News, Views, Happiness Pursued

Amateur Hour

by | Sep 17, 2020

It’s Pumpkin Spice season! Don’t complain. Resistance is futile. Pumpkin spice is inevitable.

The thing is, “pumpkin spice” is more of a chemical, than natural, flavor. It was popularized by Starbucks, and guess what? They use zero actual pumpkin. It’s all about the “fall spice,” which includes cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. Add all the sugar and milk and coffee things, and you have the famous PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte).

The flavor mimics the spice of horchata, the creamy plant-based beverage made in variations all over the world; most notably, in Mexico. Horchata tastes so much better than PSL.

I’ve been making my own horchata lately, because I am obsessed. It’s basically rice milk (one part white rice and five parts water, blend for 30 seconds, leave it alone for at least three hours, drain) with cinnamon and nutmeg.

Horchata de arroz is a Mexican and Latin American rice milk drink with vanilla and cinnamon. When I found a horchata cream liqueur (Chila ’Orchada Cinnamon Cream Rum), my world started to make more sense. While I was making cocktails with my homemade horchata, the cream rum empowered me to take them a step further.

This cocktail is boozy and rich, so I toasted marshmallows and served it up to camp to my small pod of friends, as we isolated somewhere a little more relaxing than downtown Portland.

photo/Jessie Lacey


Horchata Pumpkin Spice Latte

2 parts spiced rum
2 parts bourbon
2 parts Griffin’s Wharf Coffee Liqueur
3 parts Chila ’Orchada Cinnamon Cream Rum

Add ingredients to a shaker filled with ice. Shake real well and strain into martini glasses. Toast a couple mini marshmallows for a garnish.


Related Posts


We are supported by advertisers and readers, like you, who value independent local journalism. For the cost of one pint of Maine craft beer each month, you can help us publish more content and keep it free for everyone.