CREATIVE USE OF BANANAS IN COCKTAILS

First i want to say one thing – i`m not very fond of bananas in cocktails..and that`s the reason why i jumped on the task of writing this post, i simply see it as a challenge to try to create something interesting with bananas..

The first thing – it can`t be too sweet and second – it can´t be too bananaish.

Third – it can´t be too slushy and thick.

Fourth – find or invent a cocktail where the banana-whatever thing will fit in well and actually make the drink tasty.A commercial banana liqueur or spirit was out of the question – i wanted fresh stuff.

So what to do? well i rubbed my brain and then figured that if i make a banana peel syrup (and maybe just a little of the fruit) it may add just a hint of banana flavour without getting overly much banana-sweet. For the banana peel syrup i wanted greenish somewhat unripe bananas,they are less sweet and hopefully would lend a more interesting “green” flavour to the syrup.

Lesson number one (i noted to self) : get the right type of fruit. And when it comes to bananas – bananas are not just bananas.The varieties have very different sizes and textures.

Now the next challenge was to hit the stores when they happened to have some green unripe bananas.There´s an Indian-african-caibbean store here which now and then carries apple bananas and they are often in the unripe state in that shop.

Apple bananas (musa manzano) are much tastier than the regular bananas,they have a sort of apple flavour with a hint of strawberry and at the same time they actually have a bit of tang as the fruits are sweet yet have a slight tartness.They are smaller, rounder, firmer and less sweet than other bananas.These seemed to be exactly the type of banana i needed for this.

GREEN APPLE-BANANA DAIQUIRI

apple-banana-daiquiri

 * 1 1/2 oz light rum

* 3/4 oz lime juice

* 1 barspoon apple banana peel syrup

* ¼ oz honey water – honey and water mixed 1:1

Pour the rum, lime juice, honeymix and syrup into a shaker with ice cubes and shake, strain in to a glass and add a large chunk of ice and garnish with the other lime half

APPLE BANANA PEEL SYRUP

2:1 Sugar and water. ¾ part light muscovado sugar and ¼ part molasses. Peel from 1 apple banana and a few slices of the fruit.

To this syrup i used light muscovado sugar and a pinch of molasses plus the peel of one apple banana plus a few slices of the fruit as its not so sweet. Then i boiled it for 2 mins and then simmered very lightly for another 20 mins before cooling, straining and bottling. I got a very subtle banana flavor and so i think i could have used more of both peel and fruit. But it was a nice syrup, very rich in flavor.

Now we´ve had a cocktail that uses banana quite subtly, so what about making something that really is straight forward BANANA? despite my doubts about too much banana i decided to give it a go..and so here is something that is both a cocktail and a dessert, for your sweet tooth:

THE ULTIMATE BANANA COCKTAIL

the-ultimate-banana-cocktail

 2 oz demerara rum

1 tsp molasses

¼ oz fresh lime juice + a little extra for the bananas

¼ fresh lemon juice

2 oz fresh orange juice

Dash orange bitters

1 tsp Dark chocolate,chopped

1 tsp pecan nuts, caramelized and chopped.

2 small bananas – sliced lengthwise, halved and cut in quarters

Muddle lime, lemon and molasses in shaker. Add rum,juices and bitters. Shake and strain into a glass. Place the banana sticks in the glass and drizzle fresh lime juice over the bananas.Top with grated dark chocolate and caramelized pecan nuts.

And there you got it – the Ultimate Banana Cocktail.

CARAMELIZING THE PECAN NUTS

1 oz light sugar

A few drops lemon juice

A few pecan nuts

Melt the sugar very slowly in a mini pan with the lemon juice and when you have a brown caramel, and place the pan in a waterbath to cool. Add the pecan nuts, then take them out and leave to dry on a lightly buttered baking sheet.

Enjoy!

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  1. This whole post is insanely fun. Unripe banana peel syrup – how do you come up with this stuff? I’m a bit surprised you didn’t try something with grilled bananas, though that would bring out the sweetness you were trying to avoid.

  2. Actually grilled bananas its not a bad idea, or maybe grilled unripe bananas? and a syrup of it?
    Must try..

  3. I have done a few experiments with grilled and flambéed bananas.

    Some of the results are quite interesting, but as Rick said they are often more on the sweet side.
    Try this, cook the bananas with orange juice, lime juice, peach juice (not too much), cinnamon and cloves on a pan. You can add sugar or molasses if you´d like, it will be sweet enough without it, but the mix will last longer. Allow the juice to reduce a lot and the bananas to become soft, the softer the better. Allow to chill before use, keep in the refrigerator.

    I use this mix muddled and usually fine strained on cocktails. It also works on cocktails like a Banana Caipirinha but the texture doesn´t please me much.

    Cheers,

    Tony

  4. Thanks Tony for this recipe, i`m going to try it and i`m sure i`ll like it.

    Cheers!

    T

  5. was looking for the tobaco/banana bitters and came across this:)

    just wanted to add a wonderfull recipe for a baked bananahoneycream we did for a cocktail comp.
    just bake your bananas in the oven untill they get a bit of color and blend it with equal parts honey and cream, add a bit of sugar to bring out the banana and reduce it on a pan.

    this stuff is wonderfull and will bring a fun and interresting twist to most of your tiki favorits.
    for the comp. we did a simple twist on a fishhouse punch that took first place. allthough i think you could take it somewhere alot more interresting if you played a bit more with it:)
    have fun, now back to that bitter.. where is it???
    Terkel

  6. Terkel, i haven`t read this post for very very long…and when i see the “Ultimate” cocktail i just have to laugh..how did i come up with such a thing? it probably was a joke, i don´t even remember;-)or was i drunk maybe?

    The baked banana honeycream sounds very good though, it would as you say fit perfect in tiki drinks with dark rum.I have an idea of how to play with it, if it turns out good you`ll see it here.

    Cheers,

    T

  7. Hey T
    there is an ultimate cocktail for every time and place and i’m sure this was yours ;)
    found the tobacco bitters and I am looking forward to any thoughts you have on the honeycream.
    /Terkel

  8. You rite, there´s a time for everything;-)usually i “feel” when to play with something and with what and so when the time is right and i find the right pineapple and maybe the right banana too i`m going to play with the honeycream and then i`ll know what to do. Right now something is just bubbling in my mind but its gonna be a tiki drink and it might get its own post;-)

    The baked banana honey cream is interesting as its different from the “honeycream” i usually make which is equal parts heated honey, butter and sugar.

    T

  9. hey again:)
    just read my in my recipe book.
    we actually skipped the cream and just used light runny honey and the unsalted butter.
    my mistake!!!
    we stryed using the old trader vic recipes but couldn’t get them to work with the cream.. again i’m so sorry if I got your hopes up:)

  10. Then it really gets close to the honeycream i know! just a little sugar..the difference then is the baked banana which must add an yummy flavor if its used in the right drink.In small amounts i can figure..i`ll come up with something;-)

    T

  11. Aloha Tiare!!
    I used your syrup to create a cocktail in “Summer School” with the Bum and Vadrna, so many thanks to you! Here you have: 2 oz Ruhm dos maderas 5+5 (Demerara it’s OK), 1/3 apple banana, 1 oz lemon juice, 5 basil leaves, 1 oz homemade banana syrup (if not homeade to taste due to heavy flavour),3/4 cup crushed ice, 2 dash vanilla bitter, 1/2 teaspoon pimiento dram. All to the blender for about 20 seconds and served in a double martini with an ice shell. I needed to add a piece of banana cause with the lemon and basil i cannot find anywhere the banana, and I used more banana peels than you. Maybe cause the banana is a taste not a flavour? I tried to do basil syrup (I think a good syrup) and it’s better to use fresh leaves to have an intense flavour. Thank’s for your blog. I read usually and publish some of syrups in our blog in spanish, linking to your originals of course!
    Mahalo!!
    Vaimadú

  12. Thanks for your comment Vaimadú! i`m sure you had a blast at the “Summer School” with the Bum and Stan. I wish i could go too but i can only make one trip a year and so it goes to New Orleans.

    Thanks for reading my blog, i`m happy if something can be inspiring to others, cuz it´s all about sharing what you know to spread the cocktail culture.