We All Scream for Mexican Ice Cream!

Do I have a special treat for you today!

Yesterday I spent the morning at my suegra's house helping her prepare one of our favorite warm weather treats: Nieve Raspada!

Nieve raspada is the Mexican version of the snow cone.  But instead of using bottled sugary, high fructose syrups, we make our own almibar (syrup) with real fruit and sugar.  They're not as thick, but oh so delicious and packed with lots of natural flavor.

The almibares that I will be sharing with you today are Fresa de leche (Creamy Strawberry), Tamarindo (Tamarind), and Guayaba (Guava).  And as the warm weather continues, I'll be sharing even more almibares like Strawberry, Limón (lime), Piña (pineapple), Vanilla, Coconut, and my personal favorite Jamaica (hibiscus flower).

Making Nieve Raspada is very easy to do. The first thing you will need is ice.  Crushing a few ice cubes in a blender will work just fine.  But if you want a more authentic raspado and you happen to have a handy-dandy cepillo (ice shaver), make your own block of ice by freezing a 10x3-inch (or larger) baking pan filled with water.  Or you could do what we do and order a 1/4 block of ice from you local ice shop.

Before you start to shave the ice, be sure to place a kitchen towel underneath, to prevent the block of ice from slipping.

Scrape the cepillo in a forward motion over the block of ice. 

The inside of the cepillo will be filled with shaved ice.

Place it in a cup and top with your favorie almíbar


And now for the best part...the almíbar (syrup)!

Almibar de Tamarindo (Tamarind syrup)

  • 1 pound Tamarind Pods (peeled)
  • 3 cups water
  • 6 cups sugar

Place the tamarind pods, water and sugar in a large saucepan. 

Simmer over medium heat until the tamarind pods are cooked and tender.  Using a potato masher or the back of a spoon, crush the tamarind pods lightly.  Remove the tamarind seeds with a spoon.

Let almibar de tamarindo cool to room temperature.  Serve over crushed ice or refrigerate until ready to use.  Enjoy!!!


Almibar de Guayaba (Guava Syrup)

  • 1-1/2 pounds guavas (cut in quarters)
  • 2 cups water
  • 6 cups sugar

Fill a medium saucepan with the guavas, water and sugar.

Cook over medium heat until mixture thickens.

Let cool to room temperature.  Pour desired amount of almibar de guayaba over crushed ice or refrigerate until ready to use.  Enjoy!!!


Almibar de Fresa de Leche (Creamy Strawberry Syrup)

  • 4 cups milk
  • 2 pounds strawberries (stems removed)
  • 1 cup water 
  • 5 cups sugar
  • lime zest (optional) 

In a 2quart saucepan, heat the milk over medium-high heat until very hot.  Set aside and let cool to room temperature.  (You could skip this step, but you run the risk of the milk curdling when adding to the strawberry mixture.)  

Fill a medium saucepan with the strawberries, water, sugar and lime zest.  Cook over medium heat until mixture thickens.

Remove the strawberries from heat and let cool slightly.  Add enough milk (2 to 4 cups) to the strawberry mixture to reach desired consistency.  Pour desired amount of almibar de fresa de leche over crushed ice.  Enjoy!!!

*Keep all almibares refrigerated when not in use. 



  1. Wishing I had one right now :(

  2. Oh boy does this look so good. Excellent Leslie. I'll take one. Now I'm really thirsty. Salud!

  3. Perfect for this warm weather here! This looks really good. I love your recetas with pics!

  4. Leslie, we love these, we call it "frio frio".

    Have a wonderful Sunday :)

  5. Leslie, this just sounds unreal...and so perfect for the hot summer days here in Florida. Again, you have shared with us such a great recipe and something to look forward to making. Hope you have a great rest of the weekend.


  6. Raspas!!!! These were one of the first things here in Mexico that I fell in love with! I've been asking my husband to find me one of those ice scrapers for a while now but if I've got recipies it's gonna have to happen! Cool Post Leslie! (har har) :D

  7. Awwww... this makes me really miss Mexico even more. I'm going to try to make these anyways... now I just have to decide cual sabor!

    Congrats on the two-year anniversary. That's something to celebrate!!!

  8. We are going to Mexico for the month of June and I will have to look for one of those ice shavers. Maybe we might make some when we are down there. Yummmmmmmy!

  9. This sounds like a great treat. We like shaved ice but they always put on so much syrup! I like mine topped off with a mixture of sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk. Ever tried a combo of coconut and vanilla? With the cream topping? It's amazing!

  10. I have spent so many hours reading your blog in the last 2 days.  I have lived in Mexico for 2 years and I can guarantee that my entire experience would have been better if I had found your blog earlier.  I love Mexican food, but not the Mexican restaurant in Mexico type of food.  I like the food my husband's aunts from a rancho in Michoacan make--the soulful Mexican food.  The food I've never been able to make on my own, but that may now change.  Your recipes seem like soulful Mexican food, and I can't wait to start trying them.

    I love raspados (D.F. term I guess?) and have been dieing to make them.  I think I have the basics from your post, but my favorite flavors are the ones you said you'd post later.  I'm here to beg you to please post the rest before the summer is over so 2011 can be my Summer of the Raspado! Please and thank you!

  11. how do you make vanilla. i love the vanilla.