If you’ve read my list of best
The reason it’s so great is because it does three things very well:
- It teaches you the essentials of creating a great cocktail. One read through the book will give you the tools you need in order to come up with great recipes on your own.
- Provides a ton of very good recipes. Some more education-focused
cocktail booksskimp on the recipes, not so much here. Not only are there excellent drinks, but in the case of the classics, there are often multiple variations of the same drink (like the daiquiri for instance) allowing you to find the version you like best.
- Is accessible. Unlike some of the Dead Rabbit Books, or even the NoMad cocktail book, most of the recipes are relatively straightforward and easy to make at home.
This is why I continue to recommend it as my favorite cocktail book for the home bartender.
One of my favorite recipes from the book is the Bananerac cocktail.
Weird name, absolutely delicious drink.
If you haven’t figured it out, the Bananerac is a riff on a classic Sazerac cocktail.
I’ve made this for about half a dozen friends, and every time when I describe it they say:
“Oooook, I trust you….I think.”
And then they taste it and are blown away.
There’s a lot going on in this drink despite being straightforward and easy to make.
How to Make a Banana Sazerac
I’ve waxed poetic about the banana liqueur, “Banane du Brasil” from Giffard numerous times on this site. The Smoking Banana is still one of my favorite drinks and I make it on a regular basis.
I swear you can put this thing in just about anything and it will make it better. Or at least more unique.
In the case of this banana sazerac, you’re combining equal parts cognac and rye, with half an ounce of Banane du Brasil to form the base of the drink.
A tiny bit of simple syrup (they use “gum syrup” works great with simple), an absinthe rinse, and expressed lemon balances it all out and gives you a complex, delicious cocktail.
As for preferences I use Rittenhouse Rye for the rye, as it’s in my opinion the best bang for the buck rye out there.
For absinthe, I bought a bottle of whatever was cheapest, as I generally only use it as a rinse or very tiny amount in cocktails where it’s called for.
And cognac, I don’t go super high-end either, as I rarely if ever drink it neat. It’s always in a cocktail, where you can get away with not using a well-aged, expensive variety.
Let me know if you make it. I have a feeling if you do, it certainly won’t be the last time.
- Mixing Glass
- Bar Spoon
- Hawthorne Strainer
- 1 oz Cognac
- 1 oz Rye
- .5 oz Banane du Brasil
- .5 tsp Demerara Simple Syrup
- 1 rinse Absinthe
- 1 peel lemon
- Rinse a chilled old fashioned glass with absinthe
- Combine all other ingredients into a mixing glass
- Add ice and stir for 30 seconds
- Dump out absinthe
- Strain cocktail into glass
- Express lemon peel and drop in glass.
Related Cocktails to Try Out
Here are some other related cocktails worth giving a shot:
- Smokescreen Cocktail – Another one from Cocktail Codex that is a personal favorite.
- Smoking Banana – A funky combo of banana, rum and mezcal.
- Blackjack Redux – Banana coffee and a whole lot more.
This was fantastic! Thanks so much for the recommendation.