Dirty Horchata Is This Summer’s Hottest Iced Coffee Trend

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On the one hand, we’re ready to ditch hot coffee the moment the weather hits 65 degrees. On the other hand…is it just us or is all that cold brew and iced matcha getting a little boring? This summer, we’re searching for a pick-me-up that’s ice-cold and refreshing, without the jitters (or acid reflux).

Luckily, we think we’ve found just the thing: dirty horchata.

If you’re like, ooh, what’s that?, allow us to explain. You know how a dirty chai is chai tea with a shot of espresso? Dirty horchata is just like that—a shot of espresso added to creamy, sweet horchata.

Wait, you’ve never had horchata, period? You’re in for a treat, friend. Horchata is a traditional Mexican aqua fresca (literally “fresh water”), made from rice milk and flavored with sugar and lots of cinnamon. It’s sweet and milky without any dairy (thanks to the starch content of the rice) and pairs well with spicy foods—although we’d drink it anytime, anywhere. In Spain, Central and Latin American, horchata comes in many varieties (some are made with almonds, vanilla and even dried flowers), but the rice milk kind is the most common in Mexico, Guatemala and the United States.

So imagine the smooth, cinnamon-y sweetness of horchata, plus just the right amount of bitter coffee—just what that 3 p.m. slump calls for, right? The drink (which is nothing new in its native countries) has been spotted on menus at both Guisados and Café de Leche in Los Angeles, California, and New York City-based coffee shop Bird & Branch collaborated with their restaurant neighbor El Rancho Burritos on a version, but we’re predicting it will make its way across the states soon. In the meantime, we’ll be making our own at home, thanks to this easy recipe from The New York Times(Wanna make it dairy-free? Skip the whole milk).

Until next summer, afternoon cold brew.

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Senior Food Editor

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City...