”Well, between Scotch and nothin’, I suppose I’d take Scotch. It’s the nearest thing to good moonshine I can find.William Faulkner
Moonshine is a rich and powerful distillation that has had a rich literary history and a complicated political one. What isn’t complicated is the delicious flavor of this most notorious of alcoholic beverages. No longer illegal, there has been a growing body of delicious flavors and producers that are bringing this to the everyman. National Moonshine Day celebrates both its history, and its return to the market.
History of National Moonshine Day
The history of moonshine really begins with the history of the word, it’s an evocative term that brings to mind everything from faerie dappled hills to secreted copper stills among the hillsides of the Appalachian’s, but where did it actually come from? As it turns out the most likely origin is actually from Wiltshire County in England, which at one time held smuggling as one of its most important industries.
Moonrakers were smuggling Brandy, and in one case stored it at the bottom of a village pond. Late one night they were attempting to retrieve it when two customs officers came by to ask their business. Thinking fast, they responded that they were trying to retrieve a round cheese (The moon being made of it, after all) and the customs officers thought them simple. Thus the term ‘Moonrakers’ came to pass.
The term for Moonshine was thought to be derived from that story. But what is Moonshine? Moonshine is a white whiskey made by distilling corn, and it was thought that it became a popular income source in the Appalachian Mountains due to the difficulty involved in moving corn. The base ingredients in moonshine is a malt of corn, barley, and rye, and creates a delicious and powerful blend.
How To Celebrate National Moonshine Day
National Moonshine Day is best celebrated by heading down to your local liquor store and giving this fantastic drink a try. It comes in an incredible array of flavors, including apple pie (our personal favorite). Take care though, this is a drink meant to be sipped and treated with respect, especially given its 100 Proof nature. For those who may not be familiar with proofing, this means that moonshine is nearly 50% alcohol, high enough to burn. But you don’t have to drink it! Apple Moonshine Glazed Pork Chops can be a positively delicious way to use it without drinking it!