I first had this strawberry milk at the increasingly popular SomiSomi Korean Soft Serve Ice Cream shop. When I saw how pretty it was in the bottle I had to try it! It was $5.95 which is on the pricier side, but after tasting it I understood why. Now you can enjoy it whenever your craving strikes!
This strawberry milk drink has gained immense popularity in recent years in Korea and the USA. Rather than using artificial flavors and processed syrups, this Korean strawberry milk uses 100% real and fresh ingredients.
You can often find this drink in many Korean cafes during the hot summer months. But the great thing is this drink is great year-round and be made using frozen strawberries too. It’s great for a treat, a post-meal drink, or a sweet start to your day.
This homemade strawberry milk contains only a few simple ingredients—fresh strawberries, sugar, lemon, vanilla, and milk. The fresh strawberry chunks add a bit of fresh texture which makes this drink iconic. Moreover, cooking down the strawberry puree creates a beautifully creamy consistency when mixed with milk.
You can use any kind of milk from dairy-free options to vegan milk too. Making this Korean drink the perfect crowd-pleaser!
Ingredients and Substitution
Milk: the traditional Korean strawberry milk uses dairy milk. Easily enjoy this drink either dairy-free or vegan by substituting coconut milk, almond milk, soy milk, oat milk, etc.
If you are lactose intolerant like us, we use lactose-free dairy milk so we can still have the same dairy milk flavor without the stress!
Strawberries: Fresh strawberries are the easiest to work with when it comes to slicing the strawberries into smaller chunks. However, you can substitute frozen strawberries when out of season and you’ll still achieve the same great taste with the homemade strawberry syrup.
GranulatedSugar: adding the sugar will give the drink that extra boost of sweetness if the strawberries are not fully ripe or in season. Also when cooking down the strawberries, the sugar acts as a binding ingredient that thickens the sauce. The amount of sugar will ultimately depend on whether or not strawberries are in season and how sweet your strawberries are.
LemonJuice: The lemon juice cuts the sweetness of the sugar while also naturally complementing the strawberry flavor.
I suggest adding the lemon juice once the strawberries and sugar have cooked down and tasting to get your desired sweetness level. The amount of lemon juice varies by the sweetness of the strawberries you use.
Vanilla Extract: the vanilla extract adds that extra layer of depth and flavor you can’t achieve with sugar alone. This ingredient is completely optional, but if you are anything like me I love adding a tiny bit of vanilla to everything for that extra oomph!
How to Make Korean Strawberry Milk
Prepare the strawberries. Wash and cut the stems from the strawberries
Dice the strawberries into small pieces. If you are using a straw, dice the strawberries small enough to fit through your straw.
Cook down the strawberries. In a small saucepan, mix together ½ of the strawberries sugar, lemon, and vanilla extract (optional). Save the other ½ of the strawberries to add to your cup or bottle. Cook over medium-high heat until it reaches a boil. Skim off the foam layer that floats to the surface. Turn down the heat to medium and simmer for 10-15 min stirring occasionally until the strawberries reduce significantly and thicken.
Chill the strawberry sauce. Transfer to a small bowl and chill the strawberry sauce the for 30 minutes in the refrigerator or 15 minutes in the freezer or until cooled.
Serve. Pour in 3 tbsp of the strawberry sauce, add in fresh diced strawberries, then pour in milk. Mix thoroughly with a straw.
Tips for the Best Strawberry Milk
Dice the strawberries. To achieve the best consistency avoid using a blender. Using a blender will make the sauce overly watery and will not bind and thicken as well as dicing into small pieces.
Personalize your level of sweetness. You can minimize the level of sweetness of your strawberry sauce by adding more lemon juice 1 tsp at a time or diced strawberries. Alternatively, if you want to add more sweetness, you can add more sugar 1 tsp at a time.
Skim the foam layer off of the cooked strawberries. When the strawberries are boiling, they will release a foam layer. Using a skimmer spoon, skim off the foam layer for a deep red strawberry jam.
Chill the strawberry jam. This will thicken the jam and ultimately add more flavor to the milk.
Thoroughly mix the strawberry syrup in the milk. Make sure to mix the strawberry sauce completely into the milk for the richest strawberry creamy flavor.
Additional toppings and Variations
These toppings are not traditional but are great options to mix up this classic drink to make your drinking experience memorable.
Clean the strawberries. Rinse and cut the stems from the strawberries
Chop the strawberries. Using a pairing knife, dice the strawberries into small pieces. If you are using a straw, dice the strawberries small enough to fit through your straw.
Add ingredients to saucepan. In a small saucepan, mix together ½ of the strawberries (Save the other half for your cup), sugar, lemon and vanilla extract.
Cook down the strawberries. Cook over medium high heat until it reaches a boil. Skim the foam that rises to the top layer with a skimmer spoon. Turn down the heat to medium heat and simmer for 10-15 min stirring occasionally until the strawberries cook down and thickens.
Chill. Transfer to a small bowl and chill the strawberry sauce in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes or in the freezer for 15 minutes or until cooled.
Serve. Pour in 3 tablespoons of the strawberry sauce, add in fresh diced strawberries, then pour in milk. Mix with a straw and enjoy!
If the jam is too sweet for you, adjust by adding more lemon juice in the saucepan. Alternatively, you can add more diced strawberries.
Skim the foam layer off the top of the boiling strawberries for a rich deep red jam.
The strawberry jam can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Serve immediately once the puree and strawberry pieces are combined with the milk.