101 Best New Cocktails: Gros Michel by Sean MacPherson, Room 11, Washington, D.C., USA
Sean MacPherson, Room 11, Washington, D.C., USA
Picture by Morgan Hungerford-West
“I named this drink after the strain of banana, also known as Big Mike, which was the main export to North America and Europe from South America until it basically went extinct in the 1950’s due to Panama disease. Also, I really wanted to name a cocktail ‘Big Mike’. I had banana walnut bread in mind and I think the nuttiness of the sherry and caramel notes from the bourbon convey that, brought together by the bitter, grassy notes from the Salers.”
22.5 ml (.75 oz) olorosso sherry
15 ml (.5 oz) Salers aperitif
15 ml (.5 oz) Giffard Banane du Brésil
Light dash Fee Bros. Black Walnut Bitters
1 orange twist, as garnish
Stir over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Add the garnish.
gaz sez: This drink is named for a strain of banana. Let me repeat that. This drink is named for a strain of banana. And in case you’d like to be seen as the most banana-savvy geek in the room, here’s a little more information on Gros Michel that I got from ProMusa.com, a site dedicated to “Mobilizing banana science for sustainable livelihoods,” “’Gros Michel’ is the cultivar that dominated the international banana trade during the first part of the 20th century. In the late 1950s it was replaced with Cavendish cultivars because of its susceptibility to Fusarium wilt, which had landed in Central America in the 1890s. The wild species that contributed to its triploid genome is Musa acuminata, hence the shorthand AAA to describe its genome group. The Gros Michel subgroup is named after this cultivar.” Do I hear you crying Uncle?
This is a fabulous cocktail, the likes of which you’ve likely never tasted before. The combination of the Salers (gentian) apéritif and the Giffard Banane du Brésil, is pure genius, and Buffalo Trace is a bourbon with a broad-enough back to carry this drink to the finish line without flinching once. And, yes, the sherry shines on through, too. Standing ovation, please.
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