I challenged Trader Vic’s Emeryville bartender Troy to make a Banana Cow, one of the Trader’s earliest cocktail hits. And boy did Troy make it great, perfectly blended and totally icy smooth to the last drop.
There are two printed recipes for the Banana Cow, which evolved to be more of a true cocktail by the 1970s.
Banana Cow (1946)
1 crushed, ripe Banana
2 level teaspoons bar Sugar
3 oz fresh whole Milk
1½ oz Puerto Rican Rum (Ron Merito, Boco Chica, or Brugal)
Plenty of Cracked Ice
“Put the mess into an electric mixer and mix the hell out of it. Pour into a large glass and have at it. No foolin’ this is a pip.”
Trader Vic’s Book of Food & Drink (1946)
Banana Cow (1972)
1 whole Banana
1 tsp bar Sugar
1 dash Vanilla (Extract)
3 oz fresh Milk
1 oz Trader Vic’s light Puerto Rican rum
1 dash Angostura Bitters
½ scoop shaved ice
Blend in electric mixer. Serve in Planter’s Punch glass.
“The world’s finest, greatest, oh-so-good peachy hangover special. That’ll do it when nothing else will”
Trader Vic’s Bartender’s Guide Revised (1972)
Later, Vic wrote in Trader Vic’s Rum Cookery & Drinkery (1974) about the cocktail, saying “The Banana Cow is the greatest hangover drink as far as I’m concerned. People are in a rut serving Bloody Marys, and they really kill you rather than cool you. But milk is good for you, and bananas are good for your stomach. Many is a morning I could count a lot of people waiting for me to open my doors for a Rum or Banana Cow to cool it, heal it, and cure it completely.”