Today, for the first time, I made my own banana syrup, and as soon as I tasted it, the idea for this bananas foster sour came to mind. The syrup I used didn’t just take like bananas. It’s the flavor of intense, ripe bananas sweetened just to the point of excess. Because of how ripe they were, their intense sweetness caramelized under heat on the stove and it was a banana bomb taking a sip of the syrup. Delightful!
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Spinning the Whiskey Sour into a Rum Sour
While we typically think of whiskey when we think of a sour, rum makes an excellent sour. Like whiskey, it’s usually aged and sweetened with caramel and baking spice notes from the barrel. It’s generally 80 proof, so lower than many bourbons, so it doesn’t need as much lemon to cut through the sweetness of the spirit.
Any spirit can be used to make a sour, and I highly recommend trying a rum sour the next time you get out your shaker.
How to Make Homemade Banana Syrup
I’ll be honest. I’d procrastinated making the banana syrup because I thought it was going to be a long drawn out process. My bananas were ripe. Really ripe. As in completely brown, and bits were turning black.
I thought I had left them too long. They were soft and mushy, but still held their shape when putting them in the pan. Let me tell you, the riper they are, the more amazing the syrup.
Peel 3 very ripe bananas and put them in a small saucepan. Add a third cup of water and a cup of sugar. Break up the bananas just enough that you can move the liquid through the pan. Let it simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes. It will be foamy, but that’s normal. Turn off the heat and let cool. Strain into a clean glass jar and store in the fridge. It makes about a cup of syrup.
It was easy and fast. The only thing that took any time was straining it, but even that took no more than about 3 minutes.
Flavors in the Bananas Foster Sour
The bananas foster dessert is made from banana, sugar and rum cooked up in a pan, flambeed and served over vanilla ice cream. The bananas and sugar caramelize in the pan, and with the added rum it’s a celebration of baking spices and sweet caramel flavors poured over a plate of ice cream.
So for the cocktail, I needed banana flavor, some rum of course, and a bit of the caramelized flavors. But I also needed the cream to stand in for the ice cream that would normally be the base of the dessert.
But in making the cocktail, I wanted to tame some of that sweetness by turning the cocktail into a sour. While most people associate sours with whiskey, rum sours are fantastic. A great rum sour balances the sweetness of the syrup and the sour, and in this case, because we were softening the flavors with the cream, we didn’t have to worry about the sour competing with the sweetness.
How to Make the Bananas Foster Sour
Make two. Seriously. If you love refreshing drinks that are sweet but not overwhelming, you’ll love this cocktail. Because it’s a sour, the lemon juice cuts through the sweetness from the banana syrup and rum, and with the addition of a little cream the flavors are all softened and rounded.
I used a little additional banana with Giffard’s Banane du Bresil to pump up the banana flavors. Depending on how sweet and potent your banana syrup is, you might not need the banana liqueur. As always, I’ll advise you to go by your own taste preferences.
To make the sour, you’ll put the rum, banana syrup, banana liqueur, lemon juice, the cream and some Old Forester smoked cinnamon bitters into the cocktail. Add ice and shake to chill. For the pictures I added egg white, but when I make it again, I’ll omit the egg white. The protein from the cream whipped up a lovely foam without the cream in it all.
If you want to make sure you have a great full head of foam, use a small latte whisk on the cocktail for about 20-30 seconds after you’ve strained it but before you put it in the cocktail glass.
Other Banana Cocktails You Might Like:
Recommended Bar Tools
You don’t need every slick, beautiful bar tool out there, but there are several I’ll recommend. (As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. However, that does not affect the cost of the items below.) My favorite pieces usually come from the Cocktail Kingdom section of Amazon:
You may already have these bar essentials, but just in case:
Bananas Foster Rum Sour
- 1.5 oz Flora Cana aged rum
- 0.5 oz Giffard’s Banane de Bresil liqueur
- 0.75 oz banana syrup**
- 0.75 oz lemon juice
- 0.5 oz cream
- 1 bar spoon of Sukkah Hill Spirits Besamim spiced liqueur
- 2 droppers Old Forester smoked cinnamon bitters
- egg white optional, not really needed
- Garnish: sprinkle cinnamon or nutmeg
- Combine rum, banana liqueur, banana syrup, bitters, lemon, cream and spice liqueur in a shaking tin and add ice. Shake for 10-12 seconds. Strain into your chilled cocktail glass or strain into a clean mixing glass and use a hand-held latte whisk on it for 20-30 seconds for a great frothy foam (and then into the cocktail glass). Garnish with cinnamon powder.
- 3 very ripe bananas
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup water