Recipe: Strawberry Almond Horchata

There should be a rule. Whenever the weather is sunny and fine, when it is hot enough to swim in the deep seas – you should absolutely swim. Even if you forgot your bathing suit. Likewise, if you are ever offered horchata – the famous Mexican summertime sipper – consider yourself lucky and drink, drink, drink.

The freedom of swimming, no matter what – that’s what I taste in this drink. This is a summer’s worth of happy – chilled and served with a straw. You’ll taste almond and rice milk. Your smile will be made of strawberries, deepened by a dusting of cinnamon and splash of vanilla.

This is fresh, summer joy.

This is laugh out loud good.


1 cup of long grain white rice, ground fine in spice mill
1 cup of blanched almonds
1 large cinnamon stick (4″)
3 cups of hot water
1/4- 3/4 cup of sugar, as desired
3 cups whole milk
1 Tbsp vanilla extract


shaved ice


Even if you see clouds, close your eyes and get ready for sunshine.

The first step to swimming in a Mexican beach? Grind the rice in a coffee mill. Add it to a container with almonds, cinnamon stick and hot water.

Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Meanwhile, sleep along the lapping waters of Mexico.

Ensanada, Mexico. Photo by Beau Hudspeth (Digi-Gen Design)

In the morning, stretch and smile. Then puree the whole lot in your blender until very smooth.

Strain in fine strainer, pressing against the sides with spatula to release all liquid.. or – even easier – use a double layer of cheesecloth, squeezing with hands to release all that precious liquid. Discard the solids. For even smoother results, strain a second time.

Now the fun part – make your horchata happy with as much sugar, milk, and vanilla extract as you’d like. Whisk thoroughly to dissolve the sugar. Optionally, you can return it to the blender with some strawberries – then the drink will be pink. Personally, I love adding hunks of juicy strawberries to the glass. The more the better. Gives me something to nibble on and a reason to smile.

 Keith likes it sweet, but I like it soft.

We both love the strawberries.

And we never have leftovers.

Unless you count that happy feeling that lingers after every sip.

It’s called footloose, fancy freedom.

Summer is almost here. Can you feel it?

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  1. That looks wonderful! Sasha, you are beautiful!

  2. This looks delicious…can you use store bought almond and rice milk if you’re short on time, or will that take away from it?

    • Sasha Martin says:

      Hi Liz, just saw your question – my apologies! You won’t have such a thick, velvety drink. This is more the texture of cream because the rice and almonds add body (although not so rich, of course). You could make a drink from those premade rice and almond drinks and it would probably taste great, but it wouldn’t be the entire experience.

  3. Fine way of describing, and fastidious article to take data
    on the topic of my presentation topic, which i am going to present in university.

  4. This is one of my new favorite drinks! I have made it three times since trying the recipe. My son also loved it without the sugar added. I enjoyed it with just a hint of sugar, 1/4 cup, and sliced strawberries.


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