Welcome to Mythical Kitchen Picks, the series in which the culinary experts from Mythical Kitchen tell you all about their favorite foods and ingredients—and food gifts! We asked the team of Kitcheneers for their favorite edible and potable presents. If you’re in need of a last-minute gift, you’ve come to the right place. Today, Vianai Austin reveals the bottle of creamy, spiced booze she loves to give and would be very happy to receive.
Vianai’s Pick: RumChata
I consider myself to be a solid gifter. I like to keep it simple, meaningful, and a little sexy. And what’s the best thing to make someone special feel real sexy? LIQUOR.
Growing up in East Los Angeles (and being a half Mexican) horchata was my favorite drink of all time. You can spot it at every family party, the taqueria down the street, even on the elote man’s cart passing the house at 5 p.m. every day. Unfortunately, everyone knows my stomach started to change as I got older, so me and horchata had to break up for a while. Over the last couple of years, I’ve been itching for my love to come back to me, saying to myself, “Oh, horchata, how I miss you so. I have to find something to replace you.”
Two Christmas’ ago, my mom decided to bring back our tamale making tradition by having a full blown Mexican 25th of December. Everyone had to bring their favorite snack/side/drink from our childhood. I made spanish rice, my sister brought mole, and my brother Dominique walked in with RumChata. He poured me a cup and we formed our 1000th special bond moment. RumChata was a revelation.
It comes in a charming, white bottle resembling a boujee Macy’s perfume bottle. You can even drink it straight—it doesn’t need all the crazy additives or more rum or some random ass chaser. This creamy drink is filled with festive spices like cinnamon, vanilla, and sugar with a milky, velvety texture that warms your heart. Don’t get that moment confused with heartburn. That first sip always reminds me of being home for the holidays. Now, at any winter gathering, I give my friends a bottle as a token of my heart—spicy and sugary, just like this drink.
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