Batida: The Refreshing Portuguese Cocktail That Features A Brazilian Spirit

Batida in Portuguese means milkshake, shaken, or in some scenarios, it can refer to a car crash. Somehow all of these descriptors make sense when considering the group of cocktails known as batidas. This family of shaken and blended beverages are characteristically made with cachaça, the infamous Brazilian booze, and some kind of fruit juice, coconut milk, and sweetener. This combination of sweetener, booze, and juice found popularity in the 60s at beach parties. The drink drew such a following that bars in bigger cities like Rio de Janeiro built businesses around the drink. One Brazilian bartender described the batida as "the most Brazilian of all cocktails."

Brazil's cachaça falls into a category of its own. The rum is a best seller in the country and is used to make classic Caipirinha cocktails, but also happens to be a standout star in creamy batida blends. Though blended batidas once held a strong connotation with drinks that are too sweet, poorly made, or simply laden with alcohol, a committed group of bartenders is seeking to change the perception of this classic.

A cool drink for a taste of summer

From lighter, less boozy recipes to drinks made with a variety of fruits and spices, the batida's being served in bars now are balanced, smooth, and cold — the kind of drink that would have you willing and ready to order another instead of swearing off the drink and avoid ordering it ever again. Recipes and ratios can vary, but batidas are generally icy drinks that pack both flavor and a punch when it comes to beverage orders. 

Some of the silkier batida recipes can be sweet and creamy from the inclusion of condensed milk, while fresher recipes can serve up a blend of passion fruit syrup, lime juice, coconut milk, and cachaça. It isn't uncommon to see these drinks served garnished with leaves, sprinkles of nutmeg or cinnamon, or glass rims coated in toasted coconut shavings. Whether or not you live by the beach, these drinks deliver the kind of taste that will bring to mind warm days and summer cookouts with friends, no trip required.