The Caribbean Millionaire is a drink where the whole is a lot more than just the sum of its parts; yes there is rum, banana liqueur and apricot brandy, but these aren’t the defining characteristics of the drink. The banana liqueur adds an intense aroma of fresh banana which lures you into taking that first sip in the hopes that the banana flavouring is equally strong – which it is – but unlike the Vespa it doesn’t taste of fake foam bananas. Picture instead bananas that you’ve had sat on a kitchen counter for a few days that have now ripened and you’d be closer to the mark. This banana flavour doesn’t linger for long though as it quickly evolves into a gentle fruit sweetness with a touch of Caribbean heat from the rum.
Whilst we’re on the subject of the rum, it creates a spine-tingling warmth and gives body to the drink whilst simultaneously creating a creamy mouthfeel which adds just a touch of indulgence to the experience. It tastes luxurious and welcoming whilst keeping the tropical nature of the cocktail which I believe makes this drink perfect for any situation regardless of the time of day or even year.
Although there is only a minute amount of sloe gin, it pairs harmoniously with the rest of the ingredients; the slight tartness of the sloe tempers the sweetness down and adds a depth of flavour overall. The original recipe calls for the sloe gin to be shaken with the rest of the ingredients, but I prefer adding it after it’s been strained into the glass to create a colour gradient when the gin sinks to the bottom of the glass. It’s visually more striking and keeps the flavour profile – but don’t be afraid to try the original method!
♦ 1 ounce gold or dark rum
♦ 1 ounce crème de banane
♦ ½ ounce apricot brandy
♦ ½ ounce lemon juice
Dash of sloe gin
Shake all the ingredients except for the sloe gin together and then strain into chilled cocktail glasses. Add the dash of sloe gin and serve.