I still remember the first time I came across Giffard Banane du Bresil. I had it in the Bananarac which is a great rift on the classic Sazerac offered at Nitecap. After sampling a bit of it on its own I was immediately hooked. Ever since, I had been on the search for this nectar from the gods but had been unable to acquire it. It would become my white whale and no other banana liqueur could stand up to it.
There was 99 Bananas the high proof power house that had fueled many a nights in my younger years and then sickly sweet and chemically laced versions. All of these were lackluster in comparison to the liquid gold I had sampled on that fateful evening at Nitecap.
Would the search ever end. After scouring liquor stores and coming up empty I turned to twitter and ultimately the US importer reached out to me via my website.
The quest was finally over but now the question lingered in my mind: Would it live up to the way I remembered it?
Banane du Bresil is made from a month long maceration of ripe Brazilian bananas which is then fortified with cognac. The resulting liqueur is unlike anything on the market.
It pours with the rich color of caramel.
It has the aroma of a succulent banana dessert with warm baking spices accented by vanilla and buttery caramel.
Upon tasting there is a fresh ripe and unadulterated banana flavor followed by the baking spices, hints of vanilla before being warmed by the cognac as it makes its way down.
The first cocktail will have to be the Bananarac, the cocktail that started it all.
Absinthe (for rinse)
1 oz Rye Whiskey (Old Overholt)
1 oz Armagnac (Tariquet VSOP)
.5 oz Giffard Banane du Bresil
.5 tsp Demerara syrup (2 parts Demerara Sugar to 1 part water)
1 dash Aromatic Bitters (Bitter Truth)
Pour a little absinthe into a chilled rocks glass. Swirl to coat the inside, discard any excess and set the glass aside. Add the remaining ingredients to a mixing glass and fill with ice.
Stir and strain into the prepared glass. Twist a piece of lemon peel over the drink and discard.
The second drink is an off the menu drink I had Ryan of Pouring Ribbons make me when I was in the mood for something creamy and banana flavored. Of course it had a heavy dose of rum as that is my favorite spirit. Since the drink had no name I decided to call it the:
The Lonely Banana
1 oz Barbancourt 8 year
.5 oz Flor de Cana 7 year
.5 oz Smith and Cross
.25 oz cane syrup
.5 oz Dons Mix
.75 oz Lime Juice
.5 oz Giffards Banane du Bresil
1 dash of Angostura Bitters
1 egg white
Add all ingrdients to a cocktail shaker and dry shake for 30 seconds. Add ice and shake till chilled. Pour into a chilled glass.