Wintry Mexican Iced Coffee

We are thrilled to present the top-rated recipe from last week’s Meso event:

Mexican Iced Coffeemeso-horchata
equal parts spicy horchata and cold-brew coffee
1 pinch of salt
1 shot of dark rum
Combine in a tall glass, enjoy!

Spicy Horchata
2/3 cup rice (any type–we used short grain white rice, try a few to see what you like!)
1 1/4 cup almonds, blanched
a 3-inch piece of cinnamon stick
2 ½ cups hot tap water
2 cups cold water
1 cup raw cane sugar
1 guajillo pepper, toasted
1 ancho pepper, toasted
star anise, toasted

In a large bowl combine rice, almonds, cinnamon stick and 2 ½ cups of hot tap water. Allow to cool, then cover and refrigerate overnight.
After toasting the peppers and anise, blend them until they are a medium-coarse consistency.
Add the rice, almond, and cinnamon mixture into the blender, add the sugar, and blend on high for several minutes.
Strain through a sieve lined with cheesecloth, squeezing on the solids until only a dry pulp remains. Repeat straining process with additional two cups of cold water.

Cold Brew Coffee
1 1lb bag of coarse ground coffee, medium roast
10 cups of cold water
Combine the two in a pitcher and stir with a wooden spoon. Cover and leave overnight to steep at room temperature, for up to 12 hours. Drain through a sieve. This can also be made in smaller batches with a ratio of 2/3 cup grounds and 3 cups water.

This recipe was probably inspired by the “heat wave” we had the last few days in Chicago, where temperatures reached somewhere above 30 degrees. We were sick of scalding our mouths with our coffee! However, our guests Tait and Clarence warmed their drinks in the microwave and found they preferred them that way.

The mole-spiced brownies, our featured recipe, and inspired by the original brownie created for the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, were a little more complicated. We are still sorting through the ratings and going back to recipes to try to figure out what went so weirdly wrong. As I spooned out shapeless blobs of spicy chocolate onto our guests’ plates, Danny only half-joked, “We’re dying a little inside right now.” However, our amazing guests had quite a bit of positive feedback for us, and we love them for it. More on that soon!