Horchata is famous all over Latin America. It is a sweet cinnamon drink based on rice – no alcohol involved. So how did it make its way on a blog about spirits? A few years ago, the so-called dirty Horchata was trending, where a shot of cold brew or espresso is added to the sweet Horchata. Served on ice, this is one delicious iced coffee drink. But there are also other ways to make a Horchata “dirty”: adding rum or coffee liqueur like Kahlua makes delicious boozy alternatives. This creates the dirty horchata cocktail!
What is Horchata?
Originating in Valencia, Spanish Horchata is a beautifully refreshing drink. It is highly energetic and diuretic, which makes it a perfect drink for hot summer days. 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 great popularity as an “agua fresca” (translates to “fresh waters”), a widespread refreshment drink.
Based on rice and sweetened with condensed milk, Horchata is spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon. Although there are many variations in different countries containing vanilla, almonds, and even dried flowers, the classic milk and rice combination is still the most common.
How to make Horchata
Making Horchata at home takes more time to mix than other refreshments might take, but it is not very complicated. All you need some long-grain rice, sweetened condensed milk, nutmeg, cinnamon, and 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 couple of minutes until it’s finely grounded. Now add 1/4 cup condensed milk, 1.5 tsp nutmeg, 1.5 tsp of cinnamon, and blend again. Finally, add 4 cups of milk before it is ready to be served. Voila, your homemade Horchata is ready to be turned dirty.
The Dirty Horchata
This summer treat popped up during the last years in coffee shops across the US, from New York to Los Angeles. The standard way to make a dirty Horchata is by adding coffee. Usually, cold brew, but espresso is also a common option. Imagine the sweet taste of cinnamon and milk mixed with just the right amount of bitter coffee flavors – served on heaps of ice, it is the perfect iced coffee for a hot day.
But occasionally, you need more than just coffee. So by adding the right amount of booze, we get an even dirtier version, a double dirty Horchata cocktail. For this, I like to use a combination of Kahlua and dark rum. Half an ounce each is enough and will make it extra filthy, lifting your Horchata to new heights. If you’re not a fan of rum, you can also go for a full oz of Kahlua.
I know that making your own Horchata is a time-consuming process, but it is worth the effort. It makes for a perfect afternoon caffeine push with just enough alcohol to make it fun but not overdone.
- 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.
- Finally, add the rum and Kahlua, also with the help of a spoon. Done.