Recently, a friend gave me a bottle of Crème de Banane, a banana liqueur and a staple ingredient in several Tiki drinks. Since I’ve never had a bottle of this liqueur, I had some fun looking up classic recipes and experimenting with them. These are my favorite Creme de Banane cocktails:
- 1 1/2 oz dark rum
- 1/2 oz crème de banane
- 1/2 oz lemon juice
- shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass
- garnish with a lemon wedge
- 1 oz crème de banane
- 1/2 oz triple sec
- 1 oz cream
- 1 dash bitters
- shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass or oversized shot glass
Let me know in the comments what your favorite Crème de Banane cocktails are.
Averna is an amaro, one of the charming Italian bitter liqueurs that are hugely popular with certain groups of people, and nearly unknown to others. Campari is the most popular amaro, and just this week, Campari purchased the Averna brand to include in their catalog of liqueurs.
Here’s a question I haven’t answered yet at Simple Cocktails: why bitter? Mrs. Simple Cocktails refers to bitter as a flavor “she tries to avoid,” yet amari are unique drinks as they can be served as both aperitifs and digestifs. An aperitif is meant to whet your appetite before dinner, and aperitifs are usually dry and bitter. Bitterness causes your tongue to salivate, effectively preparing your mouth to eat. A digestif is meant to finish your meal with both sweetness and aiding digestion. Because amari are bitter and sweet, they fit both definitions, and they’re a fun cocktail ingredient as well.
Amari can have a wide variety of dominant flavors, from vegetal (Cynar) to herbal (Fernet Branca) to citrusy (Aperol). Averna is a sweet cola-like experience, almost like root beer. It’s tasty combination of cherry and coffee, too, and actually leaves a little tingle on your tongue just like soda. It’s closest amaro comparison would be Fernet Branca, though it’s not minty and is much less bitter.
Averna is the most accessible amari that I’ve had yet, and it’s great on the rocks after dinner, or a shot in a glass of club soda makes a great, natural, old-timey “soda.” It’s earned a permanent place in my home bar.
Galliano is a very unique, very….yellow….Italian liqueur that’s most famous as the central ingredient of the Harvey Wallbanger cocktail.
The liqueur itself is an herbal and vanilla tasting drink that’s pretty high in alcohol (for a liqueur), much like Chartreuse. This is not something you’d likely drink on it’s own, but in the cocktail below, it adds some great depth (otherwise it’d just be a Screwdriver). After sipping Galliano on its own, I realized that it would taste great with just a splash into 2 1/2 of gin, stirred and served like a martini.
Either way, this is a classic, tasty, great liqueur to have in your home bar.
- In a tall glass full of ice, add:
- 3 oz orange juice
- 1 1/2 oz vodka
- 1/2 oz Galliano
- garnish with an orange slice
- serve with a straw