Bananarac Cocktail Drink

Bananarac

A shot of Gavin Wrigley looking to the camera in a dimly lit room
Written by Gavin Wrigley
A shot of Andrea Ottaiano looking to the camera and offering a cocktail glass.
Tested by
Andrea Ottaiano
This Bananarac recipe calls for just a few ingredients, making it a simple yet delightful drink to shake up for your next cocktail hour.

Bananarac Recipe

Explore the Bananarac recipe, a harmonious mix of whiskey, brandy, and banana liqueur that comes together to create a refreshingly bold cocktail.

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

2 minutes

Servings:

1

Calories:

205 kl

Ingredients

  • Absinthe, for rinse
  • 1 oz Old Overholt Rye Whiskey
  • 1 oz Tariquet VSOP Armagnac
  • ½ oz Giffard Banane du Brésil Liqueur
  • ½ tsp demerara simple syrup
  • 1 dash The Bitter Truth Old Time aromatic bitters
  • Ice Cubes
  • Lemon twist, for garnish

Equipment

  • Rocks Glass chilled
  • Mixing Glass
  • Stirrer or Bar Spoon

Instructions

  • Rinse Glass: Pour a small amount of Absinthe into your rocks glass, swirl to coat the inside, and discard any excess.
  • Chill Glass: Stir some ice cubes in your rocks glass.
  • Combine Ingredients: In the mixing glass, add the 1 dash The Bitter Truth Old Time aromatic bitters, ½ tsp demerara simple syrup, ½ oz Giffard Banane du Brésil Liqueur, 1 oz Tariquet VSOP Armagnac, and 1 oz Old Overholt Rye Whiskey.
  • Stir: Fill up the mixing glass with ice cubes and stir the mixture until well chilled.
  • Strain: Strain the mix into the prepared rocks glass over fresh ice.
  • Garnish: Twist a swath of lemon peel over the drink to express its oils and discard the peel.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • If I don't have Old Overholt rye whiskey, I sometimes use another quality rye whiskey that's more accessible.
  • For Tariquet VSOP Armagnac, a less expensive brandy can work, but I make sure it's still good quality to maintain the drink's character.
  • Giffard Banane du Brésil liqueur is unique, but if necessary, another banana liqueur could be used, though the flavor profile may change slightly.
  • Demerara simple syrup can be made by dissolving demerara sugar in water or substituting it with regular simple syrup for a less rich sweetness.

Making a Pitcher of Bananarac:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher serving 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8.
  • Mix: Combine the rye whiskey, Armagnac, banana liqueur, demerara simple syrup, and aromatic bitters in a large pitcher with ice and stir well.
  • Serve: Rinse each rock glass with absinthe, pour the mixture into the glasses over fresh ice, garnish with a lemon twist, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

Substitute the rye whiskey, the absinthe, the bitters, and Armagnac with non-alcoholic whiskey and brandy alternatives.
Use a non-alcoholic banana-flavored syrup instead of the banana liqueur.
Follow the original steps using these non-alcoholic substitutes and enjoy a non-alcoholic Bananarac.

Making it Vegan:

Ensure that the sugar used in the demerara simple syrup is certified vegan, as some sugars are processed with animal bone char.
Verify that the absinthe, bitters, and banana liqueur are vegan-friendly, as some brands may use animal-derived ingredients or processing methods.

Nutrition Facts

Calories
205
% Daily Value*
Sodium
 
2
mg
0
%
Carbohydrates
 
9
g
3
%
Sugar
 
8
g
9
%
Potassium
 
3
mg
0
%
Calcium
 
0.5
mg
0
%
Iron
 
0.1
mg
1
%

Bananarac Cocktail Drink

Bananarac Recipe

Gavin Wrigley Written by Gavin Wrigley
Jump to Video
Explore the Bananarac recipe, a harmonious mix of whiskey, brandy, and banana liqueur that comes together to create a refreshingly bold cocktail.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 2 minutes
Servings: 1
Calories: 205

Ingredients
 

  • Absinthe - for rinse
  • 1 oz Old Overholt Rye Whiskey
  • 1 oz Tariquet VSOP Armagnac
  • ½ oz Giffard Banane du Brésil Liqueur
  • ½ tsp demerara simple syrup
  • 1 dash The Bitter Truth Old Time aromatic bitters
  • Ice Cubes
  • Lemon twist - for garnish

Equipment

  • Rocks Glass chilled
  • Mixing Glass
  • Stirrer or Bar Spoon

Instructions

  • Rinse Glass: Pour a small amount of Absinthe into your rocks glass, swirl to coat the inside, and discard any excess.
  • Chill Glass: Stir some ice cubes in your rocks glass.
  • Combine Ingredients: In the mixing glass, add the 1 dash The Bitter Truth Old Time aromatic bitters, ½ tsp demerara simple syrup, ½ oz Giffard Banane du Brésil Liqueur, 1 oz Tariquet VSOP Armagnac, and 1 oz Old Overholt Rye Whiskey.
  • Stir: Fill up the mixing glass with ice cubes and stir the mixture until well chilled.
  • Strain: Strain the mix into the prepared rocks glass over fresh ice.
  • Garnish: Twist a swath of lemon peel over the drink to express its oils and discard the peel.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • If I don't have Old Overholt rye whiskey, I sometimes use another quality rye whiskey that's more accessible.
  • For Tariquet VSOP Armagnac, a less expensive brandy can work, but I make sure it's still good quality to maintain the drink's character.
  • Giffard Banane du Brésil liqueur is unique, but if necessary, another banana liqueur could be used, though the flavor profile may change slightly.
  • Demerara simple syrup can be made by dissolving demerara sugar in water or substituting it with regular simple syrup for a less rich sweetness.

Making a Pitcher of Bananarac:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher serving 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8.
  • Mix: Combine the rye whiskey, Armagnac, banana liqueur, demerara simple syrup, and aromatic bitters in a large pitcher with ice and stir well.
  • Serve: Rinse each rock glass with absinthe, pour the mixture into the glasses over fresh ice, garnish with a lemon twist, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

Substitute the rye whiskey, the absinthe, the bitters, and Armagnac with non-alcoholic whiskey and brandy alternatives.
Use a non-alcoholic banana-flavored syrup instead of the banana liqueur.
Follow the original steps using these non-alcoholic substitutes and enjoy a non-alcoholic Bananarac.

Making it Vegan:

Ensure that the sugar used in the demerara simple syrup is certified vegan, as some sugars are processed with animal bone char.
Verify that the absinthe, bitters, and banana liqueur are vegan-friendly, as some brands may use animal-derived ingredients or processing methods.

What is a Bananarac?

A Bananarac is a modern twist on the Sazerac cocktail, infusing the traditional mix with a hint of banana liqueur. It plays on the name Sazerac, one of the oldest known cocktails, with the name Bananarac suggesting a playful take on the original. The inclusion of banana liqueur offers a delightful and unexpected twist, infusing the traditional Sazerac with a sweet and fruity note that complements its classic flavors.

A side shot of a Bananarac cocktail in an old fashioned glass on a white cloth placed on a wooden table surrounded by a bar spoon, and two bananas.

What is in a Bananarac – The ingredients

The blend for a Bananarac includes these components:

  • Absinthe: Used to rinse the glass, it sets a herbaceous foundation for the cocktail.
  • Rye whiskey: Adds a spicy, robust flavor that serves as the backbone of the drink.
  • Armagnac: Brings a rich, deep fruitiness and warmth to the mix.
  • Giffard Banane du Brésil liqueur: Infuses the cocktail with a sweet, creamy banana essence.
  • Demerara simple syrup: Offers a subtle molasses sweetness to balance the strong spirits.
  • Aromatic bitters: Contribute a complex layer of spices and a hint of bitterness.
  • Lemon twist: Provides a zesty aroma and a touch of citrus to finish the drink.

Absinthe, Rye Whiskey, Armagnac, banana Liqueur, demerara simple syrup and aromatic bitter laid out on a white bar table.

How do you make a Bananarac?

Our direct steps guide you to make an exquisite Bananarac:
1
Start by coating the inside of your rock glass with absinthe, swirling it around to cover the surface, then discard any excess.

Start by coating the inside of your rock glass with absinthe, swirling it around to cover the surface, then discard any excess.

2
Stir some ice cubes in your rocks glass to chill the glass.

Stir some ice cubes in your rocks glass to chill the glass.

3
Add a dash of aromatic bitters to the mixing glass.

Add a dash of aromatic bitters to the mixing glass.

4
Pour the Giffard Banane du Brésil liqueur into the mixing glass.

Pour the Giffard Banane du Brésil liqueur into the mixing glass.

5
 Add Armagnac to the mixing glass.

Add Armagnac to the mixing glass.

6
Add demerara simple syrup to the mix.

Add demerara simple syrup to the mix.

7
 And pour Rye Whiskey into the mixing glass.

And pour Rye Whiskey into the mixing glass.

8
Fill the mixing glass with ice cubes.

Fill the mixing glass with ice cubes.

9
Stir the mixture together with ice cubes until it’s well-chilled, and the flavors are well combined.

Stir the mixture together with ice cubes until it’s well-chilled, and the flavors are well combined.

10
Remove the ice cubes from your chilled rocks glass.

Remove the ice cubes from your chilled rocks glass.

11
Refill the rocks glass with fresh ice cubes.

Refill the rocks glass with fresh ice cubes.

12
Strain the chilled cocktail into the prepared rocks glass over fresh ice.

Strain the chilled cocktail into the prepared rocks glass over fresh ice.

13
Spray the oils of a lemon twist over the drink.

Spray the oils of a lemon twist over the drink.

14
Run the lemon twist over the rim of the glass.

Run the lemon twist over the rim of the glass.

15
Then drop the twist into the glass to garnish.

Then drop the twist into the glass to garnish.

16
Enjoy your Bananarac cocktail!

Enjoy your Bananarac cocktail!

Best Banana Liqueur for Bananarac

You want a liqueur that delivers a true banana flavor without artificial sweetness. Giffard Banane du Brésil is a top-shelf option renowned for its authentic banana essence and a hint of cognac richness. It’s made from macerated bananas, ensuring your Bananarac has a genuine fruit profile. Bols Banana Liqueur is another solid choice, offering a more candied banana flavor at a friendlier price point. For a Bananarac that stands out, Giffard is the way to go – its nuanced flavor elevates the drink from good to exceptional.

A Bananarac cocktail, shot from above, in an old fashioned glass on a white cloth placed on a wooden table with a bar spoon and a jigger around.

History and Origins

The Bananarac cocktail is a creative spin on the classic Sazerac, which is one of the oldest known cocktails originating from New Orleans. The traditional Sazerac combines Cognac or rye whiskey, absinthe, a sugar cube, and Peychaud’s Bitters. It was first concocted in the early 19th century, and by the mid-1800s, it had become a staple of the local drinking culture.

The Bananarac takes this historical recipe and adds a modern twist by incorporating banana liqueur. This particular variation was created by Natasha David, a well-known bartender and founder of the now-closed Nitecap bar in New York City. Her approach was to blend the classic elements of a Sazerac with the sweet, tropical notes of banana, using Giffard Banane du Brésil liqueur. The result is a cocktail that respects the Sazerac’s storied past while offering something new and unexpected for the palate.

A Bananarac cocktail, shot from above, in an old fashioned glass on a white marmol table surrounded by Absinthe, Rye Whiskey, Armagnac, banana Liqueur, demerara simple syrup and aromatic bitter.

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FAQ

What is the alcohol by volume (ABV) of a Bananarac?
The ABV of a Bananarac typically ranges from 25-30%, depending on the specific brands of spirits used.
How much proof is a Bananarac?
A Bananarac is usually around 50-60 proof.
What types of alcohol are in a Bananarac?
A Bananarac includes rye whiskey, Armagnac, banana liqueur, absinthe and bitters.
In what type of glass do you serve a Bananarac?
Serve a Bananarac in a chilled rocks glass.
What does a Bananarac taste like?
A Bananarac has a complex taste that's rich and fruity with a hint of spice and a subtle banana sweetness.
What is the ingredient ratio for a Bananarac?
The classic ratio is 2 parts rye whiskey, 2 parts Armagnac, 1 part banana liqueur, a teaspoon of demerara syrup, and a dash of aromatic bitters.
How do you serve a Bananarac?
Serve a Bananarac over fresh ice.
What food pairs well with a Bananarac?
Try pairing a Bananarac with savory appetizers or rich desserts to complement its flavors.

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