If you love strawberries, but don’t feel like consuming milkshakes anymore, there is an excellent option to replace that. It’s not very common worldwide but is becoming, so why not try it now? So, let’s see what is strawberry horchata and what it tastes like.
Strawberry Horchata is a beverage made of soaked rice mixed with strawberry pure, sugar cane, cinnamon, and gloves. The taste of strawberry horchata can be complex as it has sugar and spices. In addition, it may have other ingredients like condensed, skimmed, or vegetable milk, a little alcohol, and other fruits.
The recipe for this drink is straightforward, but it has its tricks that I will be explaining below.
What Is Strawberry Horchata Made Of?
Horchata is a type of vegetable drink that originates from Mexico, and it can be obtained from rice or other products like tiger nuts. Usually, the strawberry horchata is made with white rice rather than any other product.
The rice needs to be soaked to be ready; you cannot boil it or use it raw. The soaking process starts from two hours, and it may continue until a full day, twenty-four hours. This depends on the type of rice and your own choice. Some people prefer to leave it 24 hours to be sure that they will have a good result.
Strawberry horchata does not include a cooking process, so the rice won’t be boiled or fried but will be consumed like that. You can change the water when it is ready to be prepared or keep the same water you soaked it.
As the name dictates, it contains strawberries, which can be fresh or frozen. Both ways work the same, but if it’s frozen, make sure you have a strong blender and be conscious that horchata will be immediately very cold due to frozen strawberries.
Sugar is also needed to add more sweetness, but which sugar: white, brown, or cane sugar? I would go for cane sugar, as it’s more organic and will keep this beverage very healthy. On the other hand, a good amount of white sugar can add a lot of flavors and be bad for your health.
The last touch of horchata is cloves and cinnamon, two different tastes: one fresh and one spicy mixed and with all other ingredients make this beverage unique in its flavor.
And if until this point you have obtained a good beverage but still you don’t feel it perfect, then you can add a little condensed milk that for sure will improve the texture by making it more creamy and the taste by making it sweeter. Again, not a fan as it contains a lot of sugar, but just a tiny quantity any now and then cannot do immense harm.
What Does Strawberry Horchata Taste Like?
The most dominant taste in strawberry horchata is strawberry. This is what makes it unique and different from the strawberry milkshake.
The original horchata has a large quantity of rice, so the rice and cinnamon influence the final taste. This beverage is also sweet, but the sweetness depends on the quantity and type of sugar you decide to put.
Overall it can have a complex taste if you add milk, a little alcohol, and spices like cinnamon.
What to Add to Strawberry Horchata?
Add some strawberry pieces, besides the pure strawberry put in the beginning. Sometimes some parts of strawberry can improve the taste by making it stronger and more alive.
Put some ice in the mixture even if it’s already cooled. Some ice cubes may make it more attractive and create more of the idea of a milkshake. In summer, sure that the ice is a must. You can even blend again with the ice to make everything homogenized together.
Besides the essential ingredients that are mentioned above, there are still some other things you can add to a strawberry horchata to make it better. First, you can put some milk in it. Coconut milk takes the first place as a good option. If you love the taste of coconut milk, then put a generous amount and if you want just a glimpse of it, add less.
This recipe is called strawberry horchata, but if you add some blueberry or raspberry, the taste will only get better and better. Not too much, as you want the strawberry to be the dominant flavor, but just some to differentiate the taste from other strawberry horchatas.
Whipped cream on top will make strawberry horchata creamier and heavier, but still delicious.
Is Strawberry Horchata Easy to Make?
Strawberry horchata is easy to make.
Most of the time, the rice needs to be soaked, which may take time, but won’t require a lot of effort or attention. Then, you put the rice in water and let it rest for a specific time that may vary from two to twenty-four hours.
Usually, most people let it rest for a minimum of two hours but no more than 4 hours. It’s proven that it does not have any significant change in the taste or texture no matter how long you let the rice soak if it has been soaking for 2 hours.
Besides this, the other part of the process may be pretty easy to prepare as it requires only a blender and a sieve. The method of preparing will take no more than fifteen to twenty minutes in total.
How to Make Strawberry Horchata?
In most cases, the strawberry horchata is prepared by blending the soaked rice with the water and cinnamon sticks for some time and straining them with a sieve to obtain only the juicy parts.
Follow the same process with strawberries, gloves, and sugar. Blend them, and taste to see if the sugar level is balanced. Then again, you can strain them with a sieve or add the pure like that. I prefer to add the pure like that as I have more nutritional values from the fruit.
You mix both parts in a glass and decide if you want to add condensed milk or not. Then add some ice to make it colder, and the horchata is ready.
Again, in Mexican culture, an excellent way to add some sugar into your horchata besides sugar cane is agave. Buy a good syrup of agave, as the better the quality, the healthier the final result. I would go for organic agave syrup, but the quantity won’t be considered, so it won’t be very harmful even if it’s not organic. Also, you can use other organic sweeteners to avoid white or brown sugar.
All kinds of milk are allowed, from skim milk to coconut or almond milk. You can add just a little or a reasonable amount. Milk is added to increase the nutritional values or to improve the taste. I avoid using skim milk in this recipe and go for some almond milk or coconut milk instead, but this is entirely personal.
Take into consideration that if you add any natural milk, then avoid condensed milk; there is no need for both.
Fresh or Frozen Fruit
In this case, it does not matter if the strawberries are frozen or fresh. There are particular recipes like cheesecake where fresh strawberry is essential, but this is not the case. In both cases, the formula will end up equally delicious. You can also unfreeze the strawberries in the microwave for two or three minutes.
How to Store Strawberry Horchata?
For sure immediately after preparing it, it’s better to put it in the fridge. I choose to put the horchata in a glass container as it is more hygienic than plastic. Be careful to cover the jar or the bottle so that you won’t have smell interferences.
Also, freezing is a good option. Freeze it in small portions, and if you feel like consuming it, get it out of the deep freezer and put it in the fridge again; in a couple of hours, it can go to its initial stage again. If you see that the texture is not the best, try to fix it with some milk.
How Long Does Strawberry Horchata Last?
This beverage can last up to 5 days if it’s appropriately stored in the fridge. This is a good time for the strawberries to be suitable for consumption, and until day five, there is not a considerable risk of horchata going bad. Be cautious about mixing it every time you consume it to have the initial texture again.
After day five, it is better to be careful; try just a sip, and if you feel that the freshness is gone, then better not consume it.
What to Use Instead of Strawberries to Make Horchata?
Horchata is a beverage that initially was consumed without strawberries in it, so firstly, it was a white beverage, still delicious and pleasing to drink. Then, to add more flavor, Mexicans started to add strawberries as soft and sweet fruit.
But this beverage is not exclusively with strawberries. You can add other fruits according to your taste. For example, a good interchange can be mango, another soft and sweet fruit that can make horchata taste the same delicious.
A unique product that can be a fit for this sweet beverage is pumpkin. Yes, pumpkin is proven to be very nice. Besides all the essential ingredients, you can also add some milk that can me skim milk, almond, or coconut milk, to make it thinner and soften the pumpkin taste.
Another good replacement for strawberries can be an apricot. Again, they need to be not in the fresh version but dried. Make sure you have stored them in a cool and dark area before mixing them in horchata to have the best quality. With apricots, horchata won’t be the sweetest one, as dried apricots do not contain much sugar, but they will be very delicious and consumed cold in the summer.
I would suggest you dare and also try a horchata with watermelon. As watermelon contains a lot of water, it will be effortless to squeeze it and get its juice to add it, then to horchata to give some watermelon taste.
The last suggestion is to use melon pure or pineapple pure to give the horchata the melon or pineapple taste. The cooking principles will be the same as with other fruits, and here again, you can put different types of milk or sugars that you like.
Simple Strawberry Horchata Recipe
- 1 cup White Rice
- 2 Cinnamon Sticks
- 2 cups Warm Water
- 2 cups Warm Coconut Milk
- 2 cups Chopped Strawberries
- 3 tbsp Agave Syrup
- 1 cup Whipped Cream
- Soak cinnamon and rice in one cup of warm water and two cups of warm coconut milk for four hours.
- After four hours, sieve the mixture.
- Melt sugar in one cup of water. Add chopped strawberries and then blend the mixture.
- Sieve the mixture so you get a nice and even strawberry puree.
- Mix the first mixture with strawberry puree. Pour the drink into the glasses on the ice and serve with whipping cream.