Friday, October 21, 2011

RECIPE - Tamarind Batida (Batida de Tamarindo)

If you ask almost anyknowledgeable cocktail enthusiast to free associate the words "Brazil" and "cocktail", chances are almost certain that the word that will pop out of his or her mouth will be "caipirinha." This combination of crushed whole limes, cachaça (a liquor distilled from sugar cane), sugar and ice is Brazil's most famous cocktail export and can be found on bar menus around the world.

But the caipirinha is not Brazil's only cachaça cocktail. There's a whole other family of cachaça plus fruit juice drinks that are enjoyed throught Brazil - drinks called batidas (prounced bah-CHEE-das). What distinguished a batida from a caipirinha is the addition of a touch of sweetened condensed milk. There are as many flavors of batidas as there are fruits in Brazil, which means there are theoretically thousands of possible batidas. The most popular are probably lime (limão) and passion fruit (maracujá) but any fruit that strikes one's fancy is suitable. Flavors of Brazil recently tried a cashew fruit (caju) batida and it was wonderful.

Since we've been publishing tamarind recipes this week, we thought we might as well post a recipe for tamarind batida. But please don't limit yourself to this one fruit if you decide you like batidas. Try any fruit that you can blend, whether tropical or not. As they say, "It's all good."
RECIPE - Tamarind Batida (Batida de Tamarindo)
Makes 1 drink

2 oz (50 ml) cachaça
1 1/2 oz (35 ml) tamarind juice (or any other fruit juice)
1 oz (25 ml) canned sweetened condensed milk
ice cubes
Put all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with a tight lid. Shake vigorously for two minutes. Pour through a strainer into a chilled cocktail glass - martini or similar. Serve immediately.

If desired you can pour the drink over fresh ice cubes in an old-fashioned glass.

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