Before it became a frat house party staple, Jungle Juice was American military swill. It was birthed in the jungles of the South Pacific during World War II, when military regulations forbade active-duty soldiers from importing any liquor or spirits from the surrounding areas. In response, the soldiers improvised. They distilled their own grain alcohol from fermented jungle fruits, mixed it with rationed powdered lemonade and concocted literal “jungle juice.”
Eventually the slapdash punch made its way from military camps to college campuses across America. Frat houses swapped out the soldiers’ shoddily fermented booze for cheap, store-bought stuff and developed their own secret, proprietary recipes—passing them down from class to class. Made in garbage cans, kitchen sinks or ice coolers, modern day Jungle Juice is usually comprised of whatever liquor is around (Everclear, vodka, gin, you name it), along with a melange of fruity liqueurs and juices. Improvisation is the name of the game. And that is often where the potent punch falls apart. So we, in the hopes of helping you make a Jungle Juice worth sipping (rather than chugging), made an actual recipe.
Our Jungle Juice eliminates the Everclear to make it safe for a Saturday evening soirée, and is a lot more manageable in size (most recipes we’ve seen make 10 to 20 gallons). A word of warning: This Jungle Juice may taste better than frat basement schlock, but its potency equals that of its college cousin.