One of the nice things about these weird days we are living in, has been a refocus of our time. Granted, it sucks to not be going out, seeing friends, but there is a certain pleasure in not being pulled in a million directions. Life has a simplicity that was lacking. I could do with a better balance of excitement and simplicity, but you take your wins where you can get them. One of the things I have noticed, for our family and many others is the time to experiment. Laura and I have cooked all kinds of new things and this daily cocktail has been a real exercise in experimenting with new techniques and recipes. We have slowed down and taken the time to make some things we normally would not have, and usually, we have been excited to find just how easy some real treats are. That is sort of what happened here, so, join me as we stand and make, the Bananas Pajamas.

The other cool thing is seeing people trying to help each other out. This is one of those weird silver linings, because it would be way better if people weren’t hurting and needing help in the first place, but seeing folks step up does restore a little faith in humanity, at a time when a bunch of folks are going out of their way to destroy that faith. I guess it’s nice to see that most folks still care and are willing to make sacrifices for their fellow humans. This is happening in a lot of fields, I have even worked behind the scenes on a couple of these projects myself. Last week we stumbled upon a fundraiser for the hospitality industry that focused on sustainability in restaurants, bars and at home, through cocktails. This drink is from their e-book “Optimistic Cocktails” Volume 1, which I recommend. It has some cool drinks, really interesting techniques and is for a good cause, so if you’re the sort of person who is interested in that sort of thing, do a good thing.

The hook of this cocktail is the banana peel cinnamon syrup. It is super easy to make, just needs patience and is so good. We are definitely going to find some other places to use this. So, let’s make it. You are going to want two banana peels, the riper the better. You know how you save those quickly browning bananas for muffins or bread? Well, use them now to make some sort of baked treat or cream pie and toss two of those super brown peels into a container with 3/4 cup of water, 1 1/2 cups of sugar and an 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon. Stir it all up, cover and pop in the fridge overnight. within 24 hours, stir it again and strain into a clean airtight bottle. Keep it in the fridge for up to two weeks. This syrup is so good, kinda reminiscent of banana bread, but more of a nice general baked goods feel. It is hard to describe, but it is wonderful. It it great in this drink, I am going to try to thicken it for use as a glaze on banana bread and I had it this morning on whole wheat mini pancakes and it was great. Seriously, it is so good.

Now that you have that nectar made, grab your tins and add 1.5 ounces of rum, I used Appleton Estate; 1/2 an ounce of coconut rum, I used Malibu because I had stolen the bottle from my brother; 3/4 ounce of fresh squeezed orange juice, 1/2 an ounce of fresh lime juice and 1/2 an ounce of the banana cinnamon syrup. Shake over ice to get a good chill and double strain over a single cube in a rocks glass. I garnished with a lime peel, but next time I am going to use a banana coin on a pick and dust the drink with cinnamon.

This one is nice and light. Really delightful. I will make this one again just to get to use this incredible syrup, but also to mess with the rums. Next version, I will use Smith + Cross for my dark rum and maybe try Clement’s Coconut rum. The drink was good the way I made it, but I bet it can be incredible and I intend to find out. Beside, experimenting is part of the fun, even from…no, especially from quarantine. Stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane my friends.