Wine Spodee-O-Dee, Drinkin' Wine
February 1, 2006 3:17 AM   Subscribe

Spodee (among other spellings) is a Pacific Northwest party drink, a mixture of alcohol and fruit, frequently made in a trash can and left to marinate a day or two before the party. The origin of the word is unknown, but it seems likely to come from the classic R&B song "Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee" by Stick McGhee, which in 1949, was the first big hit record for Atlantic Records. (More inside, including links to sound files)
posted by litlnemo (60 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
McGhee apparently used "spodee-o-dee" as a nonsense word to replace the original lyric: "motherfucker." The song was covered later by many many artists, including Jerry Lee Lewis, Lightnin' Hopkins, Hank Williams III, and even Squeeze.

MP3s of "Drinkin' Wine" and other McGhee tracks can be found here (scroll down to "Stick McGhee Birthday Tribute").

If that gets you in the mood to try the drink, you could try a recipe like this, or this, or just play it by ear. Or try a more refined "spodiodi" like this or this.
Be careful with the spodee, though, or you might end up on the web in a tinfoil crown. (Not from the Pac NW? You probably know this drink under a different name, like "Jungle Juice" -- and Stick McGhee did a song by that title, too!)
posted by litlnemo at 3:17 AM on February 1, 2006

(Additional comment: I figured it was Northwest slang, but I was amused to see that every message board post I found that mentioned Spodee and included identifiable location info for its author, showed that they were in Washington or Oregon.)
posted by litlnemo at 3:20 AM on February 1, 2006

Yep, I do know it by that different name. In LA we call it "Jungle Juice"
posted by redteam at 4:09 AM on February 1, 2006

In the south it is known as PJ (for Purple Jesus or Party Juice) and Hunch Punch.
posted by TedW at 4:15 AM on February 1, 2006

I'm from the south and I've heard it as Jungle Juice or Hunch Punch.
posted by zardoz at 4:16 AM on February 1, 2006

I've only gone to one spoodee odee in my life and totally wrecked it (not on purpose).
Everyone else was dumping rum, whiskey, tequila, gin, vodka, etc into the trash can. I whipped out a bottle of peppermint schnapps. . .
posted by mk1gti at 4:28 AM on February 1, 2006

I love song story posts! Thanks! Oh, and in central Florida, I always heard it called jungle juice, but it was mixed up just before the party (rather than the night before) in a bathtub. PGA and fruit juice were the most important components, rather than fruit. The implication I always heard was that you wanted it to taste like fruit juice so the girls wouldn't know they were getting hammered. Oh, those 'innocent' early 80s, before "date rape" became a household term....
posted by kimota at 5:09 AM on February 1, 2006

"Dean and I had ended up with a colored guy called Walter who ordered drinks at the bar and had them lined up and said, "Wine-spodiodi!" which was a shot of port wine, a shot of whisky, and a shot of port wine, "Nice sweet jacket for all that bad whisky!" he yelled."
—Jack Kerouac, On the Road
posted by staggernation at 5:32 AM on February 1, 2006

In the Midwest, we call it wop (sp?).
posted by elquien at 6:09 AM on February 1, 2006

Gee, this sounds really good! My partner eats fruit. I think this could get fun! I wonder if Everclear (or the equivalent) is sold in South Africa? I've never had the stuff, but have heard about it over the years.
posted by Goofyy at 6:18 AM on February 1, 2006

What a tag lineup for just a drunken random mix of liquors.

On a somewhat related note, have a irrepressible urge for pruno just about right now.

posted by NewBornHippy at 6:37 AM on February 1, 2006

Gee, this sounds really good! My partner eats fruit. I think this could get fun! I wonder if Everclear (or the equivalent) is sold in South Africa? I've never had the stuff, but have heard about it over the years.

190 proof Everclear... the key ingredient in the trash can parties I attended at Georgia Tech in the 1980's (although it was rarely the brand name and usually obtained somewhere in North Georgia by someone who know someone.) Bacardi 151 is a decent, albeit expensive, substitute.

I didn't know "the trash can" had a fancy name. We just set one up near the door and as people showed up for the party, they poured in whatever they brought with them. Grain, Bourbon, Rum, Whiskey, and Gin were always welcome in the can. Non-serious drinkers who brought Creme de Menthe or Peppermint Schnapps or Bailys Irish Cream were treated like Cindy Sheehan at the SOTU and asked to leave.
posted by three blind mice at 6:39 AM on February 1, 2006

Yep, in the Midwest we call it "wop," short for "wopatooi."
posted by Coffeemate at 6:48 AM on February 1, 2006

In my experience, Purple Jesus and Hunch Punch were a mixture of Everclear and grape Kool-Aid, with no actual fruit juice in sight.

We did, however, do a version very similar to the liquor/fruit mix described. We called it Bwaah, since that's the sound one made a few seconds after taking a sip.
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:49 AM on February 1, 2006

Stick, of course, is Brownie McGhee's little brother. Hoy! Hoy!
posted by xowie at 6:50 AM on February 1, 2006

It's est if you make it inside a hollowed out watermelon with high proof liquor.

For big parties the trash can is key, no other vessel can contain that sort of volume. Once made a mix that somehow turned a terrible shade of brown. As the party must go on, someone simply hung a sign reading "DooDoo Brown" on the can and away we went.
posted by Pollomacho at 6:57 AM on February 1, 2006

In the midwest (Indianapolis) we call it Hairy Buffalo, and the recipe is lots and lots of melon and canteloupe, and a combination of all white liquors, in a bucket, deliberately kept room temperature. (Hairy Buffalo, even in places where you're *allowed* to have alcohol, is usually kept in the closet until party time.)
posted by headspace at 7:01 AM on February 1, 2006

Back in college, we used "jungle juice" and "trash can punch" pretty much interchangeably. We only threw a party with it once, though. We had made it beforehand in the kitchen: assorted fruit, Hawaiian Punch, and lots of alcohol. As the night went on and people dunked their cups in the brew again and again, the floor became a sticky red mess. That shit was hard to clean up...

We ate the fruit the next night and got buzzed all over again.
posted by thatweirdguy2 at 7:03 AM on February 1, 2006

We call it jungle juce in Iowa, and you're supposed to use everclear.
posted by delmoi at 7:11 AM on February 1, 2006

Best one I've seen was made in a paddling pool and involved straws to drink it. Aaah, good times in the arse-end of Coventry.
posted by patricio at 7:27 AM on February 1, 2006

"Porch Crawler"

Take a cooler that has a spigot in the bottom for drainage and add:

- 24 bottles of your favourite beer (Moosehead)
- 1 40 oz. bottle of liquor (rum, vodka, rye, your choice)
- 2 bags of ice
- 2 cans of frozen lemonade

Stir, use spigot for pouring and enjoy.
posted by Shfishp at 7:31 AM on February 1, 2006

In Canada, it's Purple Jesus.
posted by you just lost the game at 7:33 AM on February 1, 2006

I should say; in southwestern Ontario, it's Purple Jesus. Canada's a big place.
posted by you just lost the game at 7:34 AM on February 1, 2006

We call it hooch here in West KY, and it's usually served from one of those giant orange coolers with the spout at the bottom, the kind one usually sees on construction sites or on the sidelines at sporting events.
posted by cilantro at 7:39 AM on February 1, 2006

"Wop" in MN
posted by unixrat at 7:45 AM on February 1, 2006

Not exactly the same, but at Virginia we'd chuck some kool-aid mix and a few bottles of grain alcohol into a trash can, add water, and stir. Maybe cut up an apple to float on top.

Being clever little monkeys, we called this "grain" or "punch" or, sometimes, "grain punch."
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:46 AM on February 1, 2006

Rou, who got the honors of driving to WV?
posted by Pollomacho at 7:51 AM on February 1, 2006

western mass = jungle juice. with grain alcohol if you can get it. don't forget the pineapples.
posted by es_de_bah at 8:07 AM on February 1, 2006

Went to school in Washington State and called it -- bingo! -- spodee (spodie? spodi? we didn't spell it). I remember a good friend of mine, near the end of the party, leaning deep into the can to shovel the likkered-up fruit into his mouth, and stopping to yell "I can't get enough produce."

It's amazing how funny we found mimicry of late-stage alcoholic behavior.
posted by argybarg at 8:17 AM on February 1, 2006

litlnemo I couldn't get that tune out of my head for about 3 months. Thanks for reminding me...ugh.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:34 AM on February 1, 2006

"Hairy Buffalo"

That's a shame. In the civilized world, a "Hairy Buffalo," like a "Cement Mixer," is a drink you order for a friend. The traditional Hairy Buffalo is whatever's wrung from the bar rag into a shot glass. Usually reserved for 21st birthdays.

(We called this "Jungle Juice" in Michigan, but never left it to marinate.)

Pere Ubu's Drinking Wine Spodeeodee.
posted by klangklangston at 8:52 AM on February 1, 2006

For a nighttime cocktail, try Hypnotiq and Sparks (an "Ecto Cooler"). It turns lime green. The next morning, it's time for Andre (preferably Extra Dry, but Brut or Cold Duck will work too), orange juice, Sparks, and Framboise. No name for that one - just call it "Awesome."

P.S. - Make Your Own Pruno. (R.I.P. Blacktable)
posted by hypocritical ross at 8:59 AM on February 1, 2006

Rou, who got the honors of driving to WV?

This was 88--92, so they still stocked Everclear etc in the Virginia ABC stores. Or maybe not my last year. They may have just used normal vodka that year.

If it had been necessary, we'd have had people bring stuff back from DC, what with approximately 800% of UVa being from NoVA.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:28 AM on February 1, 2006

I'm not a religious man, but I swear I saw Jesus once at a Spodie party! A cute girl I worked with brought me home with her (I think with the intent of taking advantage of me) but quickly gave up when she realized how hammered I was.

It all started when I arrived early with my band and the host said,
"Hey dude, try the spodie for me, wouldja?"
posted by black8 at 9:36 AM on February 1, 2006

'jungle juice' is the name for poppers where i'm from, and this Spodee stuff is awful. I went to Seatle for some guys huge birthday party, and they offered us this stuff - It looked like fruit but tasted like 151. I haven't been able to look at tangerines the same way since. It's absolutely terrible stuff, do yourself a favour and avoid it.
posted by wumpus at 9:38 AM on February 1, 2006

When we made it my freshman year in the dorms at the University of Oregon we were calling it Jungle Juice until we started drinking it. Then we dubbed it the "Jim Jones Guyana Death Punch."

Never. Going. To. Eat. cantaloupe. Again!
posted by FYKshun at 9:40 AM on February 1, 2006

So many complicated names. I'm from Texas, and it's always called "trash can punch." And IMHO, it always needs Everclear.
posted by lunalaguna at 10:40 AM on February 1, 2006

I grew up in Milwaukee and we called it "whop-a-tooie" or somethgin along those lines.
The fun people were the ones who said "Oh, I dont' drink, I'll just have some of the fruit."
posted by Dillenger69 at 11:07 AM on February 1, 2006

This was 88--92, so they still stocked Everclear etc in the Virginia ABC stores.

I had a roommate who was a more recent UVA grad and would regale us with stories of the road trips to WV prior to the punch parties.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:32 AM on February 1, 2006

In Canada, it's Purple Jesus.

i'm in NC and it's always been purple Jesus, or "PJ," here also. Everclear, cut up fruit (pineapples, oranges, strawberries, some lemons and limes) and a few cans of juicy juice, always mixed with canoe paddles in a large plastic garbage can. You can't taste the alcohol until it's too late and you're face down on the floor. Very dangerous stuff.
posted by 3.2.3 at 12:02 PM on February 1, 2006

In NM we called it jungle juice. We soaked the fruit in everclear overnight, then added cheap tampico punch. This was all in one of those red coolers, though trash cans and bathtubs are also appropriate venues. Everclear is a must, though.
posted by sugarfish at 1:01 PM on February 1, 2006

At least where I am (Wash. State University) Spodee and Jungle Juice are two different things. I'm pretty sure Spodee is is described above and Jungle Juice is smiliar, but has fruit juice instead of actual fruit...
posted by Amanda B at 1:05 PM on February 1, 2006

Nothing like an alcohol post to bring the MeFites out of the woodwork. :)

The funny thing is that I don't drink, for the most part. But I have been to many parties where the spodee is the featured drink. Or snack, depending.

Actually, what I didn't mention in the post is that such parties are often called "spodees" themselves. "Hey dude, are you going to the spodee at Joey's tomorrow?"
posted by litlnemo at 3:19 PM on February 1, 2006

Johnny Burnette did a pretty rockin' cover of Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee.
posted by mrcircles at 3:45 PM on February 1, 2006

In most of NY, it was always made with fresh fruit and Everclear, and ti was called Wapatuli.
posted by oflinkey at 4:31 PM on February 1, 2006

Goofyy, any of the fierce white African rums like Mainstay will work. You can also use it to strip paint, start your car, go blind with, ...
posted by scruss at 5:03 PM on February 1, 2006

In the Pacific Northwest, we call it jungle juice. But maybe I'm just not cool.
posted by iamck at 8:46 PM on February 1, 2006

Or you hang out with too many Californians.
posted by litlnemo at 11:11 PM on February 1, 2006

We called it a Yukaflux party. :)
posted by Vamier at 9:14 AM on February 2, 2006

Another LA person weighing in for the term Jungle Juice. Last time I had this was years ago, tubing down the Kern river with a bunch of crazy people I worked with. We had a big ass cooler floating in an inner tube at center of the group, so everybody could reach.

All we had to eat that day was the fruit from the Jungle Juice, and I swear I've never been that drunk before or after that day.

Good times.
posted by Space Kitty at 11:59 AM on February 2, 2006

I'm from the PNW and we've always called it Jungle Juice... and we've always made it with Everclear... :)
posted by togdon at 11:59 AM on February 2, 2006

In Canada, it's Purple Jesus.

Wierd. When I was at McMaster and then later at UBC, in both places purple Jesus was Vodka/Alchool with grape Kool-Aid and/or Grape Jello. (Come back Purplesaurus Rex! All is forgiven!) Jungle juice was what we called trash-can punch.
posted by bonehead at 12:35 PM on February 2, 2006

North Carolina, late 90's, PJ. Made in one of those tupperware storage boxes with red koolaid, fruit cocktail and everclear. Halloween on Franklin Street....
posted by mbd1mbd1 at 1:13 PM on February 2, 2006

Yeah, Pollomacho, I went to UVA in the late 1990s and yeah, we drove to West Virginny periodically for Everclear resupply purposes.

We also regularly drove sixty miles (to Staunton) to go to the Waffle House before one opened in Charlottesville, but that's another story.
posted by killdevil at 3:44 PM on February 2, 2006

The White Spot wasn't good enough for you?
posted by mbd1mbd1 at 4:07 PM on February 2, 2006

While there may be those who like grape Koolaid in their Purple Jesus, the version I am familiar with was made from Evercleer and Welches Concord Grape concentrate, the type that came in a glass bottle and no longer seems available in that form. The grape flavor was so strong it masked the fact that the drink was half alcohol.

Btw: Welch’s Grape Juice does not provide protection against the avian flu.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 12:44 PM on February 3, 2006


I went. I don't remember much after that. (Pacific Northwest / Highschool in the early nineties)
posted by safetyfork at 2:12 PM on February 3, 2006

I've been to a lot of parties, but only one "Jungle Juice" party.

I don't think I've come so close to dying so many times at one party in my life. Fell off a balcony over a steep, wooded hillside. Was thrown fully clothed into a pool. Got flogged. Leapt from another balcony into a Jacuzzi filled with naked people. Got chased by cops into the woods, and lost them by diving head first into a thicket of brambles which - I discovered shortly - obscured a deep ravine. And most dangerously: Made out with my ex.

Odd thing was is I never even drank any of the special punch. I did eat some fruit from it, much later.
posted by loquacious at 2:39 PM on February 3, 2006

The fun people were the ones who said "Oh, I dont' drink, I'll just have some of the fruit."

That would have been me.
posted by Frisbee Girl at 3:13 AM on February 8, 2006

In my Northern BC hometown, I heard it referred to as (sp?) 'yukaflux'. Go figure.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:51 PM on February 13, 2006

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