Drinking Jungle Juice in Harlem?

A man known as Kool-Aid mixing multiple alcohols and juice at his home in Harlem to make a drink called nutcracker. He said he could make $700 in profit on every $200 to $300 in supplies. (Jennifer S. Altman for The New York Times)

Summertime, sitting on the stoop in the heat of Harlem sipping on an icy Nutcracker.

Not how I spent my August, but according to this great article in the New York Times, many folks in Harlem are doing just that. The Nutcracker is a heady mix of different liquors mixed with fruit juice and sold for $5 a pop by neighborhood bootleggers.

The Nutcrackers reminded me of the Jungle Juice I drank at many a party during my college days at UO. The “Juice” could be a ruinous cocktail for naive young undergrads.

Myself and my friends Dex, Ken and Sarah threw a party one time and fixed up two 10 gallon coolers of the drink and mixed in fresh fruit. The fruit soaks up the booze and it was truly the brave who “ate the fruit.”

I think our recipe went something like this:

1 bottle of 151 grain alcohol like Everclear or 151 rum

1, 750 ml of citrus vodka

1, 750 ml. vodka

1 750 ml. gin

1 bottle each of pineapple juice, orange juice and cranberry juice.

Ice and water to top as well as fresh fruit.

I can’t remember if the recipe was split into both coolers or if was four bottles of liquor for each cooler, probably the latter.

Well I ever throw a Jungle Juice party again? Perhaps not, but it could be kind of fun to make a small batch for sentimental reasons.

Who knows, maybe I could make a little money on the side selling cups of Carneros Nutcracker out at the marina.

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