A knights taleÂ in a martini glass
During my visit to Malta I found a lot of lokal and interesting specialities, but the one that chilled me the most was a liqor called “Batja”, originally made by the Knights in 1565 with cactus fruit, honey and spices!
First of all, Malta is a stunning island with a sublime climate, fantastic food, nice people and lovely beaches and bays embrased by a series of castles and towers from the medieval ages all around the seashore.
But back to this liqor, Batja, Â that really got to me since the first impression was a distinct taste and flavor of something thatÂ I havent had before, and being both sweet, bitter, sour and spicy, and yet so balanced and subtle as ifÂ I was licking the inside of a virgins inner thigh.
This cactus fruit liqor, or prickly pear liqor as it is called locally, has it all in (my opinion) to comply with my other favorite spirit: GIN; whyÂ I urgently invested in a bottle of Noilly on site (the ginÂ I always carry with me) and poured 1 batja, 1 Noilly Prat and 2 Geranium Gin – stirred with plenty of ice, and finally tossed a slice of cactus fruit/prickly pear in to the martini glassÂ I borrowed from the hotel bar.
And what a greatÂ experience!
I believe that Malta now has got a signature cocktail with this “martini style thing” as described as above! I bend in the dust for this “new” liqor – as a huble man would do to one of the Maltese Knigths 500 years ago, and will allways think of this as one of the good stories in “a knights tale”.