The Presto Bananio

The Scuttling Tree

A 'Presto Bananio' packshot. Although Co-op banana milk is featured here, the Morrison's version is also highly recommended. Shot on large format Fuji transparency in my studio. The split banana in the glass is optional.

I don't drink - never have. I've gotten to be 59 without being once drunk or stoned. That's neither something I'm proud or ashamed of - it's just how things turned out. It's also quite rare, never having drunk, and I do have some interesting conversations with people, like me, with no religious reason or overriding health concerns, who decided not to imbibe. But it doesn't stop me designing my very own cocktail.

I have a few guilty pleasures, and one of them is banana milk. I adore it. Don't quite know why, just do - I don't buy it that often as these things, like chocolate, maple syrup and Bruce Willis movies need to be consumed in moderation. I also quite like Baileys as a taste, despite it having alcohol in it - so I thought to myself: Why not mix the two together, one part Baileys to four parts banana milk?

A Presto Bananio artwork

Where the name comes from. I'm a big fan of comic art, especially ones with bold colours, ben-day dots and a nonsequitous demeanour. I painted two of these - one is with a good friend of mine, Mike, and the other with one of our esteemed Fforganisers.

Despite the almost unanimous disdain this drink has received from friends, family and audiences during book tours, I rather like it. Sort of 'bananary with a hint of Irish Cream'. In my defence I have been reliably informed that banana milk - which actually has no banana in it - might be closer to how bananas used to taste before the the banana market was flooded with one easy-to-grow crop - the Cavendish.

In any event, this was my own creation, and once created, needed a name, as all good cocktails do. Reminded by Monty Python's legendary cocktails, viz, the clearly unpalatable 'Dog Turd and Tonic' and 'Mallard Fizz' which is always ordered with the caveat 'but go easy on the mallard', I needed an excellent name - so the 'Presto Bananio' was born, based around a painting I was working on at the time.

And so it was born. If I find myself in a hotel bar or a pub or anything, I ask for a 'Presto Bananio' and once I explain what it is, I either get a chuckle, that look that says 'twat' or asked to leave. But I have a feeling it could be something big, which is why I shot the packshot above a couple of years ago.

A word of warning: Please banana responsibly, and never, ever, think you can economise by using banana Nesquik. Don't. Just don't.

A Giant Banana Artwork

If you haven't had enough of my banana related tomfoolery, I had a large piece of MDF that begged being made into something - so painted Warhol's banana from the cover of 1967's 'Velvet Underground and Nico'. Warhol afficionados will know that the banana was a sticker that covered a felsh-coloured banana underneath with the phrase 'peel slowly and see'. The LP is still the only place you can buy an affordable Warhol artwork, although ones with an unpeeled banana can cost you upwards of 600.

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