Web Original: Critic’s Notebook: South of the Border Soft Drink

A look at Philly restaurants serving the Mexican drink, horchata.

Mexico really gets beverages. It’s got margaritas, Coke made with real sugar, those addictive bottles of Jarritos, and, my favorite, horchata. Made from grains (like rice or corn) or nuts (like almonds), horchata is a sweet, milky nonalcoholic beverage that quenches your thirst and delivers complex flavors. You can find it in bottles at Mexican markets, but many Philly restaurants make horchata from scratch. Most of the city’s taquerias serve their own rendition of this tasty soft drink, though delicious versions are also found at upscale restaurants like Xochitl, El Vez and Distrito.