ThisÂ post was made in partnership withÂ Kerrygold Irish Cream. Recipe and ideas are my own.
Before moving to Los Angeles almost two decades ago, I had never come across Horchata on the east coast. Not to say that it didn’t exist there, but in the Irish and Italian neighborhoods I grew up in, tacos came from blue boxes and that was the extent of my Mexican cuisine knowledge. When I first arrived here and discovered soft tacos, I also was introduced to the sweet, milky, cinnamon flavored drink called Horchata.
At first I was a little skeptical, who drank milk made of rice (this was before it was cool to drink MYLK)?! But once I tried a sip, I was hooked. Now, Horchata, which can be found beyond Mexico into South America and Spain, as well as similar variations in other cultures, is not necessarily made of rice. Ground nuts and seeds are also common. Here in Los Angeles we mostly are served Horchata made of rice and sweetened with vanilla and cinnamon.
While sitting outside recently enjoying a glass and finally welcoming some warmer temps here, I thought to myself: this would taste excellent as a cocktail too. So, today, in collaboration with Kerrygold Irish Cream, I’ve created an almond based version, heavy on the cinnamon and vanilla, with some spicy notes from gold rum, and a creamy finish with hints of chocolate from the Kerrygold Irish Cream.
This is delicious on its own, but I wouldn’t turn down a side of tacos to have along with it!
Kerrygold Spiked Horchata
1-1/2 ounces gold rum
1 ounce Kerrygold Irish Cream
3/4 ounce cinnamon-vanilla syrup (recipe follows)
1-1/2 ounces almond milk
freshly grated cinnamon for garnish
In a shaker 2/3 filled with ice, combine the gold rum, Kerrygold Irish Cream,Â cinnamon-vanilla syrup, and almond milk. Shake 20 seconds and strain into a pint glass filled with crushed ice. Grate fresh cinnamon over the top and enjoy!
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
3-4 cinnamon sticks, 2-3″ in length
1 vanilla bean pod, split
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine sugar, water, cinnamon sticks and vanilla bean pod. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly to dissolve sugar. When sugar is dissolved, remove from heat, cover, and let sit two hours. After two hours, strain into an air-tight container. Keep refrigerated up to two weeks.