11 Most Appealing Banana Liqueur Cocktails on the Planet

Summer is here, and that means tropical drinks are king once again, even if we’re not allowed to sip them poolside with our best friends. The thing, too, is you’ve probably spent a good amount of time lately organizing and reorganizing your liquor shelf and in doing so have probably come across some bottles of liquor you either forgot about or didn’t know you had in the first place thanks to the amount of it you drank at a party two years ago. If one of those bottles was banana liqueur (or if banana liqueur is in frequent rotation and you’re looking for new ideas), read on!

While liqueurs may not be in rotation all that often in your home bar, they should be. Not only do they add interesting flavors to cocktails (like Nocino, a walnut-based liqueur), but the sweetness you’ll find helps to balance cocktails out at the same time. Take banana liqueur, for example. Contained within one bottle, you get tropical notes, one of the most distinctive smells on the planet, and a delightful sweet kick.

More Cocktail Recipes

Below, you’ll find banana liqueur cocktails from some of the best bartenders around the world. One thing you’ll notice is that a little goes a long way. What does that mean for you? It means that you should stock up on the other ingredients and try multiple of the drinks below!

Banana

banana pool lounge cocktail

(Created by Thomas Waugh, The Pool Lounge, New York City)

  • 3 oz banana mix*
  • .75 oz lime juice
  • .5 oz ginger syrup
  • Angostura bitters
  • Banana to garnish

*Banana mix

  • 1 oz reposado tequila
  • 1 oz Amontillado Sherry
  • 1 oz Giffard Banane du Brésil

Method: Short shake with three Kold Draft cubes. Strain into a Collins glass with pebble ice. Top with Angostura bitters. Garnish with a baby banana.

Bowie Intro

bowie intro banana cocktail

(Created by Chaim Dauermann, The Up & Up, New York City)

  • 1.25 oz Suntory Toki
  • .5 oz Giffard Banane du Brésil
  • .25 oz Krogstad Aquavit
  • .75 oz lemon juice
  • .5 oz demerara syrup (2:1)
  • 2 luxardo cherries

Method: Muddle the cocktail cherries in the bottom of a cocktail tin. Add wet ingredients. Shake with two ice cubes. Double-strain into a chilled Collins glass. Fill with pebble ice (or crushed ice). Garnish with cherry or lemon bulls-eye.

The Traveling Banana

traveling banana cocktail

(Created by  Sam Treadway, Back Bar, Boston)

Method: Build all ingredients over one large piece of ice in a rocks glass. Briefly stir and then garnish with a lime twirl.

Bananas Foster Cocktail

bananas foster cocktail
FOHNYC

(Created by Johnny Swet, JIMMY at the James, New York City)

  • 2 oz aged rum
  • 1 oz banana liqueur
  • .5 oz lime juice
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 thick banana chunks

Method: Muddle the banana chunks with the brown sugar. Add the remaining ingredients and shake with ice until cold. Strain into a rocks glass with ice. Garnish with a thick banana slice that has been sprinkled with sugar and caramelized with a torch.

Cachaça Me If You Can

cachaca me if you can banana cocktail

(Created at Arbella, Chicago)

  • 1 oz Espirito barrel-rested Cachaca
  • .75 Noilly Pratt Ambre
  • .5 oz Giffard Banane du Brésil
  • .25 oz Amaro Sybilla
  • .25 oz Bitter Truth falernum
  • .25 oz Gran Classico

Method: Stir with a large cube in a mixing glass. Strain into a coupe.

Banana Snowman

banana snowman cocktail

Method: Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker over ice, shake, and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with grated nutmeg and a skewer of banana chunks and salted caramel pieces.

Backseat Bingo

backseat bingo banana cocktail

(Created by Blake Pope, Hello Sailor, Cornelius, North Carolina)

  • 2 oz Bacardi Silver
  • 1.5 oz 99 Bananas
  • .75 oz Zucca
  • 1 oz orgeat
  • .75 oz demerara syrup
  • 3 oz coconut cream
  • 1.5 oz lime juice

Garnishes:

  • 2 bendy straws (or one, no judgement)
  • Cinnamon “sprank”
  • Half-banana dolphin (with clove and cherry)

Method: Build ingredients into shaker tin. Add 12 oz scoop of pebble ice. Quick shake in tin. “Dirty” dump into sharing-size Tiki mug. Top with pebble ice. Apply all garnishes.

Shangala Banana

shangala banana cocktail

(Created by Leanne Favre, Clover Club and Leyenda, Brooklyn)

  • 1 oz Agave de Cortés Joven Mezcal
  • 1 oz Lustau Fino Sherry
  • .75 oz Giffard Banane du Brésil
  • .75 oz fresh lemon juice
  • .5 oz Giffard gomme syrup
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 3 pinches chile de arbol powder

Method: In a shaker, gently muddle cardamom and chile powder with gomme syrup. Add other ingredients and ice. Shake well and fine strain into a pilsner glass. Fill with crushed ice and garnish with a banana leaf.  

Banana Suit

banana suit cocktail

(Created by Sean Johnson, Amor y Amargo, New York City)

  • 1 oz Sipsmith Dry Gin
  • 1 oz Salers Aperitif
  • .5 oz dry vermouth
  • .5 oz Giffard Banane du Brésil
  • .25 oz Giffard Vanille du Madagascar
  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters

Method: Build all ingredients over one large piece of ice in a rocks glass. Briefly stir, then garnish with a mint bouquet 

Bananas Foster Adult Milkshake

bananas foster adult milkshake cocktail

(Created at Péché, Austin)

  • 1 oz banana liqueur
  • .5 oz Zaya rum
  • 2 scoops vanilla ice cream

Method: Combine ingredients in a blender and blend. Pour into glass and garnish with cinnamon.

Article originally published January 26, 2018.

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