F&W's Horchata Milk Shake © Con Poulos
Horchata, the delicious Mexican drink of cinnamon-flecked rice milk is getting an adult makeover from bartenders across the country, making it the ideal cocktail for this Cinco de Mayo.
At Santa Monica’s new Tinga, owner Jerry Baker and mixologist Joel Black serve horchata with espresso and rum. Adding coffee is not uncommon in Mexico, according to Black: “They call it cochata.” At the restaurant, the cocktail begins with a big batch of long-grain white rice soaked with water for 20 minutes, then blended and left to infuse overnight with nutmeg and cinnamon. Next, it’s sweetened with sugar and condensed milk, which also adds a silky texture. The horchata is mixed with espresso (made with house-roasted beans) and vanilla-tinged Atlantico reserve aged rum, then poured into a frozen margarita machine that holds 75 to 80 servings. “Twenty minutes later it comes out like a Frappuccino that gets you drunk,” Black says. “It’s a beautiful cocktail.”
While Black likes horchata best with rum, he also recommends spiking the creamy drink with caramelly aged añejo tequila, bourbon or vodka (“You can use vodka in anything and everything,” he says). You can test his picks in F&W’s frosty horchata milk shake from the May issue, or sample the boozy horchatas at these bars.