Come, Mr. Tally Mon
2 oz Aged Rum [Plantation 5 year]
1/2 oz Amaro Meletti
1/4 oz Banana Liqueur [Giffards]
1/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse
Stir with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with banana slice.
Guess what, there’s a whole event going on out in the drinkstagram-o-sphere celebrating all things bitter and (mostly) brown. It’s Amaro Week! My pal @mmydrinks has put together another wonderful campaign celebrating this tasty yet challenging class of spirit. Be sure to follow @amaroweek and #amaroweek for amazing submissions from across the globe.
I decided to do some “synergy” and use Amaro Week as a jumping off point for today’s post. There has been a banana liqueur bottle kicking around my bar for a while. Amazingly, one of the best drinks I made with it also featured an amaro. Not what I expected when I first encountered it. The first few times I saw it pop up, my thoughts were more like “hmmm, that’s interesting”. I wasn’t quite sold on it yet. Then it showed up again, on a menu at a bar. Then it’s on some of my favorite blogger’s or instagrammer’s feed. I came to realize it has range and versatility, no longer just a sort of parlor trick. My wheels started turning, putting together imaginary combinations. At this point, I said screw it, let’s see what this Giffard Banane du Bresil is all about.
A banana liqueur admittedly doesn’t sound like the most appetizing spirit. Before tasting one, I imagined them to be close to the Runts candy version, all cloying sweetness. But Giffard does this fruit justice. They macerate bananas as well as produce a distillate from them, and combine it all with a bit of cognac in the end. The result is a flavor and aroma that’s just shoved a bunch of bananas right into the bottle. There still is some sweetness there, but it compliments the pervasive banana flavor and lends a nice body to it.
When I finally took the plunge and bought a bottle, the first thing I reached for was my trusty Flavor Bible. I’ve mentioned it before, but it’s really a home bartender’s best friend. I learned that rum is a strong pairing (natch), but also cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and a variety of nuts. Knowing that rum would be the base, I thought about what bottles had these other flavors. Amaro Meletti ticked lots of those boxes. This amaro isn’t bracingly bitter like some of it’s cousins, but has lots of warm spices and a subtle nuttiness. A perfect foil for the banana. I also had hunch yellow chartreuse would work here, so I grabbed that one too.
Come Mr. Tally Man has lots of spices and botanicals on the nose. The Meletti and yellow Chartreuse are front and center, accompanied by the unmistakeable rum funk. On the sip, bananas and caramel take over, followed quickly by the sharp bitterness from the amaro. It’s a very smooth sip that warms you to the core. The finish turns back to the bananas and rum, with the spices sticking around on the tongue to the end.
I can’t wait to start using other base spirits with the Banane du Bresil. It’s very exciting to have this flavor in my bar, as there is absolutely nothing else like it in there. The Flavor Bible is really going to get tested here, as I want to experience the full range of this bottle with lots of different combinations. It’s always nice when you take a flyer on a bottle and it exceeds your expecatations. Even better when it really gets your creative juices flowing taboot.