This boozy chilled banana cream soup is a fun meal starter – 5 ingredients and no cooking. You can literally ‘whip’ it up in no time!
Spirits was a restaurant in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada years ago. It was in the first floor of the Seagram distillery building after it had been turned in to a museum… all very chic and chichi for back in the day!
History of Seagram’s
Seagram’s was once an an extensive operation that covered a couple of city blocks. It was made up of a distillery, a mill, a cooperage, barrel warehouse and administration buildings. Seagrams was a major employer in the area from 1857 to 1992. Click on the photo below if you want to see the City of Waterloo’s Heritage collection. It tells the story of the history of Canadian whiskey and the Seagram Plant. There is a ton of info and photos there. I have chosen a few excerpts to give you the idea.
‘Although the Seagram distillery in Waterloo was known for its whiskies, the plant also produced an array of other spirits for the national and international markets. In 1978, when the plant was operating at full capacity for domestic sales, the Waterloo distillery boasted a portfolio of 14 Canadian whiskies, nine liqueurs, six gins and seven vodkas. Several brands of rum were also bottled at the plant. In total, over 100 different packages were prepared at the distillery.’
‘Although the Crown Royal image has remained the same, the bottle and its labels have undergone a series of subtle changes since it was introduced in 1939. However, due to the brand’s original registration, the name Waterloo continues to be featured on the bottle’s front label even though the local Seagram distillery closed in 1992.’
The Seagram Company’s blended rye whisky Crown Royal, with its purple bag packaging, is one of the most notable success stories in the history of the beverage alcohol industry. Created as a tribute to visiting royalty, it quickly established a new standard of excellence among Canadian whiskies and remains one of Seagram’s greatest sales stories.’
Back then your employer was also a big part of your social life – there were company sponsored bowling teams, baseball teams, golf tournaments, picnics etc.
Today the main buildings remain and have taken on new lives, The Barrelyards is now an upscale condominium/loft complex, the Distillery houses the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), the administration buildings house Solé, an upscale restaurant.
This is what the Distillery looks like today, on the left – attached to CIGI. They are doing some awesome things at CIGI. You can click on the photo to learn more about their work in International Law, Global Security and Politics, Global Economy. I did say awesome didn’t I?
Okay- back to the soup
Spirits had this chilled soup on the menu in the winter months – hence the ‘Winter Chill’ reference. Bananas are available year round and the hit of liqueur adds a bit of warmth. The original was made with Cointreau but I use either Grand Marnier or Cointreau, depending on which I have on hand. I have written it with Grand Marnier and orange garnish. Spirits restaurant, spirits in the soup… get it? HA!
The restaurant served it as a full bowl of soup with rolls. I find it a bit rich so I tend to serve it in small portions- almost like an ‘amuse-gueule’. You could serve this at the table in small bowls or martini glasses. It would also be a great appetizer to pass to a large party or BBQ, using little shot glasses. (Okay..you almost can’t tell the difference here between soup and cocktail!)
You could switch up the liqueur in this – I can vouch for the Cointreau and the Grand Marnier but I think Sambuca could also be fun, or coconut liqueur. For non-alcoholic versions you could substitute orange juice or coconut milk. The ‘dainty’ servings above were made with Cointreau and used raspberries as garnish.
It only takes a couple of minutes to blend up. You can make it a few hours ahead and just keep it chilled. Don’t make it more than a couple of hours ahead or you risk it turning blackish.
The recipe as written will make about 4 half-cup servings. Halve it if you want to go for the ‘dainty’ experience!
Wine Pairing for Spirits ‘Winter Chill’ Banana Cream Soup
This could be a bit tricky because the soup is somewhat sweet. So you would want an off dry or semi sweet wine to pair with it. Think German Riesling or Gewurztraminer. An off dry Prosecco would be a good choice as well as an off-dry fruity Rosé would also work.
Spirits 'Winter Chill' Banana Cream Soup
- 2 bananas (ripe but still firm and not black)
- 1 cup cream I used 10%
- 1 cup cold milk
- 6 Tbsps Grand Marnier liqueur
- 2 peeled orange segments for garnish halved lengthwise so they will float (or fruit garnish of you choice)
- Blend all ingredients except garnish in blender. Pour into serving cups and garnish with orange segment or fruit of your choice.