Tuesday, August 25, 2015

banana stand

1 1/4 oz Blackwell Jamaican Rum
1 1/4 oz Banana Purée (*)
1/2 oz Cynar
2 dash Fee's Black Strap Bitters
1 dash Salt Tincture

Shake with cracked ice, pour into a rocks glass, and garnish with a lime wheel.
(*) Banana chopped and mixed with caramelized sugar; sealed in a bag and steamed. Blended with demerara syrup and Xanthan gum.

The other drink we had at Backbar was the Banana Stand from the Trademan section of the menu. After bartender James Lamont made the drink for us, he got bartender Look Theres to come over to discuss how he made the banana purée. To make this, Look received a lot of pointers from the Journeyman kitchen with the key tip being that fresh banana purée does not taste as good as cooked banana purée. Moreover, Xanthan gum works similar to gum arabic as a thickener and a stabilizer, and I believe they used it here partly as an emulsifier to prevent the purée from separating over time. For more on Xanthan gum and its uses, read here.
Whether there was money in the banana stand, there sure was a whole lot of win in the glass. The nose began with bright lime aromas that led into a thick, caramel, and banana sip. The swallow finished things off with dark Jamaican rum and funky herbal notes.


Bridget said...

Hmmm--I'd love to experiment with this at home. I've made my own banana liqueur before based on this Serious Eats recipe, but I've never tried this method to add banana to my cocktails! Any more input on ratios for the banana puree or their salt tincture? I've found 1:1 ratios of salt:water online, but if they have any other thoughts...?


frederic said...

This is why I usually don't order drinks that I can't write a full recipe about since it just ends in confusion when I try to do so.

Most salt tincture recipes are 1:1 and usually 3-5 drops is good (their dash was from a Cocktail Kingdom Japanese dasher bottle). I often just add a pinch of salt instead of keeping a tincture around.

Perhaps start with 2 parts steamed/cooked banana to 1 part demerara syrup. If you're adding xanthan gum, 0.1% is the minimum for effect and 0.7% is the upper limit according to the link I posted (1.0% will work but will be thick), so perhaps 0.3%?