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From Shake 'Em Up! A Handbook of Polite Drinking (1930), page 46:

GIN PUNCH NUMBER ONE

  • 2 quarts of grapefruit juice
  • 2 quarts of gin
  • and one quarter cup of Five Fruits or Grenadine

Keep the punch in the ice box for two hours before serving time, so that it will be thoroughly chilled. Pour over chopped ice in the bowl and serve at once.

What exactly is "Five Fruits"? From context I infer that it's a sweet juice blend, maybe something like modern-day Hawaiian Punch; but I haven't been able to Google up anything about the name because everyone on the Internet wants to tell me about 1980s-era beverage Five Alive.

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Old advertisements show that it was made starting in 1900 in Portland, Maine. It consisted of a syrup made of pineapple, orange, lemon, raspberry, and strawberry juices with sugar, red food coloring, and sodium benzoate as a preservative. Unfortunately, I can't find anywhere what the ratios are, but I'd start by doing equal parts of juice in a 1:1 ratio with sugar for the syrup since it was compared to grenadine as being an analogous substitute.

Hay's Five Fruit Syrup

The Hay’s Fruit Juice Company was founded in the year 1900 and produced Hay’s Five Fruit, a fruit juice syrup used to make and flavor beverages and desserts. This album was created after September 1923, following the completion of additional construction to a recently purchased new factory at 55-71 York Street, in Portland, Maine. - Hay's Fruit Juice Company album

  • 👍 Great find, bravo! – Ken Graham Jun 30 at 14:59
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Although I am not sure what "Five Fruits" are I think I know what they are talking about. Having seen enough crappy fruit punch in my day, I am guess that they are talking about Fruit Cocktail from Del Monte https://www.delmonte.com/products/fruits/peaches/fruit-cocktail

It could be just the liquid or the fruit with the liquid. It has five fruits, Peaches, Pears, Grapes, Pineapple, Cherries.

enter image description here

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    Could it be more accurate if searching for "5 fruits syrup"? Actually, "grenadine" being a syrup, it could be close to the same thing. I don't think it can be about canned-fruits juice. Maybe 5 fruits juice? – OldPadawan Apr 6 at 20:09
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    If this is an old American recipe, it's probably something like Del Monte fruit cocktail. Seriously, this is something my grandmother would drink in Minnesota about 50 years ago. Plus, I couldn't find it in Mr. Boston and if it's not there, it's not a real drink! – farmersteve Apr 6 at 21:11
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    I spent way to much time looking for this. There are several references in the 1930s to "Five Fruits Syrup" but it must've been something that came and went quickly and there is no trace of it. Just use the Grenadine they suggest. – farmersteve Apr 6 at 21:39
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    I really think this is likely correct, but after my own search, I found an advertisement in a 1921 newspaper that sold “five fruits syrup” specifically; seems a bit odd to sell the syrup separate from the fruit and the syrup didn’t seem super popular in cocktails back then – UnhandledExcepSean Apr 8 at 0:11
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What exactly is "Five Fruits"?

"From context I infer that it's a sweet juice blend, maybe something like modern-day Hawaiian Punch; but I haven't been able to Google up anything about the name because everyone on the Internet wants to tell me about 1980s-era beverage Five Alive."

Due to the lack of historical data, it may be impossible to find out what exactly is "Five Fruits".

My own personal suspicion is that "Five Fruits" may be somrthing like the original Five Alive drink.

The original Citrus version: orange, lemon, grapefruit, tangerine, lime - Five Alive (Wikipedia)

Here’s a modern image of the drink

Here’s a modern image of the drink

The “Five” represents the five fruit flavors in the drink. There has been a total of seven varieties, but the original was a blend of orange, lemon, grapefruit, tangerine, and lime. I have no idea what this combination tastes like; I’ve never had Five Alive. The memory I have of this product is entirely visual, etched into my psyche from a passing glance in a grocery store some 22 years ago.

While relatively popular in the U.K. today, Five Alive’s accessibility in the United States is limited. How it fell into reticence is anyone’s guess. - Juicy Details (Five Alive)

Five Alive

Five Alive Varieties

You can always use the modern Five Alive drink or Grenadine if you want. The one quarter cup in the recipe could be for either a syrup or a juice. A syrup would definitely make it more sweeter.

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    Wow, that brings back memories. I used to drink Five Alive in my youth, but no longer have a good recollection of what it tasted like. – Xander Apr 8 at 18:29

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