Horchata may become Dallas’ favorite drink this summer, and there’s a place where you can try not only horchata made from scratch, but with combinations that may come as a surprise.
CocoAndré Chocolatier and Horchateria in Oak Cliff offers a menu of horchatas using the traditional Mexican rice drink as a base. Then they mix it with other ingredients, creating an array of refreshing summer flavors.
You can choose from a traditional cinnamon, a Dirty Horchata made with espresso, or one with natural flavors such as mango, pineapple, strawberry, matcha, chocolate, mocha or hazelnut.
Feeling adventurous? Give the prickly pear horchata a try, or opt for the Horchata Carlota, named after a Mexican dessert made with cookies and lime.
Chef and owner Andrea Pedraza takes pride in making horchata from scratch every day, using natural and traditional methods.
“It’s hard to find a place in Dallas that makes horchata from scratch because most of them use powder and just add sugar,” she said. “We prepare it here every day.”
This drink is one of the most popular aguas frescas in Mexico and is prepared with rice, cinnamon and sugar. Milk can also be added or, if you prefer, a nondairy option such as coconut milk can be used.
Pedraza, originally from San Luis Potosí, Mexico, remembers her mother and grandmother preparing it. Once she immigrated to the United States, she made it for her family, and in her business, it has become one of the most popular products among her customers.
“We have a lot of customers who come and buy the horchata because it reminds them of something from their homeland,” said Cindy Pedraza, Andrea’s daughter and co-owner of CocoAndré.
Pedraza said they have one customer, for example, who will always buy a mocha horchata because it reminds her of pozol, a traditional drink from the Mexican state of Chiapas. Or they’ve also heard stories of how their mom would make it, putting a pitcher with ice in the center of the table when the whole family would sit down to eat.
“Nostalgia is what makes us prepare these drinks,” Andrea Pedraza said. “It’s going back to the origins, to the natural, nutritious, very different from bottled drinks.”
This drink is mostly popular in Mexico, but has a rich history originating in the Mediterranean and arriving in colonial Mexico over 500 years ago, where it began to be made with rice, according to the Larousse Gastronomique dictionary.
During the pandemic, horchata was the product that helped CocoAndré keep the business going, as people could pick it up outside the store without having contact with anyone.
“From that moment on, horchata became one of our most important products, and during the pandemic, we were experimenting with flavors until we managed to have the perfect combinations for some very refreshing drinks,” Cindy said.
You can visit CocoAndré Chocolatier and Horchateria at 508 W. Seventh St. in Dallas or at cocoandre.com.