Syrups are used as a sweetener in countless cocktail recipes. That makes them an essential ingredient you should have at home.
Often it is adequate to stick to standard sugar syrup, also called simple syrup. But other times, you can also consider adding some extra flavor.
This Banana syrup is a great way to bring sweetness to your cocktail and add the rich taste of ripe fruits.
However, getting the pure banana flavor isn't an easy thing to achieve. The basic techniques to create a fruity syrup, for instance, an infusion of simple syrup or boiling a syrup, won't lead to a decent result.
I don't recommend using a store-bought banana syrup from the supermarket. The flavors in those bottled syrups are far from the natural banana taste. In fact, they taste more like packed banana candy. Plus they're also quite expensive.
So I prefer to make my own banana simple syrup that I can use in various cocktail recipes.
How to make the best Banana simple syrup
A regular simple syrup is made of one part sugar and one part water. Both ingredients are added to a saucepan, boiled, and then cooled down.
When making banana simple syrup, things are a bit different. As the banana itself already contains water, we need a different approach. Consequently, the recipe doesn't ask for equal parts of sugar and water but needs more sugar.
Further, there's a special technique to extract as much banana flavor as possible. So let me explain how to get that beautiful ripe banana taste:
You want to infuse as much banana flavor into our syrup as possible. For that, you need ripe bananas (with brown spots) as they are more flavorful. That and the technique of macerating the bananas will create an intense banana taste. It is just perfect for use in flavorful cocktail recipes.
To achieve this, you need to cover your bananas in sugar. That will extract the flavor and moisture of the fruits and concentrate their flavor. This process is called maceration.
When preparing food, maceration means breaking something into pieces with the help of liquid. The standard process would be to soak dehydrated or preserved fruit (or vegetable) to soften it and release as much flavor as possible.
For fresh fruit, the process is a bit different. Here we use sugar sprinkled on the fruit and let it sit. That allows releasing the juices and makes the result more flavorful.
Once the banana is macerated, combine it with water and a pinch of salt and put it on the stove. The heat of the oven will help to liquefy the sugar.
Then, when the sugar is fully dissolved, take the saucepan off the stove and let it sit overnight.
Best cocktails with banana syrup
The sweet and tropical taste of ripe bananas works exceptionally well with Tiki cocktails. That's why most recipes that use banana simple syrup are rum-based drinks.
A beautifully spiced rum, lime juice, and this delicious banana syrup are enough to create an extraordinary and wonderful cocktail.
Create texture within your Banana syrup
Using thicker and richer types of syrup will sweeten your cocktail and alter its texture. It creates a richer mouthfeel that makes your drink even more pleasant.
A great example of such a syrup is Demerara syrup. But you can also achieve this effect with our Banana syrup.
The trick is to use cane sugar in the recipe instead of regular white sugar because it is less refined. Additionally, it also carries these notes of caramel that work great with the strong banana taste.
- 1 large, ripe banana - should be about 3oz
- 3 oz Cane Sugar
- 1.5 oz Water
- 1 pinch Salt
- Put half the sugar in a saucepan.3 oz Cane Sugar
- Cut your banana into small pieces and put it on top of the sugar.1 large, ripe banana
- Add the other half of the sugar and stir until the banana is covered fully in sugar. Let this mixture sit for at least 3 hours.3 oz Cane Sugar
- Add the water and a pinch of salt to the mix and gently heat it without boiling, keep it on medium heat for around 5 minutes, and then let it cool down.1.5 oz Water, 1 pinch Salt
- Once it's cooled down, cover it and let it sit in the fridge until the morning after.
- Strain it into a bottle, and it's ready to be used.
- Stored in the fridge, this banana syrup is good for at least 3 weeks. To extend the shelf life, add a splash of Vodka before bottling.