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Leche Merengada (Spanish Meringue Milk)

Here’s A Sweet Leche Merengada Recipe To Cool You Down!

Leche merengada (aromatized meringue milk) is a delicious Spanish drink that’s perfect for cooling you down on a hot day.

Originating in the sunny Andalucía region of southern Spain, but popular throughout the country, this drink is made with whole milk, sugar, and egg whites, and is flavored with zesty lemon peel and aromatic cinnamon.

Whether you enjoy it super cold or frozen, Leche Merengada is the perfect afternoon pick-me-up or light Spanish dessert that is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth while keeping you refreshed.

mason jars filled with white leche merangada drink with yellow straws sticking out.
Leche merengada is a delicious Spanish drink.

Ingredients

ingredients to make spanish milkshake on counter with labels.
The ingredients needed to make Leche Merengada!

If you want to make this recipe, here are the Leche Merengada ingredients that you’ll need:

  • Whole milk – The base of the recipe.
  • Sugar – Granulated sugar to add sweetness.
  • Lemon peel – To add flavor. Preferably, use an organic lemon.
  • Cinnamon stick – To add flavor to the milk.
  • Egg whites – To make the meringue.
  • Powdered sugar – To make the meringue.
  • Lemon zest – For garnish.
  • Ground cinnamon – For garnish.

Recipe Tips and Substitutions

Before you make this Spanish drink at home, be sure to read through these recipe tips so that you know what to expect:

  • Milk: This recipe is traditionally made with whole-fat cow’s milk, but it can be made with semi-skimmed milk or skimmed milk. However, whole milk will give a creamier result. I don’t recommend using plant-based milk for this recipe, since it will drastically change the flavor.
  • Eggs: Leche merengada means “meringue milk” so it has to have eggs in it. Make sure to use eggs that are very fresh. If you don’t feel like having raw eggs in the summer, you can use pasteurized egg whites (2 tablespoons equal 1 egg, so 6 tablespoons for this recipe).
  • Sugar: Use regular granulated sugar for the milk and powdered sugar for the meringue. Avoid brown sugar since it will change the flavor and color. 
  • Aromas: Traditionally, it’s made with lemon peel and cinnamon, but it could be made with other aromas like orange peel or vanilla. 
  • Meringue: To make a good meringue, make sure that the bowl you’re using and the beaters for your electric mixer are clean (they shouldn’t be oily!). Also make sure that no egg yolks are mixed into the egg whites.
  • Meringue Alternatives: There’s also a similar recipe called “Leche preparada” that doesn’t include any meringue in it, and it’s essentially the same recipe, just without the meringue. 
  • Consistency: The final consistency should be creamy and thick, but not super thick. To achieve this consistency, freeze the flavored milk for 2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes to get small ice crystals. For a quicker route, you can freeze the milk for 2 hours, break it into big chunks and process it in a food processor with a splash of milk. If you are in a rush and can’t be bothered to have a thicker consistency, you can skip freezing the milk and simply chill it and mix it with the meringue.
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How to Make Leche Merengada – Step by Step Instructions

In this section, you’ll learn exactly how to make this leche merengada recipe with step-by-step process photos.

This way you can see how it’s done and track your progress at home. The recipe card with measurements and instructions is located at the bottom of this post!

lemon peel and cinnamon stick in silver pot on counter with ingredients around.
Place lemon peel and cinnamon in a pot.

Add the cinnamon stick and lemon peel to a pot.

milk pouring out of glass container into silver pot with ingredients around on counter top.
Add the milk.

Now also add the granulated sugar and milk. Cook over low heat until it starts to boil, stirring regularly.

Then remove from heat and allow to cool until it reaches room temperature.

ladle pouring milk into large mixing bowl of meringue sitting on counter.
Transfer the milk to another container.

Once it has cooled down, transfer the milk (without the lemon peel and cinnamon stick) to a plastic container.

Place it in the freezer for 2 hours, taking it out to stir every 30 minutes.

egg whites in clear glass bowl with yolk in white bowl beside on counter.
Place the egg whites in a bowl.

When the 2 hours are almost up, make the meringue.

For this, place the egg whites from three eggs in a clean mixing bowl.

powdered sugar in clear glass bowl with egg whites.
Add the powdered sugar.

Then add the powdered sugar.

two electric mixer beaters tipped with white meringue.
When removing the beaters, you should see peaks.

Mix with the regular beaters of your electric hand mixer or stand mixer until the egg whites are stiff and you see soft peaks when removing the beaters.

wooden spoon stirring clear mixing bowl of milk and meringue.
Stir in the frozen milk.

Add a small amount of frozen milk to the bowl with the meringue.

white spatula mixing meringue and milk in clear mixing bowl on counter.
Mix gently.

Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the frozen milk into the meringue.

Do not add all of the frozen milk at once, but gradually incorporate progressively it into the meringue.

white handle sticking out of large mixing bowl filled with white milkshake type  mixture.
Keep mixing.

Continue adding milk and mixing until all the frozen milk is incorporated and the mixture has a soft texture.

glass mason jar filled with spanish leche meringue topped with ground cinnamon and two yellow straws.
Serve the leche merengada in glasses.

Serve the meringue milk in glasses of your choice (tall or short) topped up with a bit of ground cinnamon and freshly grated lemon zest.

Alternatively, you can also add a few mint leaves. Enjoy!

Storage Tips

Once mixed, we do not recommend storing the leche merengada for more than a couple of hours, since the ice crystals will melt and change the consistency.

If you don’t mind having a more runny drink, you could store it in the fridge overnight.

FAQ

Here are a few answers to questions about leche meringada!

What is leche merengada?

Leche Merengada is a milk-based Spanish drink from the Andalucía region. Served very cold, this drink is made with milk, a light meringue, and a number of aromatic additions such as lemon and cinnamon.

How to drink leche merengada?

You drink Leche Merengada super cold or frozen in a tall or short glass (your choice) and with a dash of lemon zest and ground cinnamon for a delightfully aromatic experience!

Related Recipes

For more Spanish drink recipes, try these creations – some hot, some cold – for size!

two mason jars of filled with white spanish milkshake with lemons and cinnamon around.

Leche Merengada

Leche Merengada is a delicious, refreshing milk-based drink from Spain. Made with milk and meringue topped with lemon zest and cinnamon, it's a drink you won't forget!
5 from 6 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Cooling Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients

For The Milk

  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 lemon peel, preferably from an organic lemon
  • 1 cinnamon stick

For The Meringue

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • lemon zest, to garnish
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, to garnish

Instructions

  • Combine the milk, granulated sugar, cinnamon stick, and lemon peel in a pot. Cook over low heat until it starts to boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool until it reaches room temperature.
    2 1/2 cups whole milk, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1 lemon peel, 1 cinnamon stick
  • Once cooled, transfer the milk (without the lemon peel and cinnamon stick) to a plastic container and freeze it for 2 hours, stirring it every 30 minutes.
  • When the 2 hours are almost up, make the meringue. Place the 3 egg whites and the powdered sugar in a clean mixing bowl. Beat with the regular beaters of your electric hand mixer or stand mixer until there are soft peaks when you remove your beaters from the bowl.
    3 egg whites, 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the frozen milk into the meringue until a soft texture is achieved. Do not add all the milk at once, but incorporate it in small increments.
  • Serve in tall or short glasses topped up with a dash of ground cinnamon and freshly grated lemon zest.
    lemon zest, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Notes

  • Use whole-fat cow’s milk for creamy results, but it is possible to use semi-skimmed milk or skimmed milk. Plant-based drinks would drastically change the flavor of the final recipe.
  • Be sure to use eggs that are very fresh, as the egg white won’t be cooked.
  • If you don’t feel like having raw eggs in summer, you can use pasteurized egg whites (6 tablespoons for this recipe). 
  • Avoid using brown sugar since it will change the flavor and color. 
  • Traditionally, it’s made with lemon peel and cinnamon, but it could be made with other flavors such as orange peel or vanilla. 
  • Make sure that the bowl and the beaters you’re using to make the meringue are clean (not oily!). Also make sure that no egg yolks get mixed in with the egg whites.
  • For best consistency, freeze the flavored milk for 2 hours, stirring it every 30 minutes to get small ice crystals. For a quicker route, freeze the milk for 2 hours, break it into big chunks and process it in a food processor with a splash of milk. If you are in a rush and can’t be bothered to have a thicker consistency, you can skip freezing the milk and just chill it and mix it into the meringue.

Nutrition

Calories: 242kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 96mg | Potassium: 274mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin A: 252IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 205mg | Iron: 0.2mg

This nutritional information has been estimated by an online nutrition calculator. It should only be seen as a rough calculation and not a replacement for professional dietary advice.

Course Dessert, Drinks
Cuisine Spanish
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This recipe was contributed by
Alba Luna Meyer
Born and raised in the Southeast of Spain, Alba is a photographer and a foodie. Always hungry for new flavors and recipes, but with a big passion for traditional recipes that speak about roots and family. You can always find her talking about food, photographing it, or cooking! Obviously, she is team “tortilla de patatas con cebolla”.

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