A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from September 05, 2007
Batini (official Austin cocktail)

The “Batini” (a blend of “bat” + “martini,” although the drink contains no bats or gin or vermouth) is the official drink of Austin, Texas. In 2004, the Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau declared it so (yes, over Dr Pepper and beer). The drink is made with Tito’s Handmade Vodka, an Austin company. Each September during “Batfest,” a Batini-making contest is held on the Congress Avenue Bridge, home to thousands of Austin’s famous bats.

There are many varying recipes for the Batini, but they usually mix Tito’s Handmade Vodka with fruit juices.


Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau
Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau Names Official Drink Of Austin
September 2, 2004

AUSTIN, TX-The Four Seasons Hotel Austin mixed a perfectly batty concoction to win the Austin Convention & Visitor Bureau’s first “The Batini: The Official Drink of Austin Contest.”

Judges selected the Four Season’s version of the Batini to celebrate the pairing of two Austin novelties-- the nightly flight of the Congress Avenue bats and Texas’ only distillery.

In the early 1980s, modifications to the Congress Avenue Bridge began attracting migratory Mexican free-tailed bats, eventually making Austin the home to the largest urban bat colony in the world. Each evening at dusk, from late March through October, some 1.5 million bats leave in mass exodus in search of food, consuming 10 to 15 tons of insects each night. The flight is now such a popular tourist attraction that Austin is dubbed the “Bat Capital of America.”

Since 1995, Tito Beveridge (that’s his real name) has produced his Tito’s Handmade Vodka from a distillery in East Austin. Beveridge’s smooth vodka has impressed the most discerning of tastes to win the 2001 Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirit Completion, beating out such better-known brands as Smirnoff, Stoli, Ketel One and Skyy. More accolades followed when Spirit Journal announced that Tito’s was the only vodka in the world deserving of a four-star rating.

“Sometimes someone will come up to me and tell me how much they love my vodka. But then they’ll sheepishly tell me what they like to mix with it. I don’t care what they mix it with. I just want people to try it,” says Beveridge.

It’s in this spirit that the Batini contest was born, giving local hotels the opportunity to mix recipes using carefully chosen ingredients while following two rules: 1) incorporate Tito’s Handmade Vodka and 2) exemplify Austin.

The six participating hotels – The Driskill Hotel, Four Seasons Hotel Austin, Austin Marriott at the Capitol, Intercontinental Stephen F. Austin, Hilton Austin and The Renaissance Austin Hotel shook, stirred and taste-tested until deciding on a final submission for the Batini. Ingredients ranged from a splash of locally brewed Live Oak beer to port and Chambord to hot sauce and cilantro. Garnishes included blueberries, cherries and apples shaped like bats.

The Fours Seasons Austin Hotel’s concept of a dusk until dawn-themed Batini captured the first annual competition.

The 2004 Official Drink of Austin is:

The Batini*
5 oz. Tito’s Handmade Vodka mixed with ½ oz. of Chambord
4 oz. Tito’s Handmade Vodka mixed with ½ oz. of Blue Curacao
3 oz. of room temperature Sangria

Sangria:
¼ cup orange juice
¼ cup cranberry juice
¼ cup apple juice
½ cup red wine (Sangre do Toro preferred)
garnish with a cherry cut into the shape of a “fang”
*serves five

In cocktail shaker take 4 ounces of Tito’s and the Blue Curacao. Shake and strain into five chilled martini glasses. In shaker add another 5 ounces of Tito’s and the Chambord. Shake and strain very slowly down the side rim of the martini glasses. Using a straw, transfer three drops of the Sangria recipe down the rim of each glass. The effect is a layered dawn and dusk. Garnish with cherry. Before serving, swirl the Batinis to enjoy the metaphoric flight of the Austin bats. 

Food Network
Batini Black Recipe courtesy The Four Seasons in Austin
Show:  Giada’s Weekend Getaways
Episode:  Austin

2 ounces vodka (recommended: Tito’s Handmade Vodka)
1/2 ounce blue curacao
10 fresh blackberries
Splash simple syrup
Splash grapefruit juice
Splash Champagne
Blackberry and bat-shaped mint, for garnish

Add vodka, blue curacao, blackberries, simple syrup and grapefruit juice to a martini shaker and shake vigorously until the drink turns a deep purple. Strain into a cocktail glass and top with a splash of champagne. Garnish with a blackberry and a bat-shaped mint.

Tito’s Handmade Vodka
September Update
The “Batini”, is the winning drink every year at the City of Austin’s “official drink of Austin contest” This drink features our own Tito’s Handmade Vodka.  Bartenders from Austin’s top downtown hotels create their own recipe presenting it in front of a crowd of thousands and a panel of celebrity judges.  The event is held downtown on the Congress bridge on September 2 during “Batfest”.
(...)
Story
It all started when I went to a watermelon thump in Luling, TX, and my Uncle Phil shared some of his habanero vodka with me. It was cold out of the freezer and hot from the peppers. Really got you going, it wasn’t just the alcohol, those peppers affected you like Chinese medicine. You could feel them in your ears, then your hands and feet. After a few years, I was sitting around thinking about what to give my friends for Christmas and decided to make a case of my Uncle’s concoction. I didn’t stick to my Uncle’s recipe since my step dad said he thought the habaneros had crossed with the bell peppers that year. I tripled up on the peppers. They hadn’t crossed over and the batch was hot as fire. About 250 people drank out of the 12 bottles and kept telling me to get it on the shelf but not to make it so hot! And, That’s how It all began. After starting as a hobby, it went to full time. After talking to a bunch of retailers and distributors. I decided that flavored vodka didn’t sell enough volume. It was then I decided the future was in micro-distilled spirits and so I created martini grade vodka made in a potstill. I tried to raise money and after two failed attempts, built my own stills and bottling equipment and got busy.

When I started this company, I thought I was getting in on a micro-distillery trend. I didn’t know that brands like Knob Creek and Bookers were made by Jim Beam in bulk. As it turns out, it seems like this is one of the only or the only micro-distillery in the country. It is also the first legal distillery in Texas’ history. As a result. the brand gets lots of publicity. I’ve been on CNN, on ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX. Not just once. but many times. I’ve been in many newspapers and magazines including The WALL STREET JOURNAL, NIGHTCLUB-BAR and FORTUNE.  They give my handmade vodka reviews like “so luxuriously smooth”, “can go head to head with any of the world’s greats and not break a sweat”, and “a vodka of world class proportions”. 

About.com: Austin, TX
The Batini: The Official Drink of Austin 2004 ‘Dusk til Dawn’
From Jacci Howard Bear

In the first annual competition of the Austin Convention & Visitor Bureau’s “The Batini: The Official Drink of Austin Contest,” the winner was the Four Seasons Austin Hotel’s version of the drink. The Batini is a pairing of the nightly flight of the Congress Avenue bats and Texas’ only distillery. One of the rules of the competition, the drink had to include Tito’s Handmade Vodka.

INGREDIENTS:
5 oz. Tito’s Handmade Vodka mixed with ½ oz. of Chambord
4 oz. Tito’s Handmade Vodka mixed with ½ oz. of Blue Curacao
3 oz. of room temperature Sangria
Sangria: orange juice, cranberry juice, apple juice, ½ cup red wine (Sangre do Toro preferred)
garnish with a cherry cut into the shape of a “fang”
PREPARATION:
Put the 4oz of Tito’s and the Blue Curacao in a cocktail shaker and shake. Strain into five chilled martini glasses. Add the 5oz of Tito’s and the Chambord to the shaker. Shake then strain slowly down side of the martini glasses.

With a straw, transfer three drops of the Sangria down the rim of each glass to produce a pink and blue layered Dusk til Dawn effect. Garnish with the bat fang cherry. Just before serving, swirl the Batinis “to enjoy the metaphoric flight of the Austin bats.”

Austin Chronicle (September 22, 2006)
Batini III
The official drink of Austin contest
BY CLAUDIA ALARCÓN

The third annual Batini contest took place on Sept. 1 during the Austin Bat Fest. One bartender from each of five hotel bars mixed a version of the Batini using Tito’s Handmade Vodka, while another representative presented the drink to the panel of judges. Judging criteria included taste, creativity/originality of the recipe, and presentation (look, delivery, and showmanship). Scoring was on a scale of one to 10, where one equals “bat guano” and 10 is “bat-tastic.” Lucky for us judges, there was absolutely no bat guano this year, and in my book, this was the closest competition ever. I thought all the drinks were well done, and it came down to a close call on presentation.

I loved the Hyatt’s refreshing drink of chilled Tito’s with a splash of pomegranate liquor garnished with a sugarcane skewer with strawberry, melon, pineapple, and mint. The Stephen F. Austin’s Great Balls of Fire Batini was Tito’s infused with melon and jalapeños, shaken and strained into a martini glass, topped with a splash of champagne, and garnished with frozen melon balls and mint. It gave me one of those “wow” moments for its originality and pleasant but assertive spiciness

Austin American-Statesman (September 5, 2007)
Drink Contest loves our bats and our vodka
Lamberts Downtown Barbecue won the fourth annual “Batini: the Official Drink of Austin” contest. Its Batini mixes 1.5 oz. of Tito’s vodka, 1 dash olive juice, 1 dash jalapeño juice, 3 caperberries and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. (Add ingredients to shaker and shake. Pour over cracked ice and garnish with pimento-stuffed olives and a pickled jalapeño.) Sponsored by the Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau and Tito’s Handmade Vodka, the contest benefits Bat Conservation International and celebrates Austin’s mega urban bat colony.

Austin (TX) American-Statesman
Ten cocktails to make you forget it’s blazing hot outside
By Patrick Beach
AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
(...)
Batini
Four Seasons Lobby Lounge,
98 San Jacinto Blvd.
478-4500; http://www.fourseasons.com/austin
The fundamentalist fire-and-brimstone-spewing Rev. Patrick would pronounce this NOT A MARTINI, but hey, it’s the Four Seasons, nice joint, they can call it whatever they want. The so-called “official drink of Austin,” cooked up by employees Amber Wright and the delightfully named Daisy Undercuffler, has, among other things, a base of Austin’s own Tito’s Handmade Vodka, puréed blackberries and fresh grapefruit juice, topped with a splash of champagne. It’s the thing to have at the bar while waiting for the Mexican free-tails to do their nightly emergence. And if they happen to come out too late to see them, have another Batini and you won’t care as much.

(Trademark)
Word Mark TITO’S HANDMADE VODKA
Goods and Services IC 033. US 047 049. G & S: Distilled Spirits. FIRST USE: 19970103. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19970411
Standard Characters Claimed
Mark Drawing Code (4) STANDARD CHARACTER MARK
Serial Number 77036226
Filing Date November 3, 2006
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Published for Opposition August 21, 2007
Owner (APPLICANT) FIFTH GENERATION INC. CORPORATION TEXAS 12101 Moore Rd. Austin TEXAS 78719
Attorney of Record Michael J. Smith
Disclaimer NO CLAIM IS MADE TO THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO USE “VODKA” APART FROM THE MARK AS SHOWN
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Register PRINCIPAL-2(F)-IN PART
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE
Distinctiveness Limitation Statement HANDMADE

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Wednesday, September 05, 2007 • Permalink