healthy?

While “healthy” might not be my top choice of words to describe this homemade pink horchata — it does contain a decent amount of sugar, after all — I’d venture to say it’s a better-for-you option than store-bought!  

In this homemade horchata de fresa, there are only 6 whole food ingredients, whereas store-bought versions are loaded with weird artificial colors, difficult-to-pronounce preservatives, and stabilizing ingredients. Plus, you have the ability to control exactly how much sugar you add, and can even make it sugar-free!

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 neutral-flavored long-grain white rice for the most authentic flavor, letting the cinnamon and strawberries shine.

Can I spike this strawberry 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.

More Barbie-Pink Drinks

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

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hero shot of a tall collins glass filled with strawberry horchata, strawberry slices, and ice.

Easy Strawberry Horchata Recipe

5 (7 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.


  • 1 cup long-grain rice, uncooked
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves, whole
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 16 ounces strawberries, hulled
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar
  • 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk (optional)
  • fresh strawberry slices, for garnish


  • Rinse and strain uncooked rice.
  • Soak rice in 6 cups of water for 2 to 4 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.



  • 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 3 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
Originally published: February 2021.