I'd like to claim I created this myself but really it's more of a hybridized food souvenir. One part -- the nut milk -- is inspired by G&B Coffee in LA, who uses a similar milk to make their now legendary Almond Latte. Soon after I first had it, I was at Gracias Madre and had their Spiked Horchata cocktail made with mezcal and plenty of spice. Convinced that the sum of these two would be even more incredible than the individual parts, I began to tinker, as I do, until I came up with this Spiked Almond Hochata Latte cocktail that's shaken with tequila and coffee liqueur for a white Russian gone south of the border.
plus more for garnish
Bring 6 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Combine boiling water, rice, almonds, macadamia nuts, dates, and stick cinnamon in a large bowl—cover and let stand at room temperature for 6 to 24 hours.
Remove cinnamon then, using a blender set to the highest speed, process mixture until smooth, about 3 to 4 minutes. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve lined with two layers of cheesecloth set over a bowl. The nut milk should be silky and creamy, not gritty.
Milk will keep in the refrigerator for up to five days. Shake before using.
To make one drink, combine 1/4 cup horchata in a cocktail shaker with coffee liquer and tequila, and fill the shaker halfway with ice. Shake and serve on the rocks with a grating of fresh cinnamon and a star anise piece.
Photo by Aida Mollenkamp // Food Styling by Lillian Kang