If there’s beauty in simplicity, the Batanga is as gorgeous as they come. The drink is nearly impossible to get wrong: tequila, lime and Coca-Cola served over ice in a highball glass with a salted rim. Legend has it that the history of the modern Batanga dates back to the 1950s or ‘60s. It’s impossible to know who first mixed tequila and cola (just like it’s impossible to know who did the same with rum), but credit is given to Don Javier Delgado Corona of La Capilla in Tequila, Mexico. The humble bar is located in tequila’s namesake town, and its walls are covered with yellowing framed photos. La Capilla, which translates to “the chapel,” has been featured as one of the World’s 50 Best Bars alongside mainstays like Dead Rabbit, Employees Only and PDT. Those bars and their menus are generally recognized for extensive options and intricate cocktails. But the Batanga at La Capilla hangs its hat on something a little more intangible.
It’s said that the secret to a good Batanga isn’t which tequila you choose or if you use Mexican Coke. The secret is what you use to stir the drink. At La Capilla, the drink is stirred with a long, wood-handle knife that was previously used to chop up limes, ingredients for guacamole, chiles for salsa and countless other common kitchen ingredients. Those flavors are ever so slightly incorporated into the drink. The result is something cold, refreshing and so much more than the sum of its parts.
- Run the rim of the glass with a lime wedge and then roll it in salt.
- Fill the glass with ice.
- Add lime juice, tequila and Coca-Cola.
- Stir and garnish with a lime wedge.
This tropical libation is the ultimate fruit-flavored Margarita. Blended with fresh lime juice, agave and mango, this Mango Margarita is custardy, golden-hued and vibrantly delicious. While you can use frozen mango chunks (be sure to scale back on the ice if you do), this cocktail is best when made with fresh fruit, which will take it from good to...