Dirty Banana Cocktail

Banana drink with Kahlua in background
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Ratings (27)
  • 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 selective 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 cup to 1/2 cup ice cubes
  • 1 1/2 ounces white rum
  • 3/4 ounce Kahlua (or other coffee-flavored liqueur)
  • 3/4 ounce banana-flavored liqueur
  • 1 ounce light cream
  • 1 ounce whole milk
  • 1 ripe banana
  • Garnish: unpeeled banana slice and maraschino cherry

Steps to Make It

  1. Put 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of ice into the blender. (Depends on how thick you would like your beverage.)

  2. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the garnish, cover and blend until smooth. Increase the speed of the blender as necessary to thoroughly pulverize the ice.

  3. Pour the drink into a small hurricane glass, martini glass, or other cocktail glass, preferably chilled.

  4. Cut a slit halfway through a banana wheel and hang it on the rim of the glass. Top with a maraschino cherry if desired.

  5. Serve and enjoy!


  • 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.

  • 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.


  • 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.