Crispin's "Banana Float" Cider


Listening (while reading/drinking): Cassette Riot - Paradise

The Scenario

The strong onshore breeze was constant like a blow dryer against my face; warm, humid and tropical, as I clambered over the dry sandy rock. Gently lapping, the sea's edge, warm and accepting as my feet and then legs sunk under and I slipped in effortlessly. Shoals of tiny translucent fish shimmered around me as tropical birds hovered casually in the wind, occasionally diving. My nostrils flared, as I caught the heady scent of flowers and exotic fruit, and breathed it all in deeply. My chest floated up, arching my back - like a banana, I floated - and as I lay my head back, I could feel the tension streaming out of my body and I was as one with the great expanse of the warm Caribbean...


So this is the little story I like to set, alluding to the cider's exotic fruity character, which was the inspiration for the label. She's suppose to be Mexican (hence Caribbean) rather than Oriental BTW and relaxing down in her floral bath as opposed to doing anything with bananas (or whatever).

The Blend

So 2018 was a good year for apples in the Exeter area. The local variety Hollow Core did well and I also got hold of some unusually large Black Dabinett. Some of the older trees contain varieties that never got officially recognised or have been lost to time. The blend contained a large proportion of my Mellow Yellows, an early one that tends to be over before I'm ready. Also another I call Pixie, small and green on a tree that looks more like a Holy Thorn.


The initial consignment was Draught (Polypins) and she went off to The National Collection of Cider & Perry where she was well received, Rod reported

Just off-loaded the cider, which is quite hard, thirsty work, so treated myself to a first taste of the Banana Float as a reward. Nectar! Thanks you so much. Please forgive me for asking, but are you a self-taught cider maker or has somebody been passing on their generations of experience to you.

Of course, we are forever going to be explaining to certain of our clientele that there are no bananas actually in it, but it will serve to make it stick in people's minds.


I started bottling, ready for selling at markets. As the draught, this was a still 6% cider, but pasteurised. Rod's observation was spot-on and I soon grew tired of explaining that it didn't actually contain any Banana, but that this was just a property of the apples I'd used.

To address this minor issue and since I prefer not to pasteurize, I put some aside in a dim corner to condition in the bottle. Renamed Bounty, in due course it came out at a respectable 6.2% with a light shimmering sparkle. Scrattings Craft Cider shop described it thus...

The Bounty was mellow, fruity and very easy going. It got better as the bottle went on as well.

Where Next?

So it seems she's got at least as far North as Durham, where danlo, a Rate Beer reviewer, gave this well-crafted description...

Slightly hazy orange golden colour with a thin white foam head that quickly dissipates away and aroma of fruity apple, some caramel. Taste is tart, fleshy, fruity, apple, orchardy, bittersweet with a little caramel and a mellow banana-like yeasty hint. Medium bodied, soft carbonation, dry fruity finish. Nicely drinkable.

Now she's off to the Great British Beer Fest (CAMRA) Olympia. Let's hope it's a bit of a heat wave to drive a good thirst for her tropical charms. Travel well my fruity one.


Photo of Wassail on the Exe by Jenny Steer © 2019

© 2019 Crispin Adams trading as Crispin's Cider, Licensed to Sell & Supply Alcohol