Banana Liqueur: 14 Things You Should Know [The Ultimate Guide]

1. What is Banana Liqueur?

Banana liqueur, a sweet, fruity spirit, captivates with its rich banana flavor, golden hue, and smooth texture. It typically contains 20-30% ABV, and its production involves infusing neutral spirits with banana flavor, either through natural fruit extracts or artificial flavors. Brands like 99 Bananas and Bols offer distinct types, each with unique nuances. Prices range from $10 to $30 in the US. Served neat, over ice, or in cocktails like Banana Daiquiris and Bananaritas, it’s also a culinary delight in desserts. Its versatility and popularity make it a staple in bars and homes alike.

Name: What is Banana Liqueur Called?

Banana liqueur is often labeled as “crème de banane” or simply “banana schnapps“, depending on the brand and region.

2. Factsheet

  • Flavor Profile: Sweet, ripe banana with hints of caramel and vanilla.
    • Aroma: Distinct banana with subtle creamy notes.
    • Appearance: Ranges from pale to deep yellow.
  • Production Process: Infusion of neutral spirits with banana flavors.
    • Base Alcohol: Usually grain spirits or rum.
    • Ingredients: Banana (natural or artificial), sugar, water.
  • Types/Categories: Premium (e.g., Giffard Banane du Brésil), Standard (e.g., DeKuyper).
    • Price Range: $10-$30 (US).
  • Serving Suggestions: Neat, over ice, cocktails (e.g., Banana Daiquiri, Bananarita).
    • Use in Cocktails: Banana Daiquiri, Bananarita, Banana Colada.
    • Use in Cuisine: Dessert flavoring, baking.
  • Shelf Life: Years, diminishes slowly if opened.
    • Storage: Cool, dark place.
  • History/Origins: No specific origin, global production.
    • Popularity: High in cocktail culture.
  • ABV: 20-30%.
    • Sugar Content: Varies, generally high.

3. What Does Banana Liqueur Taste Like?

Flavor Profile

Banana liqueur presents a sweet, rich banana taste, often with notes of caramel, vanilla, and sometimes a hint of spice. The finish is smooth, with a lingering banana aftertaste. The balance between sweetness and fruitiness adds complexity to its profile.


The aroma is predominantly of ripe bananas, with a creamy, almost custardy quality, and can include subtle hints of spices and vanilla.


The color spectrum of banana liqueur ranges from light, almost transparent yellow to a deeper golden hue, depending on the brand and production method.

4. How is it Made?


The primary ingredient is banana flavor, derived either from natural banana extracts or artificial flavors. This is combined with a base alcohol like grain spirits or rum, along with sugar and water.

Production Process

Banana liqueur production generally involves the infusion of the base alcohol with banana flavors. This can be achieved through soaking real bananas in the alcohol, distilling, or by adding natural or artificial banana extracts. The mixture is then sweetened, colored if necessary, and bottled. The process varies between traditional methods and modern techniques, with some producers emphasizing organic and natural ingredients.

5. Types of Banana Liqueur


Banana liqueur, a sweet, banana-flavored drink, varies in types. Categories include creamy banana liqueur and clear banana liqueur. Creamy versions, like Bols Banana Cream, are richer. Clear varieties, such as 99 Bananas, offer a crisper taste. Each brand adds its unique twist, impacting flavor and texture.

Key Differences

The main variations in banana liqueurs stem from the base alcohol used, banana flavor intensity, and additional flavorings. Creamy liqueurs often use a dairy or cream base, providing a smooth texture, while clear liqueurs typically use a neutral spirit base, resulting in a sharper flavor profile. The choice of artificial or natural banana flavors also significantly influences the taste.

6. Brands of Banana Liqueur

Top Brands

  • 99 Bananas – Known for its high proof and intense flavor, this clear liqueur suits cocktails needing a strong banana punch.
  • Marie Brizard Banane du Brésil – A refined choice, it blends banana maceration with cognac, adding depth.
  • Tempus Fugit Spirits Crème de Banane – Stands out for its authentic banana flavor, derived from natural fruit maceration.

Brand Comparison

  • 99 Bananas vs. Marie Brizard: 99 Bananas is more potent and straightforward in flavor, ideal for bold cocktails. Marie Brizard, with its cognac infusion, is better suited for sophisticated, layered drinks.
  • Marie Brizard vs. Tempus Fugit: Marie Brizard offers a unique cognac undertone, while Tempus Fugit focuses on delivering a pure, natural banana taste.

7. Buying Guide for Banana Liqueur

Price Range

Banana liqueurs range from $10 to $30 (US). The price often reflects the quality of ingredients and production methods.

Buying Tips

When selecting a banana liqueur, consider:

  1. Flavor: Opt for natural flavors for authenticity.
  2. Base Liquor: Choose creamy for richness, clear for crispness.
  3. Use Case: Stronger profiles for cocktails, smoother ones for sipping or desserts.
  4. Brand Reputation: Well-known brands often guarantee consistency.
  5. Price: Balance cost with intended use and flavor preferences.

Best Buys

  • Budget: DeKuyper Banana Liqueur (~$10) – suitable for casual mixing.
  • Moderate: Bols Banana Cream (~$20) – versatile for various cocktails.
  • Premium: Tempus Fugit Spirits Crème de Banane (~$30) – excellent for high-end mixology.

Premium – Worth it?

Premium banana liqueurs justify their price through superior flavor depth and quality of ingredients. Ideal for connoisseurs, they enhance cocktails and desserts, where the nuanced banana flavor makes a significant difference.

8. How to Drink Banana Liqueur?

Serving Guide

Banana liqueur, a versatile and flavorful spirit, shines in various serving styles. While it is ideal for sipping, it also excels in cocktails and mixed drinks. For a purer taste, try it neat; its complex banana essence is pronounced when undiluted. Serve it without ice in a snifter glass, on the rocks in a lowball glass, or in a cocktail glass as part of a mixed drink.

Tasting & Appreciation

To fully appreciate banana liqueur, observe its color, aroma, and viscosity. Swirl gently in the glass to release its aromatic compounds. Sip slowly, letting it coat your palate, noting the balance of sweetness, banana intensity, and alcohol warmth. Quality banana liqueurs offer a harmonious blend of natural banana flavors with subtle notes of vanilla or spice.

9. How to Use Banana Liqueur in Cocktails?


Popular in tropical and fruity cocktails, banana liqueur adds sweetness and depth. Classic cocktails like the Banana Daiquiri or Banana Martini showcase its flavor. It is also a key ingredient in layered shots and tiki drinks.


Choosing the right banana liqueur brand can enhance your cocktail experience. Premium brands offer richer, more authentic flavors, ideal for high-end cocktails. In budget-friendly mixed drinks, standard brands suffice.


When mixing, balance is key. Pair banana liqueur with complementary flavors like rum, coconut, or chocolate. Use it sparingly to avoid overpowering other ingredients.


For a non-alcoholic version, banana syrup or puree can substitute for banana liqueur. In alcoholic cocktails, try other fruit liqueurs or flavored syrups for a different, yet delightful twist.

10. How to Use Banana Liqueur in the Kitchen?

  • Culinary Applications: Beyond cocktails, banana liqueur finds its place in culinary arts. Use it to flavor desserts, sauces, or marinades. It can enhance the taste of cakes, puddings, and fruit salads.
  • Food Pairings: Banana liqueur pairs wonderfully with desserts, especially those featuring chocolate, vanilla, or tropical fruits. It can also add an interesting twist to savory dishes, complementing ingredients like pork, chicken, or seafood.

 11. How to Store Banana Liqueur?


Proper storage of banana liqueur is crucial for maintaining its flavor and quality. Before opening, store the bottle in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Ideal storage temperatures range between 55°F and 60°F (13°C – 15°C). After opening, it’s recommended to keep banana liqueur in a refrigerator, especially if it’s a cream-based variant. Freezing is not advisable as it can alter the flavor and texture.


Unopened banana liqueur can last for several years if stored properly. Once opened, its quality starts to decline. Generally, an opened bottle of banana liqueur should be consumed within 6 to 12 months for optimal taste. Cream-based banana liqueurs have a shorter shelf life and should be consumed more quickly.

12. History & Popularity of Banana Liqueur

History and Origins

Banana liqueur’s history is tied to the rise of tropical fruit cultivation and trade. Originating in the late 19th to early 20th century, its creation is attributed to bartenders experimenting with the exotic flavors of newly imported fruits, including bananas. The liqueur gained popularity in regions like the Caribbean and Central America, areas known for their abundant banana production.

Cultural and Social Significance

Banana liqueur has a unique place in both tropical and Western drinking cultures. It embodies the fusion of tropical flavors with Western liqueur-making techniques. Its presence in classic cocktails like the Banana Daiquiri highlights its cultural significance in the cocktail world.

Popularity and Versatility

This liqueur is popular for its sweet, fruity flavor and versatility in cocktails. Its use extends beyond mixed drinks; it’s also a favorite in culinary recipes, especially desserts. The global appreciation of banana liqueur continues to grow, reflecting its adaptability and appeal in various culinary and beverage applications.

13. How to Make Banana Liqueur at Home?

Homemade Recipe

Making banana liqueur at home requires ripe bananas, vodka, sugar, and water.

Here’s a simple recipe:

  1. Mash 3 ripe bananas and place them in a jar.
  2. Add 2 cups of vodka, seal the jar, and let it infuse for a week, shaking daily.
  3. After a week, strain the banana pieces out.
  4. Prepare a simple syrup by boiling equal parts sugar and water until the sugar dissolves. Cool it down.
  5. Mix the syrup with the banana-infused vodka to taste.
  6. Bottle the liqueur and let it sit for a few more days for flavors to meld.

14. Nutrition of Banana Liqueur

ABV Content

Banana liqueur typically has an alcohol by volume (ABV) content ranging from 17% to 30%.

Carbohydrate and Sugar Content

It is relatively high in sugars and carbohydrates, mainly due to added sweeteners. A standard serving can contain 10-14 grams of carbohydrates, mostly from sugars.

Dietary Restrictions

Most banana liqueurs are gluten-free and suitable for a vegan diet. However, cream-based variants may not be vegan-friendly. It’s important to check labels for specific ingredients and allergens.


It’s important to consume banana liqueur responsibly. Drinkers should be aware of its alcohol content and make informed decisions. Always conduct personal research and consult healthcare providers regarding alcohol consumption, especially if there are any dietary restrictions or health concerns.

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