A dear friend of mine used to say that “If we all threw all our troubles in a pile, people would fight to get their own back.” She was right. As much as we all want to escape our headaches, when it comes down to it, they are our own. That familiarity and certainty often outweighs our fears of the unknown. Go with what you know, or so they say. That said, the world has troubles enough without you and I adding to them. I see a lot of folks today up in arms about things happening in another place, that they have no control over and that’s fine, good to be engaged and all that, but save some outrage and/or empathy for the things you can affect. Maybe instead of peeking over the fence at our neighbors, we should take a look to see how things are going in our own backyard. Rather than going on a rant, I figure I’ll just join in the oddly specific apathy and ignore the beam in my own eye. So, today I am just gonna make a drink and mind my own business, won’t you please join me know as we stand and make, the Dirty Banana.
No long history on this one. If the stories are to be believed this drink was created in Jamaica in the 1990’s, though I remember having something very similar to this at the Americana in Ocho Rios on my birthday in ’84. Gotta love old Jamaica and their liberal views toward young folks having a drink. I remember one bartender claiming that the legal drinking age was when you were old enough to hold the bottle on your own. To be fair, I already had a mustache and when I was young I was way more mature than I am now, if you overlook my predilection toward those too sweet boat drinks. When I was a child I drank as a child, or something like that. If it is any consolation, I am pretty sure I am having more fun now, I am definitely drinking better. Anyway, let’s conclude this walk down memory lane and get to making.
This is another blender drink, so grab the pitcher and toss in 1 1/2 ounces of rum, I went with Doctor Bird Jamaican Rum; 1 ounce of Banane du Bresil, 1 ounce of creme de cacao, 1 ounce of cream, 1 ounce of milk, a banana, a pinch of nutmeg, 2-3 stabs of El Guapo Spiced Cocoa Tea Bitters and 6 ounces of ice. Crank up the blender and some Michael Jackson, normally I’d go for the older stuff, but every time I think about this drink I hear “Dirty Diana” in my head, so let’s go with that. When your drink is blended well, pour into a hurricane glass and add 1 ounce of coffee liqueur, I chose St. George’s Nola Coffee Liqueur. The idea here is that you float it on top and then push it down through the drink with your barspoon to get a cool brownian motion effect, like in the Swimming Pool. It rarely works as well in this drink, unless you blend until the ice is nearly gone, which leads to an over diluted drink and there is just not enough contrast in this one to bother with presenting a drink that needs to be mixed before it can be enjoyed. My advice is to just stir the coffee liqueur in with the barspoon and get a drink that is less interesting to look at, but way better to drink. If you just have to have that swirling thing and can’t get it with the liqueur, you can cheat and pour a little chocolate in there, but I would not bother. Either way, garnish with a chocolate drizzled dirty banana on a pick, pop in a reusable straw and serve.
In spite of its boat drink roots, I rather like this one. Why not, rum and coffee and chocolate and a banana. What’s not to like? To make it even better I like to toss in a big spoonful of peanut butter to add some protein and make Uncle Monkey’s Dirty Banana. At this point it’s really just an alcoholic smoothie, but I am not sure there is anything wrong with that. Lots of potassium, Vitamin B, fiber, Vitamin C and protein, it’s practically healthy, from a certain point of view. This one is best when made with a just ripe, firm banana to get a nice clean flavor and mouthfeel because when it comes to dirty bananas, mouthfeel is not only a feature, it is the practically the point. To be fair, an older banana will have a richer flavor, but less firmness. You must decide for yourself how to best strike that particular balance. If I am honest, I just go with whatever we have handy and pretend like that’s what we prefer.
We do that a lot. Accept things as they are and act like that’s the way we wanted them to be in the first place. Sometimes that works, there is something to be said for being content with what you have got. On the other hand, just accepting things as they are and not making any moves toward a better world sounds like a pretty good prescription for mediocrity and we deserve better than that. I’d like to give you some quick answers, how to save the world in 3 easy steps, or something like that, but I don’t have that kind of wisdom. I do understand one thing though, apathy is not the way. When we quit caring about things that affect us all and taking care of each other we have lost. Dr Seuss nailed it, when he said:
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,The Lorax, whilst speaking for the trees
Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.
The caring part can be tricky, but we have got to do it. If it were just me, sure, I’d let the world burn, make a cup of coffee and declare it fine. But, it’s not just me. I’d like the kid to grow up in a world where folks look out for each other, see each other as fellow humans worthy of respect, regardless of where they were born, how they look, who they love, how they voted, you know basic human decency. That seems like a thing worth fighting for. Or maybe not, I guess you’ll have to decide that for yourself. Stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane, my friends.