Zemurray Cocktail

Because I’ve been on a sherry kick recently, I’ve spent a while researching and testing different cocktails that incorporate sherry. I stumbled on the classic Zemurray cocktail from the cocktail virgin blog. The drink originally hails from the turn of the 19th century in New Orleans and it was originally named after “Sam the Banana Man” Zemurray: a Russian Jewish business man who became the titan of bananas.

Sam started the now infamous United Fruit Company which was highly controversial for its role in subverting the governments of several Latin American cocktails. Sam’s innovation was buying ripe bananas on the cheap and quickly delivering them to local groceries.

Maybe not the best role model, but a fun historical reference. For the bourbon component, I used wheated bourbon (Makers Mark) in the cocktail to complement the banana with rich vanilla, caramel and sweet flavors. The original recipe calls for Palo Cortado, but I only had a nutty Manzanilla on-hand. I’m happy to report that it worked beautifully together.

Small glass next to small bottle ontop of table


  • 2 oz Bourbon(Maker’s Mark)
  • .25 oz Banana Liqueur (Giffard Banane du Bresil)
  • .25 oz Palo Cortado Sherry (Lustau)
  • 2 Dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
  • 1 Dash Angostura Bitters


Cocktail Glass (we used an adorable mini with a side car).


  • Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker.
  • Stir and strain into a cocktail glass.
  • Garnish with a cherry, or a plant leaf.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This error message is only visible to WordPress admins

Error: No connected account.

Please go to the Instagram Feed settings page to connect an account.