This Is Bananas


Know this about Baltimore Style’s beverage writer Ginny Lawhorn: She is a cozy hugger. She’s also a champion present giver, a morale booster and a natural nurturer. It’s no surprise she works in the hospitality industry; she is the quintessential bartender, shouldering our load as she makes us a drink. She regularly refers to people as “beautiful humans.”

This Is Bananas
Ginny Lawhorn

When work is crazy, she says it’s “bananas.” When she is excited about something, she goes “bananas.” When our politicians turn preschool with their antics, she says they are “bananas.”

I love this old school expression of hers; it makes me smile every time she uses it

Cocktail clout

On the regular, Ginny stirs up the drinks we need at Landmark Theatres, Harbor East and is also the founder of Baltimore Cocktail Week. She has been known to organize self-care workshops during that week for bartenders in need of TLC.

She and her husband also owned Sticky Rice in Fells Point. They recently closed the restaurant, remodeled it and will be opening it soon with a new concept. It will be called Friends and Family and will serve all-day breakfast, including vegan options. I can’t wait to eat there. Put it on your 2020 list as well.

I don’t know about you, but I feel like the world has gone bananas. And I need a cozy hug right now. But I did what a good social distancing citizen is supposed to do at this time—I texted Ginny and asked her to make us a cocktail. I had the name picked out, I told her. Here’s what she sent with a note asking me not to edit too much of her own introduction. OK, fair enough. Enjoy, readers!  —JESSICA GREGG

From Ginny:

When Jessica reached out to me about our next issue, she thoughtfully suggested I make a THIS IS BANANAS cocktail. She light heartedly reminded me of the frequency with which I use the phrase in my ever-challenged attempt to curse less, and well, because it feels to me like everything IS bananas all the time.

When we spoke, I was deep in the throes of decision-making over bars and restaurants being closed for dine-in service. Obviously, this is the most responsible choice to have been made, though it brought to the surface the very well-known, yet not often enough discussed, fragility of small business. This is so especially true for those in food and beverage.

Her message brought an incredibly treasured laugh, and a pause of reflection, in a deep moment I won’t soon forget. To be so thoughtful while managing people through uncertain times is invaluable. Cheers to you, Jess!

Cheers to everyone navigating these bananas times gracefully while caring for others. —GINNY LAWHORN

This Is BananasThis Is Bananas

¾ ounces Giffard Banane du Brésil Liqueur

1 ½ ounces Monkey Shoulder Whisky

3 ounces premium iced coffee

1 ½ ounces unsweetened oat or almond milk

Combine all ingredients in a shaker over ice. Shake vigorously for 15 seconds and strain over fresh ice.

Top with a dash of cocoa powder and whipped cream if desired.

For a denser, Frappuccino-style cocktail combine all ingredients in a blender, add one scoop of ice and pulse blend until reaching desired consistency.

Don’t have those ingredients. That’s OK. Don’t make a special trip. Stay home and stir up this equally tasty drink.

2 ounces whiskey

4 ounces iced or cooled coffee, sweetened to taste

2 ounces dairy or alternative milk

One very ripe banana

Combine all ingredients in a blender, add one scoop of ice and pulse blend until reaching desired consistency.

Garnished as desired. I suggest chocolate covered pretzels, if available.

Want some ways to help the restaurant community at this time?

  • #CarryoutWednesday (or any day): Support small businesses by ordering carryout from your favorite local restaurant on Wednesday or any day. Check out this list from our sister publication, Baltimore Style. It will be updated regularly.
  • Baltimore Neighbors: When you purchase merchandise from your favorite small businesses, they receive $10 of the proceeds.

“I don’t want to go out. How can I help?” Easy. Make a contribution to your favorite servers and bartenders through Baltimore Virtual Tip Jar.

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