My ancestors come from the region where daiquiris were born. The Caribbean has brought us the wonders known as the piña colada and the mango daiquiri, but St. Thomas receives all the credit for the creamy frozen cocktail called the Banana Daiquiri.
This banana daiquiri is akin to a frosty, drinkable banana bread. To make the perfect cocktail freeze your overripe banana slices to eliminate a watered-down libation and don’t miss out on the complexity of this drink by using anything lighter than a gold rum.
History of Banana Daiquiris
I’m fortunate enough to be friends with many folks from St. Thomas, most of whom traveled to Puerto Rico to attend school, and they have no qualms about telling me that the Banana Daiquiri was a creation of their island.
On a quest through the Caribbean islands in the mid-1950s, a Bajan sailor named Captain Soule, was served a Banana Daiquiri on a mountain top locale on the U.S. Virgin Island of St. Thomas.
The predecessor of this daiquiri was a stirred drink, made with rum, lime, and sugar that later evolved to be a cocktail shaken until frothy and frosty in a cocktail shaker. This banana version, however, is always a blended, frosty cocktail. We are talking about a drink that originated on a tropical island with an average temperature of 86°F—a frozen drink just makes sense.
What is a Banana Daiquiri?
A banana daiquiri is a cocktail of pureed, ripe bananas, lime juice and rum. It’s basically a spiked banana smoothie.
Daiquiris must contain rum (the age of the rum can be left to your discretion) and a complimentary citrus juice. Bananas, when blended, create a thick and viscous concoction which is why it’s best served as a frozen drink, but if you can find a decent banana nectar, you can prepare it the old-fashioned way—shaken.
Ripe Bananas and Fresh Lime are a Must
The level of ripeness of the banana will determine how much banana flavor comes through in the finished drink. I prefer my cocktail to have a heavy dose of banana flavor, so a banana with a dark yellow, heavily-mottled with brown skin is a must. I’d even go so far as to suggest using a banana with a black peel for maximum banana flavor.
The lime juice in this recipe breaks through the caramel notes of the banana and dark rum to mitigate the cloyingly sweet properties overripe bananas. Basically, it balances the sweetness of the banana and brown sugar.
The Best Rum for Daiquiris
While I always prefer to use dark (or black) rum, gold or spiced rum can also be used in this recipe.
More often than not amber, Cruzan rum is the preferred alcohol choice, which makes sense since it’s a neighboring island of St. Thomas. But Puerto Rico is too, so I opt for our go-to rum, Bacardí Black. You won’t go wrong with a Caribbean rum.
What Kind of Glass for a Banana Daiquiri?
This daiquiri fits exceptionally well in a standard hurricane glass, but you can also pour your frosty banana drink in a 16-ounce glass. Both will have enough room to top with whipped cream or garnishes.
Margarita glasses can also double as daiquiri vessels. Choose a glass with a stem to avoid having to hold the bowl of the glass which can warm the daiquiri.
Garnishes for Banana Daiquiris
This banana daiquiri technically doesn’t need any adornments, but I’m a sucker for a pretty cocktail.
Garnish yours simply with a maraschino cherry and a sprig of mint or go all out and spoon a dollop of whipped cream on top. A few slices of banana, a drizzle of caramel syrup, or a sprinkling of toasted coconut are all beautiful ways to finish this drink.
Tips for the Best Cocktail
I always freeze the fruit of any frozen cocktail I’m preparing. It reduces the amount of ice I have to use in the drink and keeps my cocktail from being watered down while also keeping the daiquiri from separating too much as it sits.
Just peel the banana, slice into 1/2-inch-thick rounds, and freeze the slices. You can use store-bought, frozen banana slices, but I find they’re not as ripe, and therefore not as flavorful, as handpicked bananas.
To switch up the flavors of your banana daiquiri, consider swapping the banana liqueur for coffee liqueur to make a dirty banana daiquiri. You can even replace the banana liqueur with peanut butter whiskey or blend in 1/4 cup melted peanut butter for a peanut butter and banana daiquiri.
More Frozen Cocktail Recipes
Frozen Banana Daiquiri
Make sure you have 1 cup frozen banana chunks (from 1 large, ripe banana) before starting this recipe.
For best results, chill your glass—place in the freezer to chill while making the cocktail.
- 2 1/2 ounces dark rum
- 1 1/2 ounces banana liqueur
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1 cup frozen banana chunks (from 1 large, ripe banana)
- 1/2 cup ice cubes
- Maraschino cherries, for garnish
Add cocktail ingredients into the blender:
Add the dark rum, banana liqueur, lime juice, brown sugar, banana chunks, and ice into the blender.
Blend the cocktail:
Blend the ingredients on high until the mixture is smooth and no chunks of banana or ice remain.
Taste and adjust cocktail flavoring:
Taste the daiquiri for sweetness and add more brown sugar, if desired. If the daiquiri is too thick, like the consistency of pudding, add more rum to thin out the daiquiri a bit. You want the daiquiri to have the consistency of a slushie or loose smoothie.
Garnish and serve cocktail:
Pour the daiquiri into a hurricane glass and garnish with a maraschino cherry. Enjoy while frozen.