During World War Two "Torpedo Juice" was, because of it’s recipe requirements, basically a Navy concoction. If you were a Navy enlisted man, after you sailed west from Pearl Harbor your chances of purchasing or obtaining alcoholic beverages were zero to virtually impossible. There were no cocktail lounges aboard ships and there were no exotic tropical bars on the little remote islands you might visit, or on which you might be stationed. Plus,"Big Brothers" – wearing the only bars one came into contact with – were constantly monitoring your actions. That’s where good old American ingenuity came into play. During the early part of the war torpedoemen (and others who handled torpedoes) on submarines, destroyers, destroyer escorts, etc. were often in a position to sneak small amounts of the pure grain alcohol that fueled the torpedoes. Now, one sneak didn’t amount to much. But if you could manage to collect a bunch of sneaks into a stashed bottle or jar you could eventually host a clandestine , but very noisy, cocktail party. Torpedo Juice Cocktails were usually a mixture of the pure alcohol and grapefruit juice, or orange juice. As for taste – there was none – other than the that of whatever you were cutting the alcohol with. Besides being tasteless the pure grain alcohol was colorless, flammable. and 190-proof . (Compared to 80 to 90 proof store-bought spirits) The first swallow of Torpedo Juice was an electrifying and jolting experience. Sort of like being kicked by a mule. You felt it all the way down to your toes – and then all the way back up again. It was really potent – and harsh!!! On an occasion or two I had the opportunity to sip the stuff and I can report that I didn’t find it a particularly pleasant experience. I’d be willing to bet that the majority of those, like me, who partook of the forbidden nectar would agree. But it was the "macho" thing to do. You held back any sudden shock or tears to show that you could handle the situation. At least you had the satisfaction that you were "beating the system". Wether or not that warranted the headaches, the sickness, the upchucking, and, perhaps, the resultant punishment, imbibing in the potent "white lightening"was up to the participant. But --on the other hand – when the opportunity arose – it seemed like the thing to do. It was the only alcohol available! When the military caught on to what was happening, they started adding a colored liquid to the alcohol to stop the practice. It worked! It wasn’t a poison, but it would sure make you sicker than hell. As for filtering out the offensive additive by running the tainted alcohol through a loaf of bread – I never actually saw this done. I never knew anyone who actually tried it. I never talked to anyone who knew someone who actually tried it. As far as I’m concerned this oft- stated claim is pure myth. As for me? I’ll stick with the next best thing ----- Martinis!!!!! (I purposely avoided telling the Marine side of this story because most of the time west of Hawaii and north of New Zealand was spent training and going to work aboard a troop ship – plus the fact that torpedoes weren’t part of their arsenal. Navy and Marine officers had limited access to hard liquor. The Navy did not run on an "Equal Opportunity" system.) vcs-ww2 . – . – .