Cocktail inspiration can come from anywhere, including songs, Broadway plays and, of course, the most legendary science-fantasy franchise in American history: Star Wars. Now, the repulsive, slug-like crime boss Jabba the Hutt isn’t the most obvious source of inspiration—nothing about him or the frog-like creatures he eats raw are especially appetite or thirst-inducing. And bartender Chris Cheng of Westroot Tavern in San Diego professes a distaste for puns. But nevertheless, the two things come together in the Java the Hutt, as Cheng couldn’t resist employing some wordplay for this decadent cocktail made with horchata vodka and cold-brew coffee.
As his city is home to an installment of the world’s biggest fantasy fest, San Diego Comic-Con, it’s only fitting that Cheng was ready to whip up this Hutt-inspired cocktail. The drink starts with vodka made right in San Diego by Cutwater Fugu. In particular, Cheng uses the brand’s unique horchata-flavored vodka, an homage to the city’s stellar Mexican cuisine and the popular beverage to pair with it. There are not many competitors in the style, so you’re best off using the brand called for. This slightly sweet vodka pairs beautifully with coffee, and so the drink also gets two full ounces of cold-brew, which is nearly as caffeinated as espresso. After one or two Java the Hutts, you’ll be moving quite a bit faster than any Tatooine slug gangster.
To continue with the iced coffee flavors, the drink also gets a measure of half-and-half (though you can substitute a non-dairy equivalent if desired), simple syrup for sweetness and white creme de cacao to give it a touch of white chocolate latte flavor. It’s finished with a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar. George Lucas has not, as of yet, confirmed whether or not Jabba would drink a white chocolate horchata latte, with or without alcohol, but regardless, it leads to a delicious and creamy drink.
Add the horchata vodka, white creme de cacao, cold-brew coffee, half-and-half and simple syrup into a shaker and dry-shake (without ice) for 5 seconds.
Add ice, and shake again until well-chilled.
Strain into a Collins glass over fresh ice.
Garnish with 1 pinch of cinnamon sugar.