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
* 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
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.