Green Banana Syrup!

Green Banana syrup bottle

Here`s a quite subtle syrup as far as sweet banana flavor goes but flavor wise it´s rich and there´s a pronounced “green” banana flavor in it. It`s made to mostly be used in tiki and tropical drinks to add a little extra exotic touch of something “green and jungly” yet rich, dark and mysterious…

It`s made with one unripe apple banana, dark muscovado sugar and water.

Muscovado sugar comes in two varieties here, light and dark. The light is not white, it´s light to medium brown and has a rich wonderful flavor. The flavor of the dark is a lot more towards the flavors of molasses and also has a hint of liquorice to it. The finished syrup is a very deep dark brown, almost black.

Apple bananas also called Manzano bananas are short, plump and fat in shape and their flesh’s texture is firm when young almost like plantains, but tender and creamy when ripe. Young Apple bananas are both tangy and sweet with hints of apple. As they ripens, they will develop a far more tropical flavor profile, with notes of pineapple and strawberry. The Apple banana has a complex scent marked by a strong tart-apple aroma.

Ripe Apple bananas should also make a nice syrup with a stronger banana flavor but i wanted  a  “greenish” type of  flavor so i used a green unripe Apple banana which i got from a Thai shop.

Another idea could be to use half unripe and half  ripe piece of  Apple banana with the “light” type muscovado sugar to make a sweeter more bana-ish type of syrup as well.

Green banana syrup collage 1

So what you do is adding in a 2:1 ratio sugar to water in a small pan and make the syrup, let cool and pour into a vessel and set aside. Clean the pan and add slices of the banana which you mash with a fork then add the syrup and let it cook up and when it cooks, take immediately off the heat because you do not want the sugar to caramelize. Leave to cool for at least a couple hours or overnight for the flavors to settle, then strain and bottle in a clean bottle.

Before setting aside i turned the pieces with peel upside down to get as flavor much as possible out of the green peel.

It should last a couple weeks in the fridge. I made only a small batch since i don`t use banana syrup in all drinks, i took about 1 cup(2.5dl) sugar and half of that in water and then one Apple banana.

Green Banana syrup 3

After sitting overnight the whole thing looks like this

The syrup turned out really nice with a deep semi-sweet green bananish and molasses like flavor.

I decided to make a variation of the “Lava flow” using the green banana syrup instead of a fresh banana to take away that sweet banana flavor and make it more “green” and unsweet if that`s the word when there´s Coco Real Cream of Coconut in the drink….but i wanted to avoid the over sweetness which the combination of Cream of Coconut AND a whole ripe banana could be. I also added a half  ounce of fresh lime to add some freshness and zest to the mix.

Kilauea`s Fiery Lava Flow

Kilauea Fiery Lava Flow

2 oz unsweetened pineapple juice

2 oz Coco Real Cream of  Coconut or Coco Lopez

0.5 oz green apple banana syrup

0.5 oz fresh lime

2 oz strawberries

1 oz white rum (i used Koloa Kaua`i Coconut Rum)

1 oz overproof rum (i used Lost Spirits 151 Cuban Inspired Rum)

Mix 1 – Blend rums and strawberries in blender, pour into a tall (or other) glass and set aside

Mix 2 -Rinse the blender and blend pineapple juice, green apple banana syrup and Coco Real with 1 cup crushed ice until smooth. Slowly pour the blended mix into the glass with the rum and strawberries mix which should start to creep up the sides of the glass creating a lava flow effect.

Garnish with what you have on hand, a pineapple wedge, tropical orchid etc and a flaming lime shell.

To make the flaming lime shell: Take a half spent lime shell to use as “bowl” and place 2-3 croutons in it that are drenched in lemon extract (burns longer and brighter) or 151 overproof rum, make sure there´s nothing close to the drink above it and set it alight.

Now that`s a drink! best suitable for the pool in hot tropical weather actually but one can dream right?

Green Banana Daiquiri

Green Banana Daiquiri

Just a daiquiri with this green apple banana syrup! rum, lime and green banana syrup! But this one is even more potent than the Fiery Lava Flow…

2 oz Lost Spirits 151 Cuban Inspired Rum

0.75 oz fresh lime juice

0.5 oz green apple banana syrup

Shake together with ice cubes and strain into a chilled cocktail coupe or glass and garnish with two slices of green apple banana. Be careful with this one! if you want a milder daiquiri use another good white or aged rum!

Green Jet Pilot (Twist of Hale Pèles Jet Pilot with a twist of green banana)

Green Jet Pilot

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

0.5 oz grapefruit juice (white)

0.5 oz green apple banana syrup

0.5 oz cinnamon syrup

0.75 oz  Gold Puerto Rican Rum (for example Don Q)

0.75 oz Lemon Hart 151 Demerara Rum

1 oz Rougaroux Fullmoon Dark Rum (amazing blackstrap rum from Louisiana– if you can`t find it sub with Cruzan Blackstrap)

1 dash Angostura bitters

6 drops pernod

Mix everything with crushed ice and dump into an goblet and top with more crushed ice and garnish with a piece of green apple banana on the side of the glass and a speared green banana slice and tropical orchid.

Go green bananas!

LET´S MAKE SOME LOVELY TAHITIAN VANILLA BEAN SYRUP

vanilla

Have anyone who knows me missed that i love vanilla? I use it all the time and i even grow 4 varietes of vanilla orchids but not to try to get any beans of course, i just find those climbing plants lovely and exotic also without flowers.

Vanilla is apart from a flavour and aroma booster both a beautiful and fun garnish, i mean really.. just look at this.

I have more than once received the question how to make a good vanilla syrup, and so i decided to write about it, its really simple. First – there are different vanillas and they taste differently.The most common is the bourbon or Madagascar vanilla.It’s a nice vanilla – with that lingering warm – inviting and exotic flavor typical for the vanilla bean after its cured.

The Tahitian vanilla bean is a different variety and is highly prized among chefs for its unique lovely floral character, probably developed over many years in the rich volcanic soil in the Tahitian islands. Its believed that the Tahitian vanilla – vanilla tahitensis has evolved from the original vanilla planifolia and developed into its own species with its own flavor and character.

The beans are fatter, shorter, more plump and oily than other vanilla varietes and the fragrance and flavor is really special.This is the vanilla of choice also for me.

Its usually not cheap, not if grown on Tahaa also known as the vanilla island in French Polynesia. But the species vanilla tahitensis as its called is also grown on Papua New Guinea and those grown there are less costly but they are also very flavorful with the typical character of the Tahitian vanilla bean. Still these cannot exactly compare to those from Tahaa even though very good. The difference isn´t that big though but its the soil creating a slight difference and nuance in aroma and its also about the feel.

It was a while ago that i had beans straight from French Polynesia, after that i`ve had those from Papua but these are certainly not bad at all.

So when i make my vanilla syrups i use the Tahitian vanilla bean almost all the time, but why not mix the two sometimes? Or even adding a third, the Mexican bean? Which is also regarded in flavor to be close to the bourbon vanilla.

I always let my syrups boil for about 2 mins and then simmer for a while before finally being taken off to cool. I prefer the boiled syrup for two reasons – one is that the 2 minute boiling helps to prevent molding, and second -–a boiled syrup has a thicker more viscous and rich mouthfeel than syrup made with the cold method (shaking the sugar and water in a jar until it disolves) At least that`s my own experience.

To make the vanilla syrup here`s what to do:

vanilla-syrup

Take 2-3 beans and split them lengthwise and scrape out all those wonderful tiny little black dots – the seeds. Add to a pan 2.1 or 1.1 sugar to water and add the beans and seeds. Choose a good sugar, like a finely textured light or dark raw cane sugar. Heat up and boil for 2 mins, then let simmer on low heat for about 10 mins and stir sometimes.

A little trick i`m frequently using for a tasty syrup when using a light sugar is to add a pinch of light muscovado – that is nom nom.

Take off the heat and cool. The longer you leave it to cool and steep the more vanilla flavor you`ll get. Then strain and pour in clean bottles. I sometimes leave the beans in the bottles as well.

So what are you waiting for? Get working on the stove and before you know it you`ll have a wonderful vanilla syrup  – vanilla syrup really enchances the flavor in many cocktails.

GOMME SYRUP

gomme-syrup

Over the last 2 years i`ve been making so many different syrups, all from simple, demerara, all kind of spiced to bellpepper or kaffirlime syrups but never for some reason did i make gomme syrup. I read about how to make it long ago written by Paul over at Cocktail Chronicles. What interests me with gomme and made me now finally make it is its viscosity. Its said to lend a silky mouthfeel and is especially suited for the old school cocktails like for instance the Sazerac.

When making syrups i used to only heat up the water and sugar to get it to dissolve but i have changed my mind concerning this. I discovered that sometimes after a time some of the syrups got moldy. It didn´t happen too often and i use them up fairly quick but it did happen. Now i have learnt that one important thing when making syrups is that it should be properly boiled for 2 minutes. If boiled to long it will become caramel and if not sufficiently boiled it will after some time become apt to mold. Another important thing is to use a good quality sugar, the better sugar the better syrup.

I didn`t find any gum arabic powder but i found it in the form of small “crystals” or “stones” that looked almost like amber, very beautiful indeed. I threw them into my sturdy thai mortar and started to beat the hell out of them, (they are very hard) to finally get them pulverized.

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2 oz gum arabica powder

2 oz hot water

( but i added an extra 0.5 oz water)

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I used the recipe from Pauls site and mixed 2 oz of the gum powder with 2 oz hot water plus an extra 0.5 oz i threw in, and then i putted that aside, stirring occasionally while i cooked my dinner meal. After some 20 min or so i took a look at it and it was all dissolved and turned into a brown sticky “soup”. Curiously i took a teaspoon to taste just a little and i can´t say the flavor was very nice but oh what a mouthfeel, pure silk.

gomme-gum-arabica-crystals-in-mortar

So now when that was done it was time to make the syrup, i first used 7 oz white sugar and 1 oz raw sugar to 4 oz water and brought to a light boil for 2 min. Then i added the gomme and mixed it all together and made another tasting.

The weird flavor from the pure gomme was now mixed into the syrup and i think it actually does give a bit of flavor to the syrup, or rather a sort of warmness. The mouthfeel is amazing, its very viscous, and it really is like silk. I can´t wait to try this gomme in cocktails both old and new to see how it differs from simple syrup because differs it does even though of course simple syrup is an acceptable substitution for gomme.  I`ve had commercial gomme before but it wasn`t like this homemade syrup. The gum arabic used with a simple syrup acts as an emulsifier and it was used to keep the sugar from crystallizing. At the same time it lended a silky texture to the cocktails. I really like this texture and as soon as i can get some Peychauds bitters i`m going to make a Sazerac, but for now i make another drink.

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2:1 simple syrup

8 oz white sugar ( i also added 1 oz raw sugar)

4 oz water ( here i also added one extra oz)

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As you can see i often tweak the recipes a bit to my liking but that´s not really nessecary. Usually when i make simple syrups i tend to prefer the 1:1 formula to the 2:1 simply because when they get cold in the fridge it slows the pour. But this gomme syrup i wanted to make more like a 2:1 syrup even though i added an extra ounce water.

gomme-powder

The food grade gum arabica is a natural gum made of hardened sap taken from two species of the acacia tree; Acacia senegal and Acacia seyal. It is used primarily in the food industry as a stabilizer, but has had more varied uses in the past, including viscosity control in inks.

Currently over 70% of the world’s supply of Gum Acacia is produced and exported by the Sudan. Other major supplying areas are Chad and Nigeria and in small quantities from mali, Mauritania, Senegal and Niger. The uses of gum arabica dates back some 5000 years to the time of ancient Egypt

The gum is only produced by trees that are in an unhealthy condition as gum yelds are improved by such natural factors like poor soil, hot weather, lack of rain etc.lessening the vitaly of the trees. Larger yelds of gum are actually produced by trees that are damaged and thus the bark is stripped from a tree and later the workers returns to remove the tears of gum formed in the wound of the scars. Within 3 – 8 weeks, the gum will start to collect in the wound. A young tree will yield 400 – 7000g annually.

gomme-gum-arabica-crystals-bottle

 

Sugarcane bar