Dirty Banana Cocktail

Dirty banana recipe

The Spruce Eats/Ulyana Verbytska

  • Total: 5 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: Serves 1

Popular on many Caribbean islands, the classic dirty banana cocktail combines rum, Kahlua, or another coffee-flavored liqueur, and banana-flavored liqueur in an icy, creamy shake. You can add chocolate syrup for a true happy hour sweet treat, or up the tropical taste with fresh pineapple. Some recipes call for coconut cream while others add Baileys Irish Cream. Try out the basic recipe, but feel free to improvise with what you have on hand and enhance with additional ingredients according to your personal preferences.

Most people don't consider banana liqueur a liquor-cabinet staple so be choosy if you purchase a bottle as many taste cloying and fake. Bols and Giffard both produce good versions, with a rum base for Bols and a cognac base for Giffard, and you should be able to find at least one of the brands in a well-stocked liquor store or online.


  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice cubes (use crushed or smash large cubes into smaller chunks)
  • 1 1/2 ounces (1 standard shot) white rum
  • 3/4 ounce (1/2 shot) Kahlua (or other coffee-flavored liqueur)
  • 3/4 ounce (1/2 shot) banana-flavored liqueur
  • 1 ounce/2 tablespoons light cream
  • 1 ounce/2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 ripe banana
  • Garnish: unpeeled banana slice, maraschino cherry

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for a dirty banana
    The Spruce Eats/Ulyana Verbytska
  2. Put 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of ice in the blender container.

    Add ice
    The Spruce Eats/Ulyana Verbytska
  3. Add the remaining ingredients except for the garnish, cover, and blend until smooth, increasing the speed as necessary to thoroughly pulverize the ice.

    Add remaining ingredients
    The Spruce Eats/Ulyana Verbytska
  4. Pour the drink into a (preferably chilled) small hurricane glass, martini glass, or other cocktail glass.

    Pour drink into hurricane glass
    The Spruce Eats/Ulyana Verbytska
  5. Cut a slit halfway through a banana wheel and hang it on the rim of the glass. Top with a maraschino cherry if desired.

    Hang a banana wheel on the rim
    The Spruce Eats/Ulyana Verbytska
  6. Serve and enjoy!

    Dirty banana
    The Spruce Eats/Ulyana Verbytska


  • Increase the strength of the cocktail by halving the amount of cream and milk or by using chunks of frozen banana to add frosty bulk to the drink without ice, which dilutes the flavor.

Recipe Variations

  • Feel free to substitute 1/4 cup of half-and-half for the cream and milk. For a truly decadent treat, substitute 1/4 cup of softened vanilla ice cream.
  • Serve the drink chilled, but not blended by mixing the ingredients in a cocktail shaker or tall glass filled with ice, shaking vigorously, then straining it into a glass.
  • Substitute an aged dark rum for a more complex flavor or coconut rum for a different take on the classic.
  • At parties, serve a non-alcoholic version of the dirty banana for the kiddos by omitting the booze, increasing the cream and milk to 1/4 cup of each, and adding 2 tablespoons of chocolate syrup and 1 tablespoon of honey.

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