I’ve been on something of a banana kick lately. You don’t see a lot of bananas in cocktails, because it’s something of an unwieldy fruit to add to a drink. But if you’re willing to do a little work, it can be really rewarding: rich and fruity and earthy. We decided to have a go at a Tequila Banana Shrub cocktail recipe this week and we’re glad we did. –Andrew
Tequila Banana Shrub
- 2 oz Blanco Tequila
- 1 oz Banana Shrub*
- 1/2 oz White Grapefruit
- 1/2 oz Grenadine
- 1/2 oz Allspice Dram
- 1/4 oz Ginger Syrup
*To make the shrub: lightly toast a quarter cup of shredded coconut and a tablespoon of whole cloves in a pan over low heat. In another sauce pan, combine a cup of apple cider vinegar and a cup of raw sugar over low heat, stirring frequently until the sugar has completely melted. Combine the toasted coconut and cloves with the vinegar syrup, remove from the heat, and let it sit, covered, for about twenty minutes to infuse. Then add the vinegar, an overripe banana, and – using a microplaner or grater – the zest of one lime to a blender. Blend everything to a pulp, then filter through cheesecloth or a fine sieve and bottle the shrub.
To make the cocktail: combine everything in a cocktail shaker filled two-thirds with ice. Shake well and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a blackberry or whatever seasonal fruit is handy.
That shrub syrup packs a ton of flavor. It opens with fruity, earthy banana and zesty lime, then finishes with subtle spice. The banana mellows out the vinegar’s acidic bite, turning this into a very drinkable shrub. I’ll be playing around with this one for a while, I think.
But this drink doesn’t show off the shrub syrup’s flavors. It doesn’t really show off any of the flavors. This isn’t one of those drinks that unveils all of its ingredients in succession. This is one of those drinks that takes a lot of flavors and jams them together into something completely new. It’s fruity, a bit tart, a bit spicy, and with a chewy finish, a kind of candied fruit flavor when you get when you mix tequila, citrus, and ginger. And very delicious.
Sometimes drinks just work out like that.
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Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper