As soon as I tried my newest bottle, Giffards Banane du Bresil, I knew I needed this cocktail: Bananas Foster Manhattan. Bananas Foster is a decadent dessert made of bananas, sugar, rum and spices served over a scoop vanilla ice cream. Get your spoon out, because you might lick the plate when you’re done.
I didn’t want a creamy take that I might have if I actually made the dessert. Rather, I wanted a sophisticated Manhattan cocktail that left my palate with the sweet taste of caramelized bananas, bourbon, and a realistic banana taste. I’m not a fan of most banana-flavored items. Most taste highly artificial. However, this liqueur is just the right combination of intense banana flavor and realistic sweetness without delving into that fake banana flavor.
This was one of those Manhattan cocktails that I knew would be a success. It’s designed on flavors I love that match well with bourbon. If you’ve never gotten banana notes on a bourbon, think about banana bread the next time you sip a glass of Old Forester and see if you get a hint of that on the nose and palate.
Back to the cocktail. To drive that caramel and vanilla taste, I used bourbon and a bit of salted caramel syrup. For the garnish, a slightly caramelized slice or three of bananas on a charred cinnamon stick made the cocktail sing as I took a sip.
While you could drink this cocktail any time of day, I’m suggesting this fits best as an after dinner cocktail, designed to take the place of a decadent dessert. Or sipped with a plate of bananas foster shared between friends.
Bananas Foster Manhattan
- 1.5 oz bourbon
- 0.5 oz salted caramel syrup
- 1 oz Giffard's Banane du Bresil
- 5 drops Bitterman's Tiki bitters
- 2 drops Fee Brother's Black Walnut bitters
- Garnish: caramelized banana slices on cinnamon sticks
- Combine bourbon, syrup, liqueur and bitters in a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir until well-chilled. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with banana slices you've caramelized with a kitchen torch and/or a cinnamon stick. Cheers!