Dirty Horchata Cocktail Recipe

By Timo Torner / Last updated on September 13, 2023

With the help of rum and coffee liqueur, you can turn the Horchata, a traditional Latin American refreshment, into a boozy summer treat - the Dirty Horchata.
Dirty Horchata Cocktail

Horchata is famous all over Latin America. It is a sweet cinnamon drink based on rice. A few years ago, the so-called Dirty Horchata suddenly was trending. 

To make it, you need a shot of cold brew or espresso to add to the sweet rice beverage. Served on ice, that is a delicious version of an iced coffee. Add rum and coffee liqueur like Kahlua, and you get a fantastic iced coffee cocktail - a beautiful and low-ABV alternative. 

Quick Facts Stone Sour

  • Method: built in glass
  • Flavor profile: sweet, coffee, mildly boozy
  • How to serve it: over ice
  • Best glassware: highball glass
  • Alcohol content: ~ 4.5% ABV, 7 grams of alcohol per serving
Dirty Horchata Cocktail

Recipe Dirty Horchata Cocktail

A delicious iced coffee cocktail for hot summer days.
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: coffee
Servings: 1
Calories: 165kcal
Cost: $1.35


  • 1 Jigger


  • 4 oz Horchata
  • 1.5 oz Chilled espresso
  • 0.5 oz Dark Rum
  • 0.5 oz Kahlua coffee liqueur


  • Take a large glass and fill it with ice.
  • Pour in the Horchata over the ice, followed by the chilled espresso. Pour the espresso with the help of a spoon to keep the layers from mixing.
    4 oz Horchata, 1.5 oz Chilled espresso
  • Finally, add the Rum and Kahlua, also with the help of a spoon. Done.
    0.5 oz Dark Rum, 0.5 oz Kahlua coffee liqueur


Serving: 6.5ozCalories: 165kcalCarbohydrates: 17.2gProtein: 0.75gFat: 0.9gSodium: 19.5mgPotassium: 70.5mgSugar: 17.2gCalcium: 25mgIron: 0.02mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

What is Horchata?

A Horchata is a beverage based on rice, sweetened with condensed milk, and spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon. It has a milky color and consistency and, in its original form, it is alcohol-free.

The beautifully refreshing drink originated in Valencia. Yet there, is it not made with rice but with tiger nuts - a nut that tastes similar to almonds or pecan nuts.

From Spain, the recipe made its way to Latin America. While Horchata is famous throughout Latin America, it seems especially popular in Mexico.

There, it gained vast popularity as an "agua fresca"(translates to "fresh waters"), a typical refreshment drink.

You can find Horchata in supermarkets or order it from online stores - Rice Dream is one of the best-known brands and should be easy to get. Alternatively, you can also make your own.

How to Make the Horchata for Your Dirty Horchata

Making Horchata at home takes a little more time to mix than other refreshments might take, but it is not very complicated and worth the effort. All you need is: 

  • long-grain rice
  • sweetened condensed milk
  • nutmeg
  • cinnamon
  • milk

Take a bowl and add 1 cup of rice with 1 1/4 cups of water and let it soak for at least 8 hours at room temperature.

Pour the rice into a blender for a few minutes until it's finely ground. Then, add 1/4 cup condensed milk, 1.5 tsp nutmeg, and 1.5 tsp of cinnamon, and blend again. 

Finally, add 4 cups of milk, and voila, your homemade Horchata is ready and set to get dirty.


Alcohol in the Dirty Horchata

We like to use a combination of Kahlua and dark rum. Half an ounce each is enough and will make for a light drink you can enjoy during the afternoon. If you're not a fan of rum, you can also go for a full oz of Kahlua.

It creates the perfect afternoon caffeine hit with just enough alcohol to make it fun without knocking you out. Having said that, if you serve your Dirty Horchata after dinner and want to increase the ABV, simply double the amount of rum and coffee liqueur.

Origin of the Dirty Horchata Cocktail

This summer treat popped up during the last years in coffee shops across the US, from New York to Los Angeles. Initially, it only entailed the addition of cold brew to the refreshment.

The standard way to make a dirty Horchata is by adding coffee. Usually, cold brew, but espresso is also a common option.

Occasionally, you need more than just coffee, and it didn't take long until barkeepers picked up on the concept. So, by adding the right amount of booze, we get an even dirtier version, a double Dirty Horchata Cocktail

Dirty Horchata Cocktail

More Coffee Cocktails

Coffee and cocktails - this combination works, and people love it. If you want to try other recipes, here are some ideas:

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