Chef Howard’s Summer Beverage Series: Horchata

Chef Howard is bringing us the latest in beverages with his new Summer Beverage Series! He’s got consumers’ next drink obsessions all figured out. Discover what’s trending in beverages, get inspired, and request free samples!

Horchata, the unofficial drink of Summer…

In 2019, horchata became one of the most popular flavors in the country, with over a massive spike in sales growth. You could say it became the “drink of summer,” and it’s not letting go of that grip.  Of course, Horchata has long been a staple in Mexican and Latin American restaurants, but what exactly is horchata and where did it originate?

It is believed that this creamy delicious drink was popularized from a combination of ground tiger nuts, sugar and water that was cooked and then strained, giving it a creamy milky texture and a flavor like rice pudding in Spain.  The truth is many countries have their own versions and recipes for making a horchata-like drink, whether in Mexico with a rice and cinnamon base or Puerto Rico which adds ground sesame, rum and coconut milk.  Honduras and El Salvador add seeds from calabash to give it a licorice-like flavor, while Ecuador makes a version using red tea leaves to give it a sweet herbal flavor with some medicinal qualities.

While horchata may have been popularized in Spain, it originated in North Africa as far back as 2400 B.C. The Moors brought it to Spain during the conquests in Valencia where it got its name, “horchata.” Before that, it was known as “kuunu aya,” as it is still popularly known in Nigeria.

No matter what version of horchata you enjoy, the famous drink is now part of North American food and beverage menus everywhere from your local favorite Mexican restaurant to Starbucks, in ice creams and shakes.  Let us know if you want to try our version of Horchata in a beverage or ice cream base, we would love to share it with you. Request samples here.



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