My sophomore year of college, I’d moved out of the dorms and into an off-campus house with five other girls. Unsure of how often I’d be eating at school, I advised my parents to sign me up for the Flex meal plan. Instead of a certain number of dining hall meals, I had a flat $600 to spend at any campus eatery. My student ID card functioned as a debit system and I only paid for what I ate. As it turned out, I didn’t eat on campus very often. By the end of the first semester, I’d only spent $100.
This wouldn’t have been a bad thing, except my parents had already paid my tuition bill for second semester without examining the charges. They had unknowingly added an additional $600 to my flex food plan and I didn’t realize this oversight until after it was too late to make changes. So, there I was with over $1000 of non-refundable cash that could only be spent on college campus food.
My darling mother informed me that there would be serious consequences if I didn’t "eat every damn meal on campus" and spend "every damn cent of that money" so I decided to get creative. One of my roommates had returned from a trip home raving about Wapatoolie (also known as Wapatuli/Wapatoola) that she’d had at a party. None of us in Buffalo had ever heard of this drink, so she explained that "Wapatoolie" is simply the proper name for a whole ton of bite size fruit pieces soaked in booze.
It sounded pretty delicious to me, so we set out on a mission. For a week straight I bought every overpriced fruit cup that the school’s dining service made. We scheduled a party, dumped all of our succulent fruit into giant buckets, then added generous amounts of rum, vodka, whiskey and gin (it’s really too bad I couldn’t buy those on campus too.) The fruit marinated for two days and we couldn’t have been happier with the results. The Wapatoolie was tasty and boy was it potent. I must say – the fruit pieces make it a much better mixture than its amateur cousin, Jungle Juice (and it’s quite a bit classier too.)
While home for Thanksgiving last week, I shared this story with my mom as we discussed punch options for the next holiday party. Although she was less than thrilled to hear the details of how I went about spending my extra food money, she did agree to make a less lethal version of Wapatoolie for the next family get together.
As we get into party season, I’d suggest that you do the same. Everyone loves fresh fruit and when you add alcohol, it’s even better! I recommend using fresh pineapple, apples, oranges, melons, grapes and berries with vodka. Make sure you let it soak overnight. Yum!