Laura Vryhof/Demand Media

While mixing punch in trash cans was invented by college students, trash can punch is actually version of jungle juice. These two highly alcoholic mixed drinks are one and the same, but jungle juice actually was created out of necessity by American soldiers in the South Pacific during World War II. With no booze provided by the government, the servicemen fermented and distilled whatever they could get their hands on, often resulting in 100 percent alcohol distillates that they then mixed with government-issued lemonade. The recipe was passed by word of mouth to help pass the time and ease nerves during air raids. Today, the process is more refined, but the result is still the same: complete and utter drunkenness.

Tip

To make the best Everclear punch, it needs to be one of the two to three liquors in the recipe.

Try adding vodka and one other more distinctive-tasting liquor, such as tequila, rum or whiskey. Stick to half the amount of Everclear to equal parts of the other liquors to prevent the drink from becoming 15 to 20 percent alcohol.

When adding fresh fruit, you'll need to allow several more hours for the fruit to "marinate" in the liquor and liquids before serving time.

The Best Everclear Punch

Total Time: 90 minutes | Prep Time: 45 minutes | Serves: 25 people

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole watermelon
  • 1 whole pineapple
  • 1/2 bottle of Everclear
  • 1 bottle of vodka
  • 1 bottle of tequila
  • 1 bottle whiskey
  • 2 liters Hawaiian Punch
  • 2 liters apple juice
  • 2 cans frozen lemonade
  • 1 can frozen orange juice

Directions:

  1. Using a sharp knife, cut the watermelon and pineapple into chunks into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Pour all the liquor ingredients over the fruit, allowing them to soak in the alcohol for at least 1 hour and 10 minutes and up to 3 hours prior to the party.
  3. After the fruit has soaked, pour the liquor mixture with the chunks of fruit into a trash can, ice chest, sink or drink-dispensing cooler.
  4. Using a long-handled spoon or ladle, add the Hawaiian Punch and apple juice.
  5. Just before the guests arrive, about 5 minutes prior to the party time, add the frozen ingredients, mixing to combine throughout the drink.

Punch With Vodka as a Key Ingredient

Vodka Cranberry Holiday Trash Can Punch

Total Time: 30 minutes | Prep Time: 20 minutes | Serves: 20 people

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle of vodka
  • 1 bottle of gin
  • A splash, roughly 1 cup, of Grand Marnier
  • 2 liters of cranberry juice
  • 6–8 sprigs of rosemary for aromatic infusion

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a crystal bowl or festive punch bowl.
  2. Add the rosemary springs at least 20 minutes prior to your guests arriving to allow the aromatic herb to infuse the punch. 
  3. For a stiffer concoction,

    you can add other liquors like rum, tequila, gin or whiskey.

Tip

Vodka works well in holiday- or season-themed trash can punches because it allows other ingredients to color and flavor the overall mixed drink.

Summertime Poolside Trash Can Punch

Total Time: 90 minutes | Prep Time: 45 minutes | Serves: 20 people

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole pineapple
  • 1 bottle vodka
  • 1 bottle tequila
  • 1/2 bottle Everclear
  • 2 cans frozen piña colada mix
  • 2 cans frozen pineapple juice
  • 1 can frozen orange juice
  • 1 can frozen lemonade

Directions:

  1. Combine all the liquor in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Using a sharp knife, cut the pineapple into chunks and add to the bowl of liquor to soak for up to 3 hours, but at least 1 hour and 20 minutes prior to serving.
  3. For a festive flair, combine all frozen ingredients roughly 10 minutes prior to serving, and add blue food coloring to dye the concoction a teal color.
  4. Once the frozen ingredients are dyed, combine well with the liquor and alcohol-laced chunks of pineapple.
  5. Serve in an insulated glass to keep the drink frozen on a hot day.

About the Author

Molly Harris

Molly is a freelance journalist and social media consultant. In addition to Leaf.tv, Molly has written for Teen Vogue and Paste magazine. She is the former assistant editor of the Design and Style section of Paste magazine. View her work at www.mmollyharris.com.