The Cocktail College Podcast: The Banana Daiquiri

“Cocktail College” is brought to you by Zacapa No. 23 Rum. Listener, I want to talk to you about aging today, specifically about solera aging. You probably know it from the fine wines in Jerez, Spain, and you’ve probably noticed that it’s become something of a trend these days in distilled spirits. Well, for Zacapa No. 23 Rum, that’s always been the process — a blend of 6- to 23-year-old rums using the solera method — but not only that. Here’s what’s super interesting: That aging takes place in some of the highest altitude facilities in the world. They call it “the house above the clouds.” And when you start to get that combination, that unique combination of solera and altitude, what you end up with is an aged rum that is truly unique. Here’s what else is unique: the petate weaving on every bottle. They’re handwoven, and I’m a sucker for bottle design, so I wanted to point that out. But folks, that is Zacapa No. 23. The bottle looks great, the liquid tastes great, and it’s got a really unique story you can share with friends. Head to right now to learn more.

The Banana Daiquiri is exactly what it sounds like — a Daiquiri flavored with banana. The drink’s history began when Harry Yee, an American bartender living in Hawaii, started adding bananas to blended Daiquiris. However, since the modern cocktail renaissance, most bartenders have ditched blended fruit for high-quality banana liqueur.

To talk us through the history of this riff and its many forms, we’re joined by Diageo national educator Vanessa Leon. Before that role, Vanessa worked behind the stick for over a decade, and while she’s an expert on multiple spirits, she has a certain knack for laying down the law on all things rum. Think of today’s conversation as an evolution of our exploration of the El Floridita Daiquiri. We’re ditching the blender and frozen serve, adding high-quality Guatemalan rum and banana liqueur into the equation, and serving it up. It’s solera processes, virgin sugar cane syrup, premium fruit liqueurs, and myriad banana varieties, and it’s all right here on the “Cocktail College” podcast. Tune in for more.

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Vanessa Leon’s Banana Daiquiri Recipe


  • ¼ ounce Demerara syrup (2:1)
  • ½ ounce Banane du Brésil banana liqueur
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1 ½ ounces Zacapa 23 Rum
  • Garnish: lime wheel


  1. Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice.
  2. Shake until chilled.
  3. Double strain into a chilled coupe glass.
  4. Garnish with a lime wheel.

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Tim McKirdy
Vanessa Leon