This was actually the first frozen cocktail recipe I created.
My fiancé loves it and insisted I put it on the website. I thought it was really good, just not as much as she does. Therese suggested I add some strawberries which would be a perfect complement if you need more than orange and banana. So I took her suggestion and added those in as an optional ingredient. By the way, if you add strawberries, you shouldn’t need the ice cubes.
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It’s critical that the banana be frozen. If you’ve tried freezing and defrosting fruit, you know what a difference it makes. If you’ve bitten into a fruit that thawed out all the way, you know that the defrosted version is limp and mushy. I know, this doesn’t sound good for a smoothie either, but it is.
I noticed the difference between frozen and unfrozen bananas awhile ago, but I finally researched why the change occurs.
When you freeze a fruit, the water inside expands as it freezes (as ice always does). But the water isn’t just inside the fruit; it’s inside each cell of the fruit. As the water in each cell expands, it breaks through the cell wall. This destroys the integrity of the fruit on a molecular level, hence the change in texture. (Source. I’m not sure what page it’s on, but I read the same thing happening with potatoes in this book)
By the way, this also happens to human cells when they freeze. If you’ve ever happened to wonder why humans can’t just be frozen and thawed out, this is one of the reasons. The cells in your body also contain water, and when it ruptures the cell walls in your whole body, there’s no way to fix that.
The cells are also made to hold the fruit together when they’re intact, but that’s compromised by freezing as well. The water that breaks the cells apart changes the composition of the fruit in a way I’ve especially noticed when making my smoothies. For example, if I make this frozen cocktail with an unfrozen banana, the result is much more gelatinous than it is with a frozen banana. A frozen banana doesn’t have the same sticky, gelatinous texture when it’s blended up.
I did some more research today, and found that freezing and thawing the starch in rice and potatoes “decreased springiness and cohesiveness.” (Source)
I believe from my own experience with frozen bananas that their starch also decreases in cohesiveness. In other words, they’re more icy and less sticky. That’s exactly what you want for a smoothie and frozen cocktails. Try it next time if you want an edible science experiment! You’ll see a real difference!
But if you’re just happy with a good experience, trust me, peel your banana and freeze it first.
- 1 ounce vodka
- 3 ounces orange juice
- 1 small frozen banana, peeled before freezing (or half of a large banana)
- 1 ounce water
- 2 ice cubes (or two strawberries)
- Whipped cream
- Combine the vodka, orange juice, banana, water and ice (or strawberries) in the blender and blend until smooth.
- Pour into a glass and top with whipped cream!
Enjoy! This is easy to make in large batches for parties as well.