Horchata, a craveable milky sweet beverage, is popping up all over San Diego, from vodka and cocktails to lattes and vegan mylkshakes. Traditionally made in Mexico with rice, horchata (or orxata) can also be made with almonds, sesame seeds, jicaro seeds, tiger nuts, and barley. Other ingredients can also vary in different Latin American countries and Spain, but may include milk, vanilla, cocoa, sugar and cinnamon.
These top local spots take horchata cravings to the next delicious level.
Go homegrown with San Diego’s own breakfast chain for a morning buzz with the Iced Horchata Latte. Made with homemade horchata, espresso and cinnamon, the drink will be available until Aug. 31.
North Park : 2730 University Ave., 619.642.0299; Point Loma: 2865 Sims Rd., #106, 619.693.5434; Encinitas: 251 N El Camino Real, 760.452.2121; Ocean Beach : 4839 Newport Ave., 619.255.7255; and downtown: 707 G St., 619.501.8280. breakfastrepublic.com
Hot summer days and spicy tacos call for a Frozen Horchata to cool things down. Grownups can have a spiked delight with the Horchata Loca, made with San Diego’s Malahat Rum and topped with cinnamon.
Embarcadero: 789 W Harbor Dr., 619.233.8880; La Jolla: 1026 Wall St., 858.454.1260, eatpuesto.com
Cutwater Spirits Fugu Horchata vodka
Tailor made for San Diego, this 80 proof gluten-free spirit finds its way into many cocktail programs around town, and is a must-have for home mixologists too. Head to cutwaterspirits.com/recipes for recipes to The Guero, The Guera, San Diego Bulldog, and this Espresso Yourself (The Madolyn):
2 oz Fugu Horchata vodka
1 oz Irish Cream
3 oz espresso
Serve in a coffee mug over ice.
9750 Distribution Ave., Miramar, 858.672.3848, cutwaterspirits.com
True North Tavern
Fans of the Big Lebowski will be ready for bowling and cardigan sweaters with The Lil’ Dude Abides, a twist on the classic White Russian cocktail. This San Diego version is crafted with local favorites Fugu Horchata vodka, Modern Times cold brew coffee, plus Kahlua, fresh cream and cinnamon.
3815 30th St., North Park, 619.291.3815, truenorthtavern.com
Take “milk and cookies” to a whole new level with their Warm Cookies & Horchata dessert. A decadent combination of sea salted chocolate chunk cookies and coconut horchata,
Downtown: 611 Fifth Ave., 619.233.7327; Carmel Valley: 12995 El Camino Real #21, 858.369.5700. searsucker.com
This latest spot from Trust Restaurant group and Pastry Chef Jeremy Harville presents the Horchata Milkshake, which is drizzled with Cajeta (a Mexican caramel sauce similar to dulce de leche) and served with bite-sized churros. Take it au naturel or with a bit of booze for a kick.
4130 Park Blvd., University Heights, 619.501.6404, hundredproofsd.com
Vegans can still enjoy horchata with this version of a “mylkshake” - a raw, organic and gluten-free drink made with almond, hemp, banana and spices.
4230 Voltaire St., Ocean Beach, 619.223.2880, peacepies.com
Barleymash & Westroot
Whether livin’ it up in the Gaslamp or relaxing in Carmel Valley, enjoy the Star Wars-inspired Java the Hutt, made with Fugu Horchata vodka, white chocolate, cold brew coffee, cream and sugar.
Barleymash: 600 Fifth Ave., downtown, 619.255.7373, barleymash.com
Westroot Tavern: 6025 Village Way, Carmel Valley, 858.720.6645, westroot.com