Moonshine has a unique place in American history. More than any other type of alcohol, it is associated with a pivotal time in our country’s inception that paved the way for our social norms and culture around imbibing. “Shiners” developed their brew by embodying traits of intelligence, bravery, and a bit of devilish aversion to authority, bringing about the wonderful spirit we know as moonshine today.
The following facts are to be shared at your next social gathering, dinner party, or an intimate evening with friends; they are to be used as inspiration for sparkling conversation amidst delicious drinks. Here are some little-known facts about moonshine that may make drinking it even more scandalous:
XXX Found On Bottles Was A Code
Moonshiners used to label their jugs with a series of X’s to indicate the strength of the brew inside. If you were fortunate enough to get your hands on a batch marked XXX, you know that it had been distilled three times, so it was bound to be good stuff.
The Term “Moonshine” Refers To Illegal Activity
The term moonshining got its start in Britain and migrated west to refer to anything illegal that happened under cover of nightfall. When alcohol taxes leaped skyward prior to Prohibition, people took matters into their own hands, beginning to brew on their own under cover of night. Once it was discovered that moonshining could net a profitable living, many illegal operations made midnight runs in souped-up cars to outrun the long arm of the law. This practice of racing to outrun law enforcement gradually morphed into the racing circuit we know as NASCAR today.
Some Make Moonshine Dangerously
It was standard practice by most to take the first batch of moonshine and throw it out due to possible impurities, but not all distillers were so thoughtful. Using distillation practices that were less than sterile, many made batches with other trace chemicals that were damaging and, in some cases, lethal, to all who consumed it. It was generally a good idea to know who your distiller was before accepting a batch.
Whiskey And Moonshine Are Very Similar
The primary difference between whiskey and moonshine is that whiskey is aged. “White whiskey” is essentially moonshine, for it has not gone through the aging process. Because moonshine has a history of being made illegally, there are no clear regulations on how to make it. While legal distilleries have cleaned up the production process significantly, there are still rogue productions out there that try to make moonshine out of anything.
Moonshine Goes By More Than One Name
The list of nicknames goes on and on, but a few choice references to moonshine that stick with us are White Lightning, Happy Sally, Mountain Dew, and Mule Kick. No matter how you choose to refer to it, the essence of moonshine remains the same. With Mountain Dew morphing into a whiskey chaser, then to its own unique brand of deliciousness, we have moonshine to thank for the plethora of flavors, products, and offshoots that we see on the market today.
Moonshine Can Cause Blindness
Believe it or not, consumption of moonshine can cause blindness. Methanol, a byproduct of the distillation process, is the component that has adverse effects on vision. While most distillers who had any shred of integrity would discard the methanol before bottling and distributing, some people were less than straightforward, and they mixed the methanol in to produce a stronger batch. The unfortunate consumers of this tainted beverage had plenty to regret after consuming; tales spread far and wide about the dangers of unregulated moonshine consumption.
Moonshine Tradition Started In America; Now It Is A Global Interest
While illegal production and distribution began long ago, the first legal distillation and production operation occurred in North Carolina around 2005, with Piedmont Distillers selling fruit-infused batches in an attempt to restore moonshine’s reputation once more. Legal moonshine distillation has now spread globally to include countries like Libya, Russia, and Scotland. With flavors and distillation practices unique to each country, moonshine aficionados would have no shortage of taste sensations and experiences were they to embark on a world tasting tour.
Want The Best Moonshine? Contact Us!
Palmetto Distillery takes the best distillation practices and pays homage to bonafide shiners as our ancestors as we craft our award-winning spirits. Our knowledge of moonshine and quality distillation are rooted far back in Southern traditions, and we take pride in our legacy and our product. If you want the best moonshine that money can buy, look no further! Contact us immediately to set up a tour, a tasting, or to place a product order; you’ll treasure the one of a kind experiences only our moonshine can offer. Visit www.palmettomoonshine.com and savor the flavor!