"I'm Chiquita Banana, and I've come to say..." Welcome back, my cocktail loving friends! As our second week of quarantine gets rolling by, we find ourselves in day 9, and that's something worth mixing about. After a few juicy refreshers, I thought maybe we'd keep it tropical but go a little spirit-forward. Today's cocktail was inspired by the Chiquita jingle, which first hit the airwaves in 1944, but I felt like doing a little more digging about the people behind the singing banana.
Today, when we see a banana in the store, we barely even notice the Chiquita blue sticker each one carries. The banana is such a staple in our diet, it's hard to imagine a time when the banana had to advertise, but that's exactly what brought this fruit into our kitchens. The United Fruit Company was founded in 1899, after Captain Lorenzo Baker brought a shipment of bananas from Jamaica to Jersey City. The history of the banana can be a bit sticky at times, (no pun intended) but the same could be said for most tropical fruits. Instead I'm going to focus more on that jingle we all know so well. In WWII, many of the trade routes we relied upon for fruit became closed due to the war effort. One theory suggests the Chiquita company launched this jingle to re-introduce the banana to the American public. What better way to grab everyone's attention than a sexy, Carmen Miranda style banana, teaching us how to care for bananas with a song? We would have all thought of this, right? The song was originally written by the team of Garth Montgomery and Len MacKenzie, both ad-men. The animated commercial delighted audiences in theaters around the nation, and the Chiquita Banana was in our hearts and minds for the rest of time. Had enough banana talk? Let's make that drink.
Chiquita Old Fashioned
1oz Pineapple Rum (If you can get your hands on it, the 50/50 Pineapple from Maggie's Farm is perfect for this. Other substitutes, Like Stiggins' Fancy are perfectly acceptable, but please don't use the over-flavored rum-liqueurs out there.)
.5oz Overproof Jamaican Rum
.5oz Banana Liquer (Giffard and Tempus Fugit both make really great ones.)
.25oz Amaro Montenegro
3 dashes Angostura bitters
Double Old Fashioned Glass
Stir in glass with ice you reach until desired dilution.
Garnish with pineapple frond and flower.
Pro Tip: Leave that fancy mixing glass on the shelf. Building old fashioned style cocktails in the glass is not only efficient, but yields a drink with a more controlled rate of dilution. Who are you trying to impress anyways? You're stuck at home!
Well, it looks like I'll be spending the rest of my day with that catchy jingle stuck in my head, so I should probably shift gears. I hope everyone enjoys this one, as it truly is one of my favorite old fashioned variants out there. You know the drill; I'll keep posting them, if you keep making them. Let me know if there's anything you'd like to see moving forward. My backlog of cocktails is pretty deep. I'll be back tomorrow. Until then, stir one of these up, keep on shaking, and remember, "Bananas like the climate of the very very tropical equator,So you should never put bananas in the refrigerator!