Once a month I get together with a group of 4 other friends. We all own businesses, and are all cocktail nerds.
So each month someone hosts, and they’re in charge of preparing 3 cocktails and then we Postmates dinner.
Recently it was my turn to host.
And while I expected the delicious and complex Bankers Punch from the Dead Rabbit to be the star of the show (recipe for that in this book), it was actually this incredible simple 3 ingredient mezcal cocktail that is what really blew everyone away.
If you know me, you know that I really like smoky things. Islay Scotch, mezcal, actually smoking drinks – whatever.
A bit ironic since I don’t smoke, but in cocktails – bring it on.
My Go to Drink When Reviewing Bars
I’m often asked with all of the travels if I have a go to drink.
I tell people that as much as possible I usually order off menu, because that’s where you’re usually going to find the really special stuff that bartenders spend months perfecting.
But that go to drink used to be an old fashioned. Until I realized that when you’re going to the caliber of bars that are considered for a top 100 list, that nearly all of them will make a killer old fashioned.
So I evolved it.
Now I ask for a “smoky old fashioned”. This opens up a new realm of cocktails that I find to be particularly delicious. It’s how I first came across the Oaxacan old fashioned, as well as the Penicillin cocktail (despite not being very, old fashioned-y). So the drink we’re talking about today? It’s the drink I would make you if you asked me for a “smoky old fashioned” style drink.
Why I Love Giffard Banane du Brasil
Another fun fact about me is I’m going nuts for Giffard Banane du Brasil right now.
It’s the first time I’ve ever had a banana liquer that actually tased like, well, banana!
Usually it’s something artificial and sickly sweet reminiscent of those banana runts candy you had as a kid.
But Giffard nailed this one, and it’s one of my secret weapon ingredients.
Aka, an ingredient you can put in almost any kind of cocktail in order to make it taste better.
And in the case of today’s drink, the Smoking Banana, that sweetness does wonders to balance out the smokiness from the mezcal.
Related: Want a mezcal drink that’s a little more familiar? Try this mezcal margarita recipe.
A Simple Mezcal Cocktail (For those that Love Smoke)
So you’ve got Banana, Mezcal – what’s the third ingredient?
My favorite funky Jamaican rum, Smith and Cross.
Put these three things together and magic happens.
I find that as long as you stir over ice to chill and dilute a bit before pouring over your big cube, that the Giffard is sweet enough to keep you from needing any additional sweetener. And for some people it might be even a little bit too sweet, and if that’s the case use 1/4 ounce less Banana.
In the end you get a funky cocktail that tastes kind of like a smoky mezcal old fashioned. Garnish with a banana chip if you have one, otherwise an orange peel works great.
And if you’re looking for something a little more straight forward? Here’s my best old fashioned recipe for people looking for a great classic cocktail.
The Smoking Banana
- Mixing Glass
- Rocks Glass
- 1 inch ice cube tray
- 1 oz Del Maguey Vida Mezcal
- 1 oz Banane Du Brasil
- 1 oz Smith and Cross Rum
- 1 Orange or Banana Chip (For Garnish)
- Combine all ingredients into mixing glass
- Stir for about 30 seconds to chill and dilute
- Pour over large cube into rocks glass
- Add Garnish