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Horchata Meets Tequila

Horchata Cocktail

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Horchata is a milky, non-alcoholic drink that can take several different forms depending on where you are in the world. In Mexico, it is usually made with a base of rice milk with cinnamon added, but most often we associate it with the flavor of almonds. 

As mentioned in a previous post, barley water was a substitute for milk in olden times, and it appears that almond milk was a substitute for barley milk in the winters. Almond milk evolved into horchata and also into the almond syrup orgeat that is used in cocktails like the Mai Tai.

Regardless: This cocktail contains almond milk that gives it a nice milky and frothy texture – and according to the brand I bought it’s also soy and lactose-free if you care about that sort of thing.

Lindsay Nader, a Los Angeles-based bartender who is more often consulting and throwing private events these days with her company Elysium Cocktails, took the almond milk in a boozy direction by adding tequila and a splash of rum, plus some allspice and cinnamon garnish. 

The drink comes out creamy and a little dangerous as it doesn’t taste like it has the amount of alcohol in it that it does. Consider yourself warned.

A few notes on ingredients: Your tequila should be 100% agave and say so on the bottle. Nader calls for a lightly-aged reposado tequila, but I think you could get away with a longer-aged anejo if that’s what you’ve got on hand. The aged rum is a really nice tough in this drink, adding more caramel flavors, so don’t skip it even if you go with a different aged rum. Allspice dram is unfortunately not widely available, so consider substituting allspice syrup that you can buy or make at home (just simmer some allspice powder in a simple syrup or in your agave nectar).  

Horchata Cocktail
By Lindsay Nader

1.5 fl. oz.  Siete Leguas Reposado Tequila
.5 fl. oz.  Flor De Cana 7 Year Old Rum
.5 fl. oz. Agave Nectar
2 fl. oz. Organic Almond Milk
1 dash Allspice Dram (Allspice Liqueur)
Grated Cinnamon for garnish

Shake all liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker until frothy then strain pour over fresh ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with grated cinnamon. 


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  • JKinME | 08/12/2021

    I made this with Partida reposado and Zaya 15 year because that's what I had on hand. The flavor is good - although the almond flavor is not quite strong enough for me to think of it as horchata. Overall, I found that it was a bit too sweet for my taste, and I used Califa unsweetened almond milk.

  • FigMint | 05/14/2013

    Another orgasmic concoction. Kudos! With respect to the bitters......there's a great book called "Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All, with Cocktails, Recpies and Formulas" by Brad Thomas Parsons and Ed Anderson. They're faily simple to make and what fun it is to make cocktails TOTALLY from scratch!

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