The Batida. What is is an how do you make it? Here is a basic recipe and a complex fancy recipe too.
Brazil does indeed have a cocktail OTHER THAN THE CAIPIRINHA. I know, it seems downright rude to have a second cocktail. I bet you’re thinking “they already have the Caipirinha, I just barely know how to say that, why are they making another god damn cocktail?” And here, that country wants you to learn how to say this one too— it’s pronounced “bah-CHEE-da.
Historically, you’ll find that many countries actually have more than one cocktail. It’s true, just look at Italy, they have the Negroni AND the Americano. A bunch of go-getters in that country I’ll tell you what.
The Batida is just cachaça mixed with fruit juice. Most commonly you will see a Batida mixed with coconut milk and other fruit juice over crushed ice.
In the UK (as 10-year-old Difford’s Guides affirm), they drink a Batida blended with coconut milk and sweetened with condensed milk. The actual word “Batida” itself means “shaken” in Portuguese. And with that in mind, I think the most balanced way to make this cocktail is over crushed ice. Using a blender is more complex and we basically have a generation right now that has rebelled against the blender. The youngsters these days don’t know how to balance cocktails or use ice correctly in a blender. But they should practice the old “throw a straw in the blender and pour the drink into a glass wall the straw stands upright.”
I will come back to the ins and outs of how to make blended drinks at some later point. Maybe the next time I have to do a guest bartending shift and I have admit that my “guns can’t handle the heat anymore” and I’ll just do everything blended. But for now let’s just talk about how we make this crushed ice Batida.
The one pictured here is
1.5 oz Novo Fogo Tanager (zebra wood finished)
1 oz unsweetened coconut milk*
1.5 oz lime juice
.5 oz Ancho Reyes***
Pinch of chili flakes and salt
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with cubed ice, shake and strain over crushed ice
The unnecessary mint garnish is indeed unnecessary. It mostly just looks good in this photo. I think it would be a lot cooler to use lime sprinkled with chili flakes or sal de gusano
* How sweet is sweetened coconut milk? I don’t fucking know. How consistent is it from brand to brand? Please see my previous answer. Sugar is cheap and a so are sweet ingredients, use drier ingredients and liqueurs that you sweeten to taste. Is this a principle that you should use for every ingredient in a cocktail? Yes.
** Fresh, unsweetened passionfruit juice is almost as acidic as lemon juice. Passionfruit purée sweetened by 10% is acidic enough to be quite uncomfortable in your mouth. Passionfruit juice you buy in a can out outside of Hawaii is similar to cranberry juice in that it is mostly sugar and water. If using that, then you likely won’t need sugar in a cocktail. BUT If you buy passionfruit syrup you can use it to make many classic tiki drinks, many classic tiki parties and it will hold for a while in the fridge.
***Ancho Reyes is quickly becoming my favorite cheater ingredient. It is not because it is spicy- I skipped spicy drinks a few years back. It is not because it is trendy- that is hard for me as well. It is because it gives an earthy & toasted flavor that adds depth, maturity & character to everything. I have been using it like bitters to give pedestrian flavors a foundation or ground them. A dash turns a cocktail from Michael Bublé to early years Tom Waits.
Crush ice using a mallet and good old fashioned Lewis bag, for sentimental reasons I use the bag that my mother made me 10 years ago and the mallet that my father gave me 20years ago, but that oneis unavailable to you so I would recommend using a Bull in China bag.
The Batida cocktail breaks traditional templates in more than one way. Unsweetened coconut milk has a lot of fat in it as well as natural acids. I find that it takes a little extra sugar to counteract the coconut milk. If you were making a more traditional Batita consider how much acid the juice also brings into the drink. I think the most basic balance should be
(a possible) Batida Template
1.5 oz cachaça
1 oz unsweetened coconut milk
.5 oz lime juice
.75 oz simple syrup
With that basic template, decide if your juice is replacing the acid in lime or adding to the sweetness in the simple syrup. Generally speaking, I would avoid using more subtle liqueurs in a cocktail like this as doing so is generally more like blending a one dollar bill into a cocktail instead of adding flavor.
And if you do a Google image search for “Batida Cocktail” you’ll see awful, awful cocktails. So please, please make your own Batida and post the images online to drown out the garbage that is already there.