Man, there are few things out there more polarizing to people than creamy drinks. And it’s funny, you know, because I think it’s a pretty universal thing that our mouths just water at the sight of a creamy cocktail. Look at a properly made Ramos Gin Fizz. Or a White Russian. Or Egg Nog. How delicious do they look?
But then there’s this guilty feeling that I think kicks in for most people, where it’s like, “I can’t justify drinking something that contains a bunch of fucking cream.” And I get it, I totally do. Personally, I also try to save up those points and spend them during the holidays.
But there’s no getting around the delicious factor. So what about alternatives? I like almond milk in my coffee. I even make my own at home. But one creamy substitute that I can’t live without in my life is horchata. See the previous post for more on that. Anyway, as someone who has been making drinks for almost half of his life at this point, I had to try making something with horchata.
My partner in crime at Clyde Common is a gentleman named Benjamin Amberg. But we all call him (among other things), simply Banjo. Banjo and I have a great way of working on cocktails together. It’s very collaborative, and nobody gets too attached to an idea if a better one comes along. (I wrote more about this process for Playboy, check it out)
And so it happened that we started working on our new horchata cocktail. And, of course, we broke out all of the typical formulas that we’d both seen on menus before: aged rum and horchata; aged tequila and horchata; variations on a White Russian with horchata instead of cream. And none of them were working, and we were about to scrap the whole idea.
But then we had a thought: what if instead of a flabby, creamy drink, we did something more bright and citrusy? We certainly hadn’t seen that done before, and we know rice milk isn’t going to curdle the way cream would. And suddenly, within minutes, we’d assembled what is quickly becoming one of our most popular new drinks, the Southbound Suarez. Named after our favorite song on our least favorite Led Zeppelin album, I like to think the same stands of a reminder of just how tough this one was to create.