A sweet creamy liqueur with the concentrated flavor of ripe bananas and warm fall spices. Use this liqueur for drinking, baking, or pretty much whenever you need a spiced banana punch in the taste buds.
I just went down an endless rabbit hole of teenage memories. Hold me. They hit me in the face like the ghosts of teenage past, thanks to YouTube and their Best of 90’s R&B mix.
Music has always had that effect on me. Play a song and I can remember how the air smelled, whether it was summer or spring, whether I was home, what I was wearing. I have perfect recall. Just play a song.
This endless abyss of teenage memories started due to some random comment at work.
And to that I interjected with, “The TLC version or the Temptations?”
Then I started thinking about TLC and realized I don’t have one TLC track in my ipod. Yup. I still use my ipod. You millennials are all into Soundcloud and Spotify. Leave me be.
Naturally the Crazy Sexy Cool album came on and that burst of memory, fuzzy at first – And then with amazing clarity the second TLC’s ‘Diggin’ on you’ came on.
A flood of memory out of nowhere.
Summer nights walking with my bestie to our favorite secluded spot where we’d talk shit and smoke cigarettes. My mom never allowed me to smoke in the house. It was one of those unspoken things – I know kiss boys, I know you smoke cigarettes – I just don’t want to see you doin’ it, dig?
Subway rides to my cousin’s sparse apartment, sparser than my own. And though we mostly ate macaroni and cheese – It always felt like home because she was there.
The taste of sour apple rings.
The sound of Volkswagen Jetta’s zooming by my block, each one blasting its own soundtrack.
The smell of Corona beers and lime.
The feel of the air on my building stoop.
The laughter, despite my many hardships – The laughter.
Now flow with me, let’s talk about the Spiced Banana Liqueur.
And at the center of it all is this banana liqueur. The majority of my banana recipes include banana liqueur in the ingredients for its super concentrated flavor. That was sorta shitty of me. Not everyone has a bottle of banana liqueur stored in their pantry. I’m an asshole and I apologize.
Let me make it up to you with this recipe.
This banana liqueur is not your average liqueur situation. It is so multi-faceted, so deep. It’s like that sensitive poet boyfriend who also played sports in high school and was such a great kisser. That dude had so many levels, ‘member?
This Spiced Banana Liqueur comes together in about 5 minutes, plus steeping time. The ingredients are readily available, if not sitting in your pantry right now.
Sugar and water for a simple syrup.
Ripe bananas. I’m sure you got ‘em. Staring at them right now, I bet.
Fall spices – Ground cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg.
A mason jar.
Strain the bananas. I like to press, press, press on those solids until I get every bit of liqueur.
Store the liqueur and use as needed.
This Spiced Banana Liqueur is super scented. The bananas scent hit you first, the spices nuanced. Delicious.
The flavor is hella pronounced. This is bananas on steroids with just a liiiiiiiitle bit of Crystal Meth.
It lasts for-freaking-ever – And will flavor the hell out of your puddings and cookies and cakes. Pretty much any baked treat where bananas are the star – This banana liqueur flips the script and elevates it to A1 super star status.
Every time you use this liqueur it will feel like a multi-sensory experience. Memories will flood, the whole nine yards. You’ll see.
I’m headed back towards memory lane. Ginuwine’s Pony is on.
Peace and chicken grease.
Spiced Creme de Banana Liqueur
- Granulated sugar - 1 cup
- Water - 1/2 cup
- Very ripe bananas - 2 large
- Vanilla bean paste - 1 teaspoon
- Ground cinnamon - ¼ teaspoon
- Ground cloves - ¼ teaspoon
- Ground ginger - ¼ teaspoon
- Freshly grated nutmeg - ¼ teaspoon
- Vodka - 1 3/4 cups
- Cinnamon sticks - 2
In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium/high heat until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture takes on a slightly syrupy texture, about 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Set aside.
Mash the ripe bananas in a small bowl. To the mashed bananas add the vanilla bean paste and spices. Mix until combined.
To a 24 ounce mason jar, add the cooled simple syrup, the mashed banana mixture, and vodka. Add the cinnamon sticks and seal. Shake to combine the ingredients. Place in a cool dark place and allow mixture to steep for at least two weeks, shaking it once daily.
The longer your mixture steeps, the deeper the flavor. Just something to think about.
Strain the mixture into a strainer lined with a coffee filter or a cheesecloth, pressing on the solids to extract all that deliciously spiced banana flavor. Transfer the banana liqueur to a mason jar or a glass container with a tightfitting lid. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Lasts forever and ever due to the alcohol and sugar content.