A Note from Long Road: Recently, we launched a Guest Blog series, “Behind the Bar with Long Road”, to take you on a journey behind the bar with our talented team and to give you a glimpse into the creative process behind innovative and enticing cocktails that feature our spirits. Be sure to check out our earlier posts by Jenney Grant, Joey Robles-Zepeda, Carley from Cocktails with Carley, Connor Everhart and Rob Hanks of Nightwatch Lounge. This week’s post comes to us from another talented Long Road bartender, Hayley Bogner. You can find Hayley mixing it up behind the bar at the distillery on Leonard Street and at Less Traveled on the East side of town.
Behind the Bar with Long Road: A Brother’s Favorite Order Inspires Hayley
by Hayley Bogner, Bartender, Long Road Distillers & Less Traveled
Oooh, sweet summertime. Out of all the places I’ve been, nothing compares to warm, sunny days in West Michigan. Fresh Lake Michigan water, bare feet in the sand, burgers on the grill, backyard bonfires, the lake breeze blowing through your hair, friends with boats-you just can’t beat it.
The warmer weather has me reminiscing on all the summer memories I’ve made throughout my life here in the mitten.
One of my all time favorite childhood memories would have to be trips to the local ice cream shop with my siblings. The excitement that lit up our eyes and our sun-kissed, rosy cheeks was always enough to make my mom give in and load us up into the car-even if it would be the third ice cream run of the week.
We would all carefully examine the menu posted up next to the ordering window, changing our minds a thousand times before finally making a decision.
My little brother, on the other hand, always knew exactly what he wanted well before we arrived-a chocolate banana malt. Time after time, his order never changed. Soon enough, his order, tried-and-true, became my frequent order, too.
Fast forward to our adult years, this milkshake is still my brother’s go-to ice cream order, and a core memory of warm summer days with loved ones. When I think of summertime in Western Michigan, a banana malt is one of the very first things to cross my mind.
So obviously, with my ever growing passion for contemporary cocktail creation, I needed to reimagine and recreate this summer treat. Maintaining that nostalgic, bold, rich banana flavor profile-without the sugar and dairy overload-is just enough to satisfy your sweet tooth and leave you longing for another.
After lots of contemplation, trial and error, and a slight obsession to create the perfect representation of my brother’s favorite indulgence, my vision became reality. That’s when “Oh Brother” was born.
Oh Brother Recipe
- 2oz Roasted Banana Bourbon
- .75oz Banana Almond Milk
- .5oz Malted Barley Syrup
- 2 dashes Vanilla Cacao Nib Tincture
Build all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and double strain into a rocks glass over a single large ice cube (or a king cube as the LR fam calls it).
For the garnish, sprinkle sugar atop a frozen skewered banana slice and torch the sugar until it’s golden brown and brûléed to perfection.
Close your eyes, take a sip, and imagine a summer filled with all the chocolate banana malts you could possibly dream of.