Have you ever noticed that banana flavor typically tastes nothing like bananas? Berry flavor tastes more or less like berries, but banana flavoring usually just tastes … yellow.
Where others might see little more than a disappointing dessert, hospitality industry insider Jeff Tomastik saw opportunity. He wondered why no one had captured the deliciousness of bartender-infused liquors in a bottle. “We played with this idea,” he says. “What if we could pioneer a new way of infusing alcohol with real fruit?” After a development process that took several years, Ambros Banana Whiskey was born. “Our sheer and utter belief in bananas is what got us through,” Tomastik says.
Infused at a facility in the Henderson Booze District, Ambros gets its authentic flavor by infusing actual bananas into whiskey. There are no fancy juices or artificial flavors. The facility features six infusion bins, each of which holds 12,000 bananas. The last delivery consisted of 48,000 fresh bananas, which are hand-peeled and infused into high-grade premium whiskey from Ireland.
Why bananas? Tomastik says it’s an extremely versatile flavor that can be served in tropical drinks as easily as in whiskey cocktails. The Ambros company set out to make one flavor well rather than as many flavors as possible: “We’re not a whiskey company that makes a banana flavor; we’re just a banana whiskey company.”
For now, Ambros—which could best be described as addictively, authentically banana-y—is only available in Las Vegas, at Lee’s Discount Liquor, Liquor World and bars, restaurants and nightclubs. The company plans to expand in 2019— to New York City, LA and beyond.