Those of you who are unfortunate enough to either live somewhere other than Norwich or have something better to do on a Sunday than sit around in a trumped up library getting sozzled need not miss out on all the fun - why not try our delicious Pruno (prison hooch) recipe from our "How to..." guide to prison life, which appears in issue 20 of Now or Never! , alongside instructions on how to make a shiv out of a toothbrush and a tattoo gun out of a biro. If you're not reading this in prison, congratulations. You'll have to use your imagination a little bit.
How to…. Make hooch in the big house!
You should be able to get really quite merry by using few everyday items lying around your cell along with some stockpiled food items or purchases from the canteen. There’s lots of different recipes for prison moonshine, why not try swapping tips with your fellow inmates to get the best results? Here’s a classic from the United States to get you started.
Pruno An illicit wine originally produced by Californian inmates, the prevalence of pruno led to convicts in Lancaster Prison, LA County being denied fresh fruit at meal times. It’s also been responsible for a few botulism outbreaks over the years. Sometimes made with apples, this classic orange based recipe is derived from Jarvis Jay Masters poem, “Recipe for Prison Pruno” and has the potential to achieve an alcohol content of up to 14%. And give you botulism.
You will need -
10 oranges 1 small tin of fruit cocktail in syrup 200 grams of sugar - about 50 sugar cubes Water 6 teaspoons/sachets of ketchup
You’ll also need a large towel, a large plastic bag, and an elastic band.
Peel your oranges and put them in the plastic bag with the tinned fruit, juice and all. Seal with elastic band.
Mash it up into a pulp. Open the bag (carefully!), add a large glass of water and reseal.
Run a tap until water is steaming hot and place the bag of goo under it for 15 minutes.
Wrap your bag of rancid muck in a towel to keep it warm and hide it somewhere safe for 48 hours.
Try not to feel paranoid.
After 48 hours open the bag, which should have begun to puff up from the gases released as the fruit begins to ferment (try not to gag, it will stink to high heaven).
Add the ketchup and sugar cubes, reseal the bag.
Put it under the hot tap for 30 minutes.
Wrap it in a towel again.
Leave your stinky bag of goo hidden for 3 long, paranoid days, unwrapping every 24 hours to heat in water for 15 minutes. Warning - keep a close eye on the bag in case it swells too much and pops, nothing says “I’ve been making illegal hooch in my cell” like a wall splattered in pulped oranges and the vomit tinged stench of rotten fruit.
Strain off the liquid/spoon out the fruit mash - keep this as you can use it as the “motor” for your next batch (if you survive). There may be little bits of white mould floating around - hurrah, this is probably what ’s going to give you botulism!
Viola! Your very own pruno. Good luck.
If running the risk of botulism whilst drinking fermented ketchup isn't your cup of tea, why not try out some of our "healthy" cocktail recipes and kid yourself that you're better than the rest of us.