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Banana Liqueurs

If you’re planning to make a Banana Daiquiri then you need a banana liqueur or a crème de banane as it’s known in France. Banana liqueurs are traditionally made by steeping ripe bananas in alcohol to extract the flavour and adding sugar and often other flavourings including almond and vanilla. Or they might be made by adding banana extract or essence to alcohol and sugar. A liqueur by EU and UK law must be based on spirits, have a minimum of 15% alcohol and contain at least 100 grams of sugar per litre. Big names in the banana liqueur business include Bols, De Kuyper and Giffard.

But not all banana liqueurs are made with neutral alcohol. Banana is a natural fit with rum, especially high ester Jamaican rums, so you have rum-based banana liqueurs, while Howler Head from America is made with bourbon whiskey - just add ice and bitters to make a banana-tinged Old Fashioned.

In fact, a banana liqueur can be used to give all kinds of cocktails such as the Caiprinha, Piña Colada and Boulevardier a banana twist, or should that be a banana split. Banana liqueur is also a handy kitchen ingredient for adding flavour to cakes, tarts or ice cream.

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