Friday, September 9, 2011

Booze Again: Homemade Crème de banane liqueur

I would rather play "Chiquita Banana" and have my swimming pool than play Bach and starve. – Xavier Cugat

Golden homemade Crème de banane liqueur
This recipe has been one week in the making, but believe me, it’s worth it. And I don’t even like bananas all that much. If you do like the taste of a nice, ripe banana I’ll almost guarantee you will like this liqueur. Forget what you know of store-purchased banana liqueur. This has natural taste and colour.

This is the banana mixture just after sealing the jar. New
rose liqueur is beside the computer screen in the rear.
I started this recipe as one of my gift liqueurs for Christmas, but it may not make it that long. I did find out something interesting in looking at recipes: there’s “banana liqueur” and then “crème de banane.”  The difference is is sweetness and alcohol content.

Banana liqueur is straight up bananas with a little sugar in booze. To make the far more fancy sounding crème add a sugar syrup. The crème is less alcoholic at about 25% alc. vol. and the recipe makes a greater quantity. Perfect for gift giving!

Crème de banane is the one most often used in fancy drinks. It also has applications in the kitchen besides in a glass beside the chef. Chilled crème de banane can be used as a syrup on frozen desserts, or it can be incorporated into baking to add a boost of banana flavour. 

I found an amazing banana pudding recipe I’m going to try and it would probably add quite a kick to banana bread, which I love.

Upon (very) recent inspection, I have found that this particular crème de banane is quite nice to sip on its own as well...

Crème de banane liqueur
Makes about 3-1/2 cups
After one week the infusion has
darkened considerably.
2 well ripened bananas (they need to smell very banana-y)
1-1/2” vanilla bean, split (or 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract)
1-1/2 cup sugar
1-1/4 cup water
375 ml vodka
5 drops yellow food colouring

Take care in selecting your two bananas. They need to have well developed flavour to translate into the liqueur. NO green bananas!! Peel them and cut into chunks..

Make a simple syrup by combining the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Let it boil for 5 minutes. Add the peeled bananas and mash well with a fork.

Place the piece of vanilla bean into a 1 L Mason jar. Pour the banana mixture into the jar and let cool. Then add the vodka.

Shake well and let sit for one week, shaking occasionally. The liquid will become quite dark, much like overripe banans. It's fine, don't worry.

Strain at least twice through fine cloth and bottle. I used a jelly bag first, and then a piece of pillow case. It came out fairly clear. I added the food colouring to give it a slight, golden hue. We all know the colour of over ripe bananas!

This is my second straining, through fine weave cotton.
Here’s a couple uses to get you thinking while you wait for the week:

King Kong Cola
Highball glass filled with ice
2 oz whiskey
1 oz Crème de banane
Fill glass with cola

Bazooka Bubble Gum
Highball glass filled with ice
1 oz Southern Comfort
1/2 oz Crème de banane
1/2 oz Grenadine
Fill glass with light cream and stir

That last one has me intrigued... I'm not much for creamy drinks although my Creamsicle liqueur recipe is quite good.

If you're interested the recipe is here.


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1 comment:

  1. What if the batch comes out not...banan-y enough? Do I just add more banana and then set and strain again?