The Ying To Chocolodka’s Yang
Banana-infused Jameson Whiskey turns out to be a deceptively subtle, sophisticated potable, the recipe for which requires only two easily obtained ingredients and a modicum of patience. Despite all this – and the implicit absence of a dishwasher throughout the process – this potion has been designated the second official AllanShowalter.com drink (the first, of course, is The Quintessential Chocolate Vodka – Chocolodka).
The key factor in this decision? Well, banana-infused Jameson merits the same praise I’ve often applied to Chocolodka – both are
intoxicatingly delicious and deliciously intoxicating
As one might infer from the description, banana-infused Jameson originated in a cosmopolitan but adventuresome restaurant located in that cosmopolitan but adventuresome city, New York.
According to Monkeying With Whiskey by Kevin Sintumuang (Wall Street Journal, March 16, 2012), Marc Forgione of Restaurant Marc Forgione was first taken by peach-infused Jameson but it was when bananas were substituted for peaches that “a cult hit was born.” The WSJ piece notes
By 5:30 on any given day, half the bar will have a rocks glass full of the stuff in hand. It even caps off the tasting menu. As one of the Michelin-starred restaurant’s best-selling items, about 18 liters of the libation is produced daily.
The article also offers a useful description of the drink’s effect:
“It’s hard for the average person to taste a spirit without being overwhelmed,” said Mr. Conway. “This lets them decipher them in a really approachable, enjoyable way.” In other words, if you never liked Jameson, you’ll love banana-infused Jameson—the fruit softens everything about the spirit without changing the profile or delivering much sting or burn. Viscous and a tad sweet, the drink skews a bit toward the desserty side—like a liquid version of banana bread pudding—but no one’s going to scoff if you have one pre-dinner.
The article offers only an approximation of the restaurant’s secret formula, but taste tests by the usual suspects confirm that the results are outstanding:
- Three bananas, peeled and sliced
- One 750ml bottle Jameson Irish Whiskey
Directions: Place bananas and Jameson into a sealed container for three to four days. Strain out banana slices using a mesh strainer and discard. The infusion should be slightly viscous and cloudy—this gives the drink its unique texture, body and flavor. Pour infused Jameson back into container or bottle. Serve in a rocks glass with a single cube.
Note: Originally posted May 12, 2012 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of AllanShowalter.com