At a taco shop in Phoenix, Arizona, I saw an unfamiliar drink on the menu called cochata. Before the cashier had even finished telling me it was iced coffee mixed with housemade horchata, I had ordered one. There are some combinations you just know are going to be perfect, and iced coffee with creamy, sweet, spiced horchata is one of them.
Unfortunately, the iced coffee at the taco shop was not very fresh, and the cochata didn't live up to my expectations. The idea was genius, but I knew I could execute a better version at home. Using the Rick Bayless recipe Emily recommended, I made a batch of horchata with brown rice and almonds. After straining the horchata, I brewed a carafe of iced coffee using the Japanese iced coffee method and mixed equal parts of coffee and horchata in a glass with some ice. The result? A lightly sweetened, cinnamon-spiked iced coffee that was exactly what a cochata should be.
Be forewarned that the horchata does curdle a bit due to the acidity of the coffee, although not nearly as dramatically as soy milk does. And for the record, the name "cochata" was made up by the taco shop I visited; most versions of this drink seemed to be called simply coffee horchata.
6 ounces iced coffee (see recipes below)
6 ounces horchata (see recipes below)
Pour the horchata into a tall glass with a few ice cubes. Add the iced coffee and mix. Taste and add additional sugar or a splash more horchata if needed.
(Image: Anjali Prasertong)