Drinking in prison seems to be a popular topic among those interested in prison life, and what it’s really like to live behind electric fences and locked doors. Any movie or TV show about prisons always seems to have at least one character who knows how to serve alcohol to other prisoners.
I don’t like it very much orange is the new black Because it’s very inaccurate about real life in a women’s prison. But there’s some truth to Poussey’s character, who knows how to make “toilet booze” out of “Kool-Aid, old fruit, ketchup, and moldy bread.”
If you’re familiar with the series, the episode where she gives a bottle of schnapps to some prisoners after a friend dies makes sense. However, her chances of turning down money from it really didn’t pan out, since that’s the reason people make these things in the first place.
So, today let’s talk about alcohol and prisoners. People are always asking: can you drink in prison?
In this blog post, I will cover the following topics:
- Can I drink beer in prison?
- How do inmates make wine?
- What does floral wine taste like?
Can I drink beer in prison?
Someone asked me if I could drink beer in prison, and the question baffled me. The answer to this is a huge “no”. Beer is not available at kiosks, and it is absolutely impossible to make beer.
there has never been The Shawshank Redemption style=”font-weight: 400;”> A situation where a group of prisoners drinks beer provided by a police officer. This would most likely never happen in a modern American prison.
In my experience, the only beverages offered to prisoners in the mess hall were milk or coffee at breakfast, and “juice” at lunch and dinner, which was actually a watered down Kool-Aid. Sometimes, they have the option of drinking tea. I’m not a tea drinker, so it never interested me.
On the commissary list, you can buy four different types of soda, with brands changing quarterly. Typically, you can buy Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Root Beer, and Dr. Pepper. But prison cafeteria committees, made up of inmates, often swap out root beer and Dr. Pepper and introduce other options, like Cherry Pepsi or Sprite.
You can also purchase flavored drink packs and juices, as well as coffee and hot chocolate.
How do inmates make wine?
speaking of alcohol Prison, it’s all about pruno or prison booze. Also known as toilet wine, spirits, beer, raisin jack, and moonshine, some inmates are allowed to make alcohol from what they can get from the mess hall or commissary.
The basic recipe consists of aged fruit such as oranges or grapefruit, sugar and water. Then, basically mash the fruit, add sugar and water, and mix it all together and seal it in a plastic garbage bag. The final step is to wrap it in a towel and place it in a dark place. After a few days, you’ll need to add some kind of yeast, usually slices of bread or crackers from the grocery store. Then, you have to let it sit for a few days to ferment.
It is called toilet wine because in cells with toilets, prisoners will usually keep the sealed bag in the toilet to reduce the chances of the police finding it. I live in a dormitory style house and there is a communal bathroom at the end of the hall, so stashing bags in the toilet is out of the question.
I have witnessed inmates stash their bags in the wing laundry room beneath the washer or dryer. That way, if an officer did find it, it would be thrown away and no one would get in trouble because it wasn’t in anyone’s hands.
To deal with prison booze, many facilities ban fresh fruit from the cafeteria, and they won’t sell sugar in the commissary. To tackle the sugar problem, all you have to do is buy ketchup because it’s loaded with sugar.
If they ban fresh fruit in the cafeteria, they usually substitute some kind of canned fruit. Food service workers will smuggle in canned fruit and potatoes to help start the brewing process.
What does floral wine taste like?
I never drink, so I’ve never tasted the prisoner’s liquor. However, I’ve heard from people who’ve tried it that it tastes awful, but it does the trick and can leave you whacked.
Worse than the taste is the smell. It does smell like crap. So, during fermentation, it’s a huge risk to open the bag to check the progress, because the smell will make you cringe.
However, you have to burp the wine so it doesn’t explode. It’s a pretty quick process, and there’s always someone looking out for guards while you’re doing it. To reduce the smell, people place a dryer sheet over the fan as an air freshener.
Prisoners who have a knack for making toilet wine — and can acquire the items needed to make it — can make some serious money if they make a living at it. A cup of this stuff could cost a prisoner a lot of soup (a packet of ramen noodles), stamps, or cigarettes.
Do you think you can drink toilet wine? Are you surprised that this is a real thing and not just something from a movie? Let us know in the comments below.
Sources: A Handy Guide To Drinking In Prison Pruno, or Prison Wine Do People in Prison Really Make Toilet Wine?