Horchata Cocktails Inspired by Vampire Weekend


Thanks to Vampire’s Weekend’s new single, this week is probably a high water mark for producers of horchata. Those unsuspecting merchants are probably marveling at their sudden popularity the way the clothing maker The Mountain was surprised when they sold all those Three Wolf Moon shirts. But if Vampire Weekend wanted to increase enjoyment of their new record they should have suggested something stronger (this is known as the “George Thorogood Effect“). Thankfully plenty of other creative imbibers around the world have already been preparing horchata cocktails just for this moment.

One popular concoction is the Rice Rocket: mix 2 parts horchata, 1 part coconut rum, and a dash of Goldschläger over ice. I’m not sure how “popular” and “Goldschläger” ended up in the same sentence, but there you go.

The makers of Rosa’s Horchata also offer a selection of cocktails such as the Rosa’s Blancochata: 2 to 3 parts of horchata plus one part Kahlua over ice, garnished with cinnamon. Truth be told, Rosa’s cocktails follow the pretty simple formula of horchata-plus-sweet-liqueur, but a much bigger problem is that the company’s products apparently won’t be back on sale till March. Don’t miss the boat, guys!

Halogen Guide’s Robert Haynes-Peterson has also tracked down some of the more high-end horchata cocktails out there, such as Death & Company’s Smoked Horchata (reposado tequila, crema de mezcal, cinnamon bark syrup, house-made horchata, and a dash of bitters). Though the measurements aren’t common knowledge, that’s no reason you shouldn’t try to figure out the mix yourself.

And to do so, you’ll want to make your own horchata until Rosa gets her act together. Gourmet Sleuth offers a simple-enough recipe (well, simple enough for me to post, that is). Pulverize 6 tablespoons of rice in your blender. Add 6 ounces blanched almonds, 1 inch of cinnamon stick, and lime zest. Stir in 2 ¼ cups of hot water and let it all stand overnight. Then blend until smooth, buy a balaclava, strain through cheesecloth, add 2 more cups water and sugar to taste.

Don’t worry if you aren’t up to the task of blending almonds. There are other ways of enjoying Vampire Weekend. The best alternative by far is the Washington City Paper’s Vampire Weekend Drinking Game. “First, acquire flagons of Campari, Chartreuse, Pimm’s products, and PBR. Then, take a shot for every member of your party wearing boat shoes or scarves.” The game only gets more fun/bizarre from there, but it is probably the most deadly drinking game to appear since you planned to do a shot every time Sarah Palin winked.