Banana Syrup

I came across a procedure for making banana syrup from peels, and gave it shot. Started with peels of moderately ripe bananas (peel softening, brown spots). Diced the peels and combined them with an equal weight of sugar, and left them to extract (oleo-saccharum method) for a few hours.

75g of peels and 75g of sugar yielded 90g of syrup.

I might have gotten a higher yield by blending the mixture before straining.

Tastes like bananas and is devoid of any artificial character.

I suppose this is something like 83 brix, so to get it to 50 brix, I’d need to add 59g of water.

Will try in a drink later and report back.


I made Shannon Mustipher’s Parasol. And I forgot to add the nutmeg garnish before I took the picture, so just imagine that’s there.

In this drink, the banana syrup and the pineapple kind of meld into something new. It’s a nice drink!

I’ll try something different later where the banana syrup will have to stand on its own.

1 Like

Made a “Banana Old Fashioned” (bourbon, banana syrup, Angostura).

It’s perfectly pleasant, although the banana flavor can’t really defend itself against the bourbon and bitters. It’s possible this syrup isn’t concentrated enough to really stand up to cocktail-making… unless you prefer subtle, and maybe there’s an argument for that. After all, do I really want an Old Fashioned that tastes like bananas?

Are you a fan of Giffard’s Banane du Bresil?

It’s a product I am aware of, but have no experience with.

I’m not actually that interested in banana-flavored drinks—I was more curious whether the technique for making the syrup was viable.


I’m very interested in your results. I always thought the idea of banana-flavored drinks sounded nasty, probably because I was imagining, say, Banana Runts in boozy form.

A Rum Justino at the dearly-departed Existing Conditions spun me round regarding banana drinks, and I’ve subsequently discovered that the Tempus Fugit crème de banane tastes fantastic and makes a worthwhile Bananavardier, or a Caribbean Queen.

The key is really that true banana flavor, as opposed to the chemical candy flavor.

It’s also really interesting that the oleo-saccharum method works for a non-citrus, although maybe not surprising given that cherry bark works for a Wild Cherry Phosphate.

Well, this one couldn’t be easier to try. You don’t even need a vacuum sealer—a mason jar or whatever will suffice.

How long would you expect this to keep? Refrigerated? Love the idea of this as I love banana based recipes.

Syrup longevity seems to be determined by a lot of variables, only some of which you can predict and control.

The syrup I made initially (undiluted), is something like 83 brix. I’ve read that a degree of stability is achieved at 71 brix or higher. Certainly, if dilute this stuff down to 50 brix, it won’t last long at all.

I tend to store my homemade syrups in the freezer to greatly extend their life. They thaw pretty quickly.

In all cases, I think you have to keep checking before use.

Both the Giffard and Tempus Fugit banana liqueurs are popular in our house, but it should be noted that the flavors are quite different: the TF has more caramelization. The microdistiller Bulgari—formerly Iyi—in the Boston suburbs also makes a very pleasant banana eau de vie. My brother already turned our latest batch of banana peels into powdered plant fertilizer.

1 Like

I tried this banana peel oleo technique this weekend, side-by-side with an experiment using the fruit and some enzymes I picked up from Modernist Pantry. I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I based the experiment on that Liquid Intelligence clarified banana drink and a Modernist Pantry banana bread recipe.

My method for the peel syrup started the same as Martin’s – equal weight of chopped peels and sugar. But then I threw that into a 170F bath for a couple hours (freezer bags and a cast iron pot in my oven, I don’t have real sous vide equipment)

For the non-peel syrup, in a freezer bag I combined the fruit of 3 bananas and an equal weight of sugar, plus ~1ml each of Amylase and Pectinex Ultra SP-L. From what I understand, the Amylase converts starches to sugars, and the Pectinex breaks down pectin. Just gently mashing the bananas, sugar, and enzymes in the bag with my fingers virtually liquified them. I then gave them the same 2 hour bath at 170F.

After the bath, I filtered both syrups and measured their sugar content. Unexpectedly, both were well below 50 brix, in the 35-40 range. I added sugar to get them up to 50.

Tasting independently, both taste like natural banana and don’t overpower a drink that they’re in. Back-to-back, the one made from fruit was a little brighter and fresher (and maybe more prominently banana?) than the peel version. Neither was bad, but the fruit version was better.

I don’t really know what I’m doing with these enzymes, but this first test was promising. I wonder if it would have gone even better if I had just made banana juice with the fruit and enzymes (and no added sugar), and then made a 50 brix syrup from that. I’ll try that next, but first I have a lot of banana syrup to get through.