Perhaps the most delicious beverage south of the border is a complicated concoction called horchata (alternately spelled orxata). Morro horchata—the variation of the drink most commonly consumed in the U.S., is made with water, rice “milk,” vanilla, almonds, cinnamon and sugar—and is the latest and greatest ingredient to enhance cold brew coffee. The powerful new coffee drink with a Mexican twist has a portmanteau name—Brewchata.
Horchata—History And Variations
Though it’s primarily known as a Mexican drink, horchata actually originated in Valencia, Spain, and its popularity as a refreshing summer beverage quickly spread across Europe. The name originally derives from the Catalan word orxata, from ordiiata, because the drink was made from ordi (barley).
True horchata is entirely non-dairy, though many add cow’s milk, perhaps to add a taste of America to the beverage. It enjoys tremendous variation across different nations and cultures: the nut of choice can vary from almonds to tigernuts to peanuts to cashews; Southern Honduras and El Salvador use morro seeds, while certain parts of Honduras and Nicaragua make it from jicaro seeds ground with rice and spices; in Puerto Rico, the drink is known as horcata de ajonjoli, and incorporates ground sesame seeds, water, sugar, cinnamon sticks, evaporated milk and occasionally coconut milk, allspice, barley or lime zest; Venezuela uses sesame seeds, water and sugar; Oaxaca adds prickly pear cactus; Ecuador uses an infusion of 18 herbs.
Make Your Own Brewchata
While a brewchata is a simple combination of cold brew coffee and horchata (the ratio is up to you—some prefer an even 50/50 split, some favor a heavier pour of horchata), the individual ingredients are a bit more labor-intensive to concoct. They are well worth it, however. Here is a good recipe for the more complex of the two, horchata.
Authentic Mexican Horchata (adapted from Latin Post)
Yield: 4-6 cups
Now, brew the coffee:
Cold Brew Coffee
Mix to your own preferred ratio, and raise a glass to Mexico this Cinco de Mayo!