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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Raising the Monkey Bar: Three Tropical Drinks

I must confess a few truths, Dollinks. I’m normally a light drinker, but on our recent holiday to a warm, faraway place, I allowed myself to enjoy too many tropical drinks as the monkeys screamed in the jungle. And what did they scream, you ask?
“Eeee-eeee-eeee!” Translation: “Don’t eat our bananas!” Animal lover that I am, I paid attention - and drank their bananas instead, downing more than a few banana cocktails during our vacation. Let me tell you, peeling bananas in Paradise is a whole lot more fun than peeling potatoes at home.  
But home, we eventually came. You know the drill - do the laundry, stock the fridge, buy a bunch of - erk! - bananas. I drank them all. In one hour of testing - ever testing - drink recipes for you.
Don’t try this at home! Don’t … drink … three … boozy … banana … cocktails … in a 60-minute span. I felt sick. I was reeling. But on I pressed in the line of duty. I’d cribbed three banana cocktail recipes from bar menus and was determined to relive my vacation experience. I had to stop when I ran out of bananas, too swoozled to make dinner and too stuffed with bananas to care. I will probably never peel another banana. “Eeee-eeee-eeee!” Look who’s a monkey, now! 

Dizzy Monkey:
3 5-oz. glasses of crushed ice, divided
1 jigger Bailey’s Irish Cream liqueur
1 jigger coconut liqueur 
½ jigger vodka
1 banana, mashed
Add 2 glasses of crushed ice to martini shaker or blender. Measure in liqueurs, vodka, and banana. Vigorously shake or whirl in blender. Serve over remaining glass of crushed ice in a chilled old-fashioned glass. Decorate with an unpeeled, wide slice of banana, sliced midway up the center and perched at the edge of the glass. Serves one.
Note: If you don’t have an ice crusher, use a rolling pin to pound ice cubes sealed in a Ziploc bag wrapped in a towel. A heavy-duty blender will also crush ice. Don’t peel the banana you slice to decorate your drink; keep the slice generous and it won’t fall apart. Make a small slice halfway through the banana chunk, perching it on the glass. Pop in a straw. 

Pour Bailey's over ice in shaker or blender
Add coconut liqueur or rum with coconut flavoring

Monkey Juice:
3 5-oz. glasses of crushed ice, divided 
1 jigger coconut cream (or ½ jigger coconut milk plus ½ jigger heavy cream)
1 jigger light rum
1 banana
Add 2 glasses of crushed ice to blender. Measure in coconut cream, rum, and banana. Whirl on high speed. Serve over remaining crushed ice in a chilled old-fashioned glass. Decorate side of glass as desired, with a slice of banana, a sliver of star fruit, or a chunk of fresh pineapple. Serves one.

Add coconut cream (or coconut milk and heavy cream)

Add light rum
Prepare banana garnish
Serve and enjoy

Funky Monkey:
2 5-oz. glasses of crushed ice
1 jigger of Amaretto almond liqueur
1 jigger gold rum
1 jigger heavy cream
1 small banana
Add 2 glasses of crushed ice, Amaretto, gold rum, heavy cream, and banana to blender. Whirl on high speed. Decorate chilled glass as desired, adding a straw. 

Add crushed ice to blender
Add heavy cream
Pour into chilled glasses and decorate
Note: To chill drink glasses fast, fill them with ice cubes. 

Enough with the monkeys, already! This is now a Banana-Free Zone.

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