[Photograph: Marcia Simmons]
Homemade banana liqueur will show you that, when it comes to tropical drinks, the simple banana can taste just as exotic as the more elusive coconut and pineapple.
Notes: Just-ripened bananas will give the best result, though a slightly overripe banana will also work. Avoid green bananas or bananas that are already brown inside. The character of rum gives depth to this liqueur, but you could also use vodka if you prefer. Turbinado sugar, sometimes called raw sugar, is available at most grocery stores. If you substitute white sugar, you may need to use more, so add slowly and adjust to taste. Other sweeteners, such as agave nectar, honey, and brown sugar, can be used but you will need to use less and adjust to taste. Double straining is very important in this recipe, since the bananas will disintegrate a bit and leave some goo behind. Any leftover unstrained bits will cause off flavors over time.