There is one particular fruit dividing dividing the bar world when it comes to spirits: and that is the banana. Because of its consistency, it is less suitable as an ingredient for many people, as it is difficult to use without a blender, makes a drink quickly sort of creamy and also shifts the consistency towards a milkshake. This may not sound like a big problem for some occasional drinkers, but if you have a more demanding habit of drinking classic and sophisticated cocktails, you will probably politely refrain from such drinks. A chance to break out of this situation is offered by the colorful world of the Tiki drinks. But here, too, the banana is a special thing because even tiki drinks rarely come across milkshake-like. (provided test product)*
Wait, why not just use a ready-made banana liquor? There are many banana liquors on the market! – The problem here is: most banana liqueurs simply taste artificial. And also I have avoided such liqueurs for a long time. Although I have successfully infused Campari with bananas for a cocktail before, I am not a real fan of banana liqueurs. But there is one exception that has convinced me in the past with its relatively authentic character. And I would like to introduce it here today: it is the Giffard Banana du Bresil. This French liqueur is made of neutral alcohol, extracts of Brazilian bananas, a banana eau de vie distilled from Brazilian bananas, cognac, sugar – and (unfortunately) also banana flavour and colouring. Well, be that as it may, in the end it simply depends on the result.
Aroma: Well, classic tasting notes are not as appropriate as usual with this liqueur. The bottom line is that the Giffard Banana du Bresil is fully geared towards bananas – and that’s what it does really fantastic. On the nose, you think you’re smelling a ripe, sweet banana. In the background there are still sweet vanilla notes, but above all this liqueur captivates by a special feature: it does not seem artificial in the least! No trace of the slightly penetrating banana aroma that characterizes so many artificially prepared liqueurs, but also desserts, yoghurts and the like.
Taste: A very finely balanced, not too sticky and dominant sweetness transports a wonderful, aromatic and fully ripe banana. Again, there are light vanilla notes, an idea of spice from the cognac part, but above all a surprisingly authentic banana. The alcohol is well integrated, hardly noticeable and makes Giffard Banana du Bresil also interesting as a digestif.
Finish: banana, banana, banana, sweetness, some vanilla, all of this medium-long
In my opinion, one of the most exciting drinks with Giffard Banana du Bresil is “The Kapre” by Matt Grippo from the Black Bird in San Francisco. The drink is basically a kind of caipirinha variant in which the banana plays a prominent and wonderfully integrated role. In addition, it is a drink that is absolutely suitable for the masses and should be enjoyed also by those who want to avoid Martinis, Manhattans, Negronis and the like. When it comes to cachaça, I chose the Yaguara Cachaça, which really works very well here. The armagnac is a Chateau de Laubade Signature, which I will describe here in the next weeks.
Recipe „The Kapre“ (by Matt Grippo):
3.5 cl Cachaça Yaguara
3 cl Giffard Banana du Brèsil
0.75 cl Armagnac
0.75 cl gomme syrup
3 Lime quarters (natural)
1 Dash Mezcal
Preparation: First, pour the Mezcal into your pre-cooled glass, swivel the glass (wash it with the Mezcal) and pour off excess Mezcal. Then put the lime wedges and the gomme syrup into a shaker and muddle them. Finally add the remaining ingredients and shake vigorously with ice. Strain into the glass washed out with the Mezcal.
Buying sources: At specialized retailers or online, for example at Conalco.
*The bottle for this review was provided to me by Conalco Spirituosen UG. The fact that this product has been made available to me free of charge for editorial purposes does not mean, however, that I have any influence whatsoever on the article content or my evaluation. Rather, it is for me always an unalterable condition to be able to review completely freely and uninfluenced.