Minnesota tops in RumChata consumption

Have you tried Rumchata? The year-old rum-infused horchata liqueur was a new discovery for us over Christmas, but Tom Maas, owner of the Wisconsin-produced beverage, says Minnesota is his No. 1 market.

That's right, Wisconsin is producing a booze-infused horchata beverage, and Maas says surprise is only natural. "People always ask why we're not in Mexico, but if you're working with dairy you go to the dairy state to get the best quality and the best technology."

The liqueur uses the same products found in a traditional horchata--real dairy cream, rice, vanilla and cinnamon--and infuses it with Caribbean rum. So why is Minnesota sucking this stuff down like no one else? Maas credits the cold climate. "A shot of RumChata in hot chocolate is wonderful."

A visit to the RumChata website features an impressive list of recipes, including a tiramisu martini and a Cinnamon Toast Crunch-themed shooter. But we were immediately drawn to the recipe for RumChata French toast. Maas created the recipe himself while whipping up breakfast for his mom on Mother's Day. "I thought I'd try it instead of milk or cream to get the sweetness in, and I was amazed at how good it was."

Count us as believers as well: after soaking our stale bread in the required eggs, milk, and RumChata, we cooked up a stack of Sunday morning French toast that rivals the bloody Mary for the perfect boozy breakfast. The liqueur's cinnamon and vanilla created the sweetness Maas described, and a shot in accompanying coffee rounded out the meal. Join the Minnesota masses and try it yourself: Byerlys, Haskell's and Merwins all carry RumChata.

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