Stir Up This Authentic Mexican Cocktail
by David Klemt
A simple, three-ingredient cocktail can make a big impact on guests when it’s authentic and the build is part of the presentation.
A perfect example of authenticity and a wow-factor cocktail build is the Batanga.
During episode 57 of Bar Hacks, Collin De Laval recommends this deceptively simple drink.
When De Laval is creating, it’s important to him that he remains faithful to a particular country, region or town.
As the company mixologist for Código 1530, that means honoring tequila in an authentic way.
Not only is De Laval a “blanco drinker, through and through,” he’s also unafraid of things getting “rowdy.”
So, while he isn’t the creator of the Batanga, he is a big fan.
One reason, as he mentions on Bar Hacks, is that the drink seems like it shouldn’t work. After all, the recipe combines tequila blanco, lime juice, and Coca-Cola.
Now, one could say that this is “just” a Cuba Libre with tequila stepping in for rum. However, that’s far too dismissive; the flavor profiles are vastly different.
In fact, I’m fairly certain that nobody has raised an eyebrow at a Cuba Libre and said the ingredients shouldn’t work together.
You may find yourself wondering how this simple cocktail can possibly wow guests. Really, what’s impressive about combining tequila, juice and cola, and stirring?
Well, it’s the stirring that’s the secret.
Per several sources, the Batanga’s creator had a trick up his sleeve when he came up with the recipe. And that trick was a big knife with a wood handle.
Don Javier Delgado Corona created the Batanga in 1961 at La Capilla, his bar in Tequila, Mexico. When it came time to finish his build, he stirred the drink with the aforementioned wood-handled knife.
Even better, Don Javier is reported to have explained, if that knife has been used to cut limes, salsa ingredients, or ingredients for guacamole.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that unless they’ve had a Batanga made in Mexico, not many guests have watched a bartender stir their drink with a big knife.
Of course, not just any knife will have real impact, so I recommend using the biggest knife your highball or specialty glassware will accommodate.
The Recipe and Technique
Obviously, you can decide which of your tequilas to use when adding the Batanga to your menu.
Of course, you can also build it with whatever tequila your guest requests.
However, we’re going to use Código 1530 tequila for this recipe. After all, the brand certainly speaks to authenticity.
Additionally, Código 1530 also speaks to consumer desire to drink better and seek out ultra-premium spirits. Tequila is one of the luxury spirits categories benefitting most from this consumer trend, with sales volume increasing 30.7 percent annually since 2015.
Recipe created by Don Javier Delgado Corona at La Capilla
- 2 oz. Código 1530 Blanco
- 0.5 oz. Fresh-squeezed lime juice
- Coca-Cola to top (per De Laval, only Mexican Coke in the glass bottle will do)
- Salt for rim
Salt rim of highball glass or other tall glassware with decent width. Add ice to glass. Combine Código 1530 Blanco and lime juice. Top with cola. Most importantly, stir with a big knife and serve to wowed guest.