Banana Boat Cocktail Recipe

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Banana Boat Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 16, 2024


The Banana Boat cocktail is a relatively modern creation, designed to capture the essence of tropical relaxation. It's a hit among beach-goers and those who yearn for an escape to an island paradise.

  • Origins The exact origins are unclear, but it's believed to have been concocted in the late 20th century.
  • Popularity It quickly gained popularity in tropical resorts and beach bars.
  • Audience It's particularly favored by those who enjoy sweet, fruity cocktails.

How Banana Boat Tastes?

The Banana Boat is a sweet and creamy concoction with a tropical flair. The coconut rum provides a smooth, velvety base, while the banana liqueur adds a rich, fruity sweetness. The pineapple juice ties it all together with a tangy punch, making it a refreshing and indulgent treat.

Interesting facts about Banana Boat

  • The Banana Boat cocktail is often associated with beach parties and summer vibes.
  • It's a popular choice for those who prefer their drinks on the sweeter side.
  • The cocktail's name is thought to be inspired by the banana-shaped boats often used for water sports.


Coconut Rum

The Beach in a Bottle: We use 1 oz because that's our sweet spot - enough to feel the tropical vibes but not too much to overpower. Skipping it? You'd miss out on the sun-kissed flavor that makes this cocktail worth wearing sunglasses indoors.

Alternative: White rum with a splash of coconut extract could work in a pinch, but it's like imagining the beach without the sound of waves - it's good but not that good.

Mary Mitkina

Banana Liqueur

Going Bananas: Those sweet, fruity notes in 1 oz of banana liqueur make it the loyal sidekick to coconut rum, like Robin to Batman. Leave it out, and the Banana Boat is just... a boat.

Alternative: Muddled bananas with a touch of honey can provide the banana flavor, but expect a less smooth sail.

Mary Mitkina

Pineapple Juice

The Golden Anchor: 2 oz to lift the flavors and balance the sweetness with its tangy zest. Less could be too subtle; more and you're drinking a fancy fruit juice with a splash of rum.

Alternative: Mango juice offers a similar tropical character but changes the cocktail to more of a 'mango tango' on the taste buds.

Alex Green

Ice Cubes

The Cool Factor: As needed because nobody wants a lukewarm tropical experience. Too little and you've got a tepid tide pool; too much and it's the Titanic of dilution.

Alternative: Crushed ice will chill the cocktail faster with a risk of turning it into a fleeting Arctic experience.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Banana Boat Drink

  1. Chill the Glass Place your serving glass in the freezer to chill.
  2. Mix Ingredients In a shaker, combine 1 oz of coconut rum, 1 oz of banana liqueur, and 2 oz of pineapple juice.
  3. Shake Well Add ice to the shaker and shake vigorously until well-chilled.
  4. Serve Strain the mixture into the chilled glass.
  5. Garnish Optionally, garnish with a slice of banana or a pineapple wedge.

Pro Tips

  • Temperature: Serve the cocktail as cold as possible to enhance its refreshing quality.
  • Balance: Adjust the sweetness to your liking by adding more or less banana liqueur.
  • Presentation: A well-garnished glass makes a world of difference; a small umbrella or colorful straw can add to the tropical experience.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

Tropical or Light Salads: Salads with mango, papaya, or avocado can complement the refreshing tropical vibe of the Banana Boat cocktail.

Seafood: Grilled shrimp or a light ceviche could balance the sweetness with some savory notes.

Desserts: Coconut-based desserts or a banana split could work well for those who enjoy a sweeter pairing with their cocktail.

Drinks Pairings

Coconut Water: For non-alcoholic pairings, coconut water can match the tropical theme without overpowering the flavors of the cocktail.

Sparkling Water: A splash of sparkling water as a side can cleanse the palate between sips.

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What you could change in Banana Boat

  • Coconut Rum: You can substitute with white rum and a splash of coconut cream if coconut rum isn't available.
  • Banana Liqueur: If you don't have banana liqueur, try mashing a few slices of ripe banana and mix it with a bit of simple syrup.
  • Pineapple Juice: Mango juice can be a fun tropical twist if you're out of pineapple juice.

Explore all drinks starting with B here

And of course - twists🍹

Berry Banana Boat

A Berry Twist: Substitute the coconut rum with raspberry flavored vodka for a berrylicious surprise. This twist sails the Banana Boat into cooler waters with a tart kick.


  • Raspberry Vodka: 1oz
  • Banana Liqueur: 1oz
  • Pineapple Juice: 2oz
  • Ice Cubes: As needed

Recipe: Follow the original steps but with the new raspberry vodka. Garnish with fresh raspberries for that extra flair.

Spiced Banana Boat

Set Sail with Spice: Swap the coconut rum with spiced rum. The warm, spicy notes will give your Banana Boat a pirate kick, 'Arrr' might become your new favorite word.


  • Spiced Rum: 1oz
  • Banana Liqueur: 1oz
  • Pineapple Juice: 2oz
  • Ice Cubes: As needed

Recipe: Mix and shake the spiced ingredients as you would with the original, and garnish with a cinnamon stick for that spiced sensation.

Virgin Banana Boat

Family-Friendly Waves: Leave out the booze for a mocktail that's as fun as a day at the beach. Replace the coconut rum and banana liqueur with coconut milk and banana syrup for a non-alcoholic treat.


  • Coconut Milk: 1oz
  • Banana Syrup: 1oz
  • Pineapple Juice: 2oz
  • Ice Cubes: As needed

Recipe: Shake it up like the original cocktail and garnish with a cherry on top for a playful twist that everyone can enjoy.

In case you forgot basics how to make Banana Boat

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Banana Boat

Can the Banana Boat cocktail be made as a non-alcoholic drink?

Yes, you can omit the alcohol and use coconut cream and banana syrup with the pineapple juice to create a non-alcoholic version.

What type of glass is best suited for serving the Banana Boat cocktail?

A hurricane glass or any tall glass is suitable for serving the Banana Boat to showcase its tropical aesthetics.

How can I make the Banana Boat cocktail for a large group?

Multiply the ingredients based on the number of guests and mix in a large pitcher or bowl. You can serve it over ice in individual glasses.

Is the Banana Boat cocktail suitable for those with gluten intolerance?

Yes, as long as the specific brands of coconut rum and banana liqueur used do not contain any gluten or gluten-derived ingredients.

How can I enhance the tropical flavors when making a Banana Boat cocktail?

Consider adding a splash of coconut cream or garnishing with tropical fruits such as kiwi, star fruit, or lychee for an extra exotic touch.

Can I use fresh pineapple juice instead of store-bought?

Absolutely, fresh pineapple juice will give a more vibrant and fresh flavor to the Banana Boat cocktail.

What is the best way to store leftover banana liqueur?

Keep it in a cool, dark place like a liquor cabinet. Once opened, using it within a year is advised to maintain the best flavor.

Can the Banana Boat be frozen into a slushie?

Yes, blending the mixture with ice can create a delightful frozen Banana Boat slushie.

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