Weather Returns to Perfection, Distilling Fine Pruno and Off On Vacation

Hurricane Ernesto has now completely blown by and the weather on Ambergris Caye has returned to beautiful.  Even almost Tropical Storm Gorden (out in the Caribbean but potentially headed our way) seems to have fizzled.  The sea is still churned up a bit…more chalky blue tan water than the usual crystal clear aquamarine but it will settle in a day or two.

Some of the beaches will require a bit more clean-up.  A bunch of sand has washed away or shifted…

To reclaim “my beach” at Royal Palms, they have started a project which will be going on for a few weeks.  Some buoys were set up yesterday to kick off the process.

Across the street, I’ve noticed quite a few people harvesting sea grapes.  I honestly didn’t know this pretty fruit was even edible.

Apparently, when these “grapes” turn red and then purple, they are very tasty and can be turned into wine.  I have tried quite a few local wines…wines that are brewed out of almost everything…but never the sea grape.

At the Belmopan Agriculture fair in June, I think I tried about 4 different kinds.  And that was barely scraping the surface.

I’m still kicking myself for not buying pucunuboy.  Or potato!  Good stuff.

Maybe it’s time I make my own wine.  A friend gave me the recipe for the seagrape varietal.  Combine red seagrapes, LOTS of sugar and a pack of yeast.  Put it in a bucket and wait. Watch out for explosions.

When I get back…if there are any seagrapes left, I’m going into the moonshine biz.  Just for home use…no need to alert the authorities.

The recipe is strangely similar to one I just saw on TV.   The recipe for PRUNO aka “prison wine” aka “toilet wine”.  I was just watching an episode of “Locked Up” (I am obsessed with shows about prisoners and prison life) that featured this jailhouse brew.  For more information, you HAVE to read the Wikipedia article on the beverage.

Here are some of the finer points:  Pruno…is an alcoholic liquid variously made from apples, oranges, fruit cocktail, ketchup, sugar and possibly other ingredients including crumbled bread.  The end result has been colorfully described as a “vomit flavored wine cooler” although flavor is not often the primary objective. Pruno is hidden under bunks, inside toilets…behind walls…

Can you see why I am fascinated?

I’m not sure what is most disturbing about this photo.  And don’t worry…I know my wine will taste much better than that.  And I would NEVER serve it to you from a plastic bag.  How gauche.

LASTLY, I am off to Mexico for a bit.  I love that one of my favorite countries is literally an hour or two away.  There are at least 25 amazing places to visit in the Yucatan alone… from Lake Bacalar to Tulum to Valladolid & Chichen Itza to Playa del Carmen to Merida & Uxmal to Cozumel  to Cancun.  Plus they have some of  the very best beaches in the world…and the best beers.

I’ll be off on the morning San Pedro-Belize Express water taxi to Chetumal to start the trip….and will keep you filled in along the way.  (I drew a very crude line on the bottom right hand side of this map to show you the 1.5 hour long boat route.)

Our number one problem when we get back from Mexico?  Whose toilet to use for brewing our sea grape wine?

And PS, someone will be condo-sitting my place in case you are the blog reading type who is up to now good!  And PPS, since hardly anyone reads Saturday posts, I am allowed to publish something this erratic.  Maybe no one will notice…

What was I blogging about one year ago today? I’m Looking For Guest Bloggers.  Guess how many responses I got in the past year?  Yup.  Zero.




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  • I kinda wish I hadn’t read this…I am going to be haunted by visions of pruno for quite awhile. Fruit cocktail? Bread? Say it ain’t so. Seagrape wine I would certainly try, however. It might be the only wine I could afford to drink in San Pedro! Have a wonderful trip.

  • Eek! I’ve drunk some artisan hooch in my time, fermented palm sap and another made from the fermented mulch of pineapple peelings, even Pucheen but Loo Juice looks too much for me!

  • Me

    Loo liquer. WC Whiskey. I needed a Brit in the mix. BTW, am in Cancun and I passed a few places that sold flights from Cuba to Cancun. Only 45 minutes they tout! Still nothing on Cuba – Belize. Though we’ve had refugees wash up in boats before…have you considered that option?

  • We are going to Chichen Itza for Dec 21 Maya Celebration and are staying in Valladolid for 4 nights! I am excited to be exploring that part of Mexico! We’ll be coming up from Southern Belize.

  • We’ve been doing the homemade wine here in Stann Creek – the first two batches were WAY too sweet…. trying a guava/cherry blend now.