Yoni Markman didn't know a thing about Spanish horchata until 2012.
But during a trip to Spain, he tried a glass of the traditional Valencian variety, made with chufa (tigernuts). He fell hard, then dove deep into the creamy horchata world, tasting countless versions as he traversed the country.
Back in the U.S., a fruitless search for tigernuts resulted in him ordering 1,000 kilos (roughly 2,200 pounds) of raw Spanish tigernuts shipped by boat, and launching a new Brooklyn-based business venture.
Markman's compulsively drinkable Horxata ($5 for 12 ounces), as well as the nutty, earthy and sweet whole tigernuts ($7 for 5 ounces), are now available in locations throughout Manhattan and Queens, and soon Whole Foods.
Lighter and thinner than almond milk, and made with a smidge of organic sugar, the horchata is a drinkable wave of refreshment.
We like it in our morning coffee, served over plenty of ice, or after dinner with a shot of brandy or tequila.