Minions Cocktail – Kanpai Banana

minions bar

Universal Studios’ breakout characters finally get their own movie. After going viral in the Despicable Me movies, the Minions have arrived. Not that they need to get drunk to get into crazy shenanigans, but what would they drink? We explore, after the jump.

minion banana

Banana Kanpai Crema


  • 4 oz sliced banana (appx. 1/2-2/3 of a medium banana)
  • coconut milk (Kara brand used here)
  • sweetened condensed milk (Eagle brand used here)
  • 1 jigger aged light rum + new rhum agricole (Tanduay 5 Year Dark and Coeur de Canne used here), suggested ratio 1 oz + 1 oz


  1. Set out a 15 oz hurricane goblet
  2. Set aside a drink umbrella
  3. Add all ingredients to a blender pitcher with about 1.5-2 cups ice.
  4. Blend until smooth, then add to hurricane goblet
  5. Garnish with umbrella and serve with straw
In Despicable Me 2, they specifically say Kanpai, which means "cheers" in Japanese

In Despicable Me 2, they specifically say Kanpai, which means “cheers” in Japanese

What makes minions so funny?

I remember first watching the minions in the previews for despicable me, and wondered why anyone would want to watch these things? It wasn’t until much later it finally made sense. These creatures are the culmination of generations of audience research and comedy evolution.
To begin with, their physiology is set up to be a universal child, lovably cute without being cutesy. a) Overall child-sized height, making them relatable to children and precociously tiny to adults. b) oversized facial features relative to the rest of their bodies, in particular gigantic eyes. c) disproportionately small arms and legs, all the better to waddle and toddle with. d) Unnaturally saturated and even yellow coloring, so as not to evoke any particular person or ethnicity. e) baby/babbling language, almost intelligible like a child. It’s easy to empathize with someone who can almost but not quite communicate what they’re trying to say. Or that’s saying absolute nonsense that sounds totally real. All in all, they are planted firmly in the acceptance peak right before the uncanny valley.
That's good chibi, but it looks /normal/ for them.

That’s good chibi, but it looks /normal/ for them.

More importantly, however, the minions are incredibly physically expressive. Their body language and facial expressions aren’t subtle, or restrained, but echo through their whole bodies. When they’re excited, arms sincerely pump straight up, when they’re sad, they slump all the way down. Adding to that, their apparent durability makes for consequence-free violence.

So then what would they drink?

Now that we’re given an island background as their first landfall, we can work that into a recipe. The starting point is easy. Given their love of bananas, coconut makes sense as a tropical complement. As much as I’d love to use good Ceylon Arrack (a rum-style spirit based on coconut blossom nectar), that stuff is too rare and expensive in the U.S. (Someday, we’ll import the good stuff). Instead, we go for a full-fat coconut milk. Those two ingredients practically beg for rum, which we’ll split between light rum and agricole to get a broad-spectrum, tiki-level rum flavor.
Tropical Minion
For sweetness, there are plenty of directions to choose from. We could go general Caribbean and use molasses, Martinique and use sugarcane juice, or even South Pacific and use serikaya, a sweet toasted coconut jam. But in this case, there’s an even better island sweetener: sweetened condensed milk. Thick but still pourable, condensed milk has value not just as a dessert ingredient, but as a spread on toast out in places like Hawaii. We add all that in, and blend.

Does anyone drink like that?

Actually, Haiti has a native drink they call Crémas, which is quite similar. While they use both types of agricole rum (rhum, if you prefer in this case), it’s more traditionally made with the aged stuff, and no light Cuban-style rum. They also prefer even more condensed milk than we used, which makes the drink considerably sweeter. We toned it down to the upper limit of of our tolerance. The banana, of course, is new. Their drink is also mixed via stirring a large batch on ice or shaking individual portions, compared to our blended drink.

That...also looks really refreshing right now.

That…also looks really refreshing right now.

How does it taste?

Imperceptibly alcoholic, almost chewy thickness, and tasting like a banana candy, be careful with this one near small children. If they like fruit, consider this rocket fuel.

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