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Cool Drinks, NY: Batidos at Tierras Colombianas in Astoria
Batidos don't get enough exposure. This tasty Latin American version of the milkshake is sometimes made with fruit, ice, and milk (or sometimes water), with the optional addition of ice cream. At Tierras Colombianas in Astoria, they offer up citrusy lulo, as well as your standard mora (blackberry) and papaya batidos. They use frozen fruit in lieu of ice and a combination of whole and condensed milks to achieve a particularly smooth and luscious drink. Seriously, one sip and you're on summer vacation, wearing a straw hat, squishing your toes in the sand.
With these batidos, the creaminess hits you first. The fruit serves to accent the primary milky flavor, especially in the papaya version. The bright orange color suggests that the papaya is going to pack a big punch, but it takes a back seat to the rich milk flavor.
The lulo was more intensely fruity, but sweeter than I expected, despite limelike flavors. Though it's beautifully thick, the texture and flavor combination end up tasting a bit like supermarket rainbow sherbet.
The mora was by far the best, and most balanced. The blackberries lose some of their tang when mixed with the sugary milk, so it's not as tart as you'd think. But it's rich and sweet, creamy and delicious. Another plus: it's seedless so you won't have any interruptions as you suck up every bit.
3301 Broadway, Astoria, Queens 11106-1805 (at 33rd Street; map) 718-956-3012