Creme de Bananes
Creme de Bananes (Crème de banane) is a thick, sweet, yellow, fruit-flavored liqueur made from ripe bananas, usually bottled at 17%-25% ABV. It is mostly used in alcoholic drinks but is also used in cooking. The liqueur is not just a sweet drink, it also has a wide variety of uses including adding a burst of flavor to drinks, desserts and baked goods. The liqueur is based on a neutral tasting un-aged grape brandy which is then flavored with bananas using various infusion and maceration techniques which vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.
Crème de Banana is generally preferred in cocktails although it can also be pleasant when served on its own over ice as a digestif, although the extremely sweet taste is often too sickly for some palates. The more common method of consumption is as an ingredient in fruity or exotic alcoholic cocktails. There are many different cocktails which contain Crème de Banana including shooters, punches and larger drinks.
Crème de Banana liqueur is primarily used in alcoholic beverages and cocktails, but it can also be useful when cooking. It can often be used to give a burst of flavor to cakes and other baked goods. It provides a wonderful flavor because the liqueur contains sun-ripened bananas and a touch of vanilla and almond. Some brands also contain a little cinnamon and other spices. However, a light hand is recommended as the flavor is very intense and can be a little overpowering in large quantities. It is commonly added to yellow cake mix and chopped nuts to bake a delicious banana loaf cake. It can also be used as a syrup or sauce drizzled over frozen deserts such as sorbet or ice cream.
There are various different brands of Crème de Banana, but the five top selling brands in the world are: Bols, DeKuyper, Hiram Walker, Marie Brizard and McGuiness
Recipe for homemade banana liqueur:
2 medium-sized bananas, peeled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or a 2-inch length of vanilla bean
1 cup simple syrup or 2 cups to make crème de banane
3 cups vodka
Optional flavoring: a pinch of cloves or a piece of cinnamon stick.
Mash the bananas and add the vodka, the cooled syrup, and the vanilla.
Shake gently. Steep for 1 week; then strain and filter. It can be drunk now or aged 2–3 months for best results.