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Friday 27 May 2011

Cocktail Hour: The Banannie (Sans Banane)

When I moved to London in 2005, I earned a pittance and lived with my oldest and best friend, Annabel. Being poor (trainee hack, student solicitor) we spent most of our money on fun and cocktails.

This is us at my sixth birthday party (front row, Annabel sits more demurely now, I still have that My Little Pony)

As you can probably tell from our glamorous 80s attire, I've known this girl since we were babies. And, when planning her hen night last Saturday, a cocktail class had to come into it.

At one point, our friend Guy and I had a cocktail-off, to make a drink that suited Annabel and was named accordingly.

Annabel loves fruit, fizz and gin - and my longstanding nickname for her, sadly, sounds like my most hated fruit hence the addendum. Hic haec, ad hoc. The barman told me elderflower and raspberries couldn't be done, but as they're two of our favourite flavours, I wanted to give it a bash.

Truly, ladies, I was vindicated. It tastes AMAZING and is really easy to make. If you, like me, aren't in possession of several sieves, just strain as you will and drink with gusto. It's a truly delicious, very drinkable drink and I'm very proud to have created it for my very best friend.

Ingredients (serves 1)
Take a Boston glass and fill with the Chambord, gin, cordial, mint and raspberries. Muddle well, then pop a cocktail shaker on top and shake for a good 10 seconds.

Double strain through a sieve and the cocktail shaker's strainer, then pour into a martini glass. Top up with Champagne (or whatever fizz you have to hand), then serve with raspberries and mint leaves tucked onto a little swizzle stick.

Enjoy with your very, very best friend.

Many congratulations on your forthcoming nuptials Annabel, I promise not to spill this over my bridesmaid's dress. Kat xxx


  1. Wear did you go for the cocktail class? I've been asked to do this for my friends hew weekend and could do with some good suggestions? And the cocktail sounds great...gonna have to try that one..

  2. Ahh can't spell this morning..where did you go for the cocktail class?

  3. Hi Nic! Are you based in London? I booked us into LVPO on Dean Street. We took the top-price option of £25 a head, which included a welcome glass of fizz, making any cocktail off the menu we liked, several platters of yummy food, as well as jars of Smarties, followed by cupcakes, two bottles of fizz with accompanying fireworks, and a giant Sex on the Beach afterwards. We had an amazing time and I think it was great value - Agathe, our bartender, was wonderful. Thank Christ we went to Pineapple and danced it all off afterwards though!

  4. What a lovely post! I've really got to make some elderflower cordial for all these awesome cocktails.

  5. It's such a freaking great beverage! I mentioned Bottlegreen because it's dead easy to hand (and I used it) but the homemade version is delicious too - will add that in.

    Another favourite elderflower cocktail was one invented at the Metro Garden Bar in Clapham (beautiful bar with a secret garden). It was called the Motel Martini and involved elderflower, gin, cucumber and something else. Sadly, the barman who invented it left a couple of years ago - I haven't tasted anything as good that uses those ingredients since. A task for someone!

  6. Oh, this post is just lovely.

    I bought Bowtie the My Little Pony on eBay a while back (he's the only one I had as a kid). He's sat to my right as I type. Only £3!

  7. Elderflower, Mmmm, my favorite. Lovely splashed in a glass of ice cold rose or made into ice cubes for Pimms. A friend of mine had an Aunt who used to make us elderflower champagne ice cream floats!

  8. @Sian - I have literally wasted hours identifying ponies I used to have using this:

    Star Dancer! Oh how I loved thee

    @Sarah Mac - that aunt sounds like a complete legend. If you can remember the recipe, post it on Facebook and we'll make it!

  9. Lovely lovely post! I'm going to link it to my friend who'll be 'chief' bridesmaid for our gorgeous friends when they get married next year.

    Annabel's a girl after my own heart! I always ensure I sit 'with my knees closed' now.... even after ninety two cocktails!

  10. @Kat, why not try an elderflower and cucumber Collins? I had this in a bar in Bristol recently. Muddle (smoosh!) ice, cucumber, elderflower cordial and Hendricks gin, add soda water to make it as long as you like, and sugar syrup to taste?

  11. MEGA noms! Thank you Leah, I'll definitely try that!


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