Pruno isn’t usually something associated with fine drinking. Also known as “prison wine,” it’s made with scraps of whatever prisoners can get their hands on: Citrus fruit, ketchup, bread scraps. As Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione says in the video above, “Most prunos are not brewed for taste.”
Most, but not all. In the series premier of the new web series, “First We Feast Presents… That’s Odd, Let’s Drink It,” Calagione teams up with celebrity chef Mario Batali to brew a batch of pruno, made from the scraps discarded by one of Batali’s restaurants, Eataly Chicago. Calagione’s idea for using the food scraps was inspired by New York chef Dan Barber’s wastED movement, which aims to cut back on the crazy amount of food waste (up to 40 percent, yikes) that occurs at every step of the food distribution process.
Obviously, Calagione’s brew is not the same thing as pruno. For starters, it’s not fermented in a toilet tank, nor is it strained through a sock. But the ingredients he uses for it—overripe tomatoes, rotten grapefruit, ugli fruit, stale bread, and demerara sugar—are definitely similar to the prison brew.
As for the actual flavor of Calagione’s pruno, which he names wasteNOT? Well, you can check out all the reactions in the video above, but the overall reaction from actual drinkers is positive, with most describing it as a light, drinkable brew (even though it packs a not-insignificant 7.1 percent ABV punch).
Now for the most important question: Where can we get it for ourselves?