I'm going to dispense with the normal format for a little bit and focus instead on someone else's words. That someone else will change from time to time unless I get in a rut. Which I don't mind. Ruts aren't always bad. There will still be drinks of course and they'll be connected to the text but at times that connection may be tenuous. There's also a very good chance drinks will be featured which we have previously written about (but not with random passages from books and stuff).
Up first, Thomas Pynchon and the banana madness at the beginning of Gravity's Rainbow.
With a clattering of chairs, upended shell cases, benches, and ottomans, Pirate's mob gather at the shores of the great refectory table, a southern island well across a tropic or two from chill Corydon Throsp's mediaeval fantasies, crowded now over the swirling dark grain of its walnut uplands with banana omelets, banana sandwiches, banana casseroles, mashed bananas molded in the shape of a British lion rampant, blended with eggs into batter for French toast, squeezed out a pastry nozzle across the quivering creamy reaches of a banana blancmange to spell out the words C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas la guerre* (attributed to a French observer during the Charge of the Light Brigade) which Pirate has appropriated as his motto...tall cruets of pale banana syrup to pour oozing over banana waffles, a giant glazed crock where diced bananas have been fermenting since the summer with wild honey and muscat raisins, up out of which, this winter morning, one now dips foam mugsfull of banana mead...banana croissants and banana kreplach, and banana oatmeal and banana jam and banana bread, and bananas flamed in ancient brandy Pirate brought back last year from a cellar in the Pyrenees also containing a clandestine radio transmitter...
The phone call, when it comes, rips easily across the room, the hangovers, the grabassing, the clatter of dishes, the shoptalk, the bitter chuckles, like a rude metal double-fart, and Pirate knows it's got to be for him. Bloat, who's nearest, takes it, forkful of bananes glacees poised fashionably in the air. Pirate takes up a last dipper of mead, feels it go valving down his throat as if it's time, time in its summer tranquility, he swallows. - Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow, 1973
Bananas. I'm not a big banana person. I eat them a lot more than I mix with them...and I hardly ever eat them. The passage above left a mark though. I can still picture it years and years later. People hanging out of bunks and milling about sleepily while banana insanity commences in the kitchen. I love it even though I do not love bananas.
This one, the drink and its creation, was fun. At first I thought something with chocolate and maybe a 20th Century riff. The ill-conceived nature of this experiment became apparent immediately. Eventually though...what about bananas and cream? And while we're at it, why not some sort of weird Ramos-inspired concoction? Why not indeed.
If bananas aren't a part of your regular diet this one might start off weird. Heck, it might stay that way. This is after all an odd duck. It may not get regular attention around the house but I liked it alright at the beginning and even more at the end.
2 oz Aged Rum
1 oz Lime Juice
1 oz Banana Simple
1 oz Heavy Cream
1/2 Egg White
2-3 dashes Peychaud's
Soda - go easy here, just an ounce or so
Dry shake, shake, Collins, soda, fine strain.
If I do make it again I might sub vanilla for the Peychaud's.
Banana simple - Cut a peeled banana into discs and warm in a skillet over medium heat until the slices get pretty soft. Or just use an old banana. Add 100g sugar and 100g water. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Cool and strain.
*It's magnificent, but it's not war.