As soon as you hear the word moonshine, you may think of some illegally distilled spirit!
Another common question around moonshine is if the drink would turn you blind. But those beliefs are ancient!
In recent years, moonshine has become quite popular. From whiskey and rum lovers to cocktail enthusiasts, almost everybody loves adding some moonshine to their drinks.
But the big question remains – how did moonshine turn into a popular American drink from one of the most illegal liquors in the US?
Thus, if you want to learn more about this unaged whiskey and find answers to all your questions, you might want to read on.
In this article, we’ll take you through everything about moonshine – what exactly is moonshine, how to make moonshine, or what does moonshine taste like.
Let’s jump straight into the article without any further ado!
What is Moonshine?
In a nutshell, moonshine is a type of homemade, unaged whiskey with a distinct, clear color, high alcohol content, and corn base.
That is how you would best describe a traditional moonshine. Most people called it a “clear, unaged whiskey.”
The old belief of moonshine as a potent spirit that may cause paralysis, death, or vision loss is long gone. Now, moonshine is one of America’s favorite liquors!
Moonshine was first introduced in the US by the Irish and Scottish immigrants during the 18th century.
Since its popularity increased remarkably, so did the interest in taxation. In 1791, there was an imposition of tax on whiskey production.
Thus, the untaxed production of moonshine was considered illegal.
This is why moonshine was usually produced at home and sold at night to avoid all taxations.
However, today, there are several authorized distillers and companies that manufacture high-quality moonshine spirits under the state’s legal requirements.
What Does Moonshine Taste Like? Does Moonshine Taste Good?
Moonshine simply means unaged whiskey, which is bottled right off the still.
Traditional moonshine used a corn base with a significant content of alcohol –as high as 190 proof. Thus, some people even compare the taste of moonshine to 151 rum.
If you’ve tasted 151 rum, you may already have an idea about the burn and kick of moonshine. Most traditional moonshines may have an earthy flavor.
However, today, several companies produce variations of moonshine. Thus, different moonshines may taste differently.
Here are the flavors of some of the most popular Moonshines from various manufacturers to help you get a better idea.
Tim Smith’s Climax Moonshine: This 90 proof moonshine is distilled from rye, corn and malted barley.
It has a mixture of both spicy and sweet flavors. This spirit may give a strong kick but is also surprisingly smooth.
Midnight Moon Moonshine: It is distilled from corn and is 80 proof. The liquor isn’t too strong but has a vodka-like taste.
Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine: It is 100 proof and corn-distilled. Some even claim that the taste of this moonshine is similar to that of the month-old Chinese white rice.
Hudson New York Corn Whiskey: This moonshine is 100% New York Corn-distilled product. Thus, you can expect some rich corn flavor in this liquor.
Kings Country Distillery Moonshine: Some say the taste of this moonshine is very savory and leans towards actual corn flavors. Some even compare it to the flavor of Tequila. This spirit is 80 proof and corn-distilled.
Best Ways to Drink Moonshine
The great thing about moonshine is that it is highly versatile. Thus, whether you want to turn it into a cocktail with some Jack Daniels, vodka, or rumchata, you can!
Here are some of the best ways to drink Moonshine:
Moonshine goes really well with lemonade. How? Because the strong flavor of moonshine can bring down the sweetness of commercial lemonade.
You can mix some moonshine with lemonade and throw in some ice cubes for the perfect summer drink!
Who isn’t a fan of the classic combo – coke and whiskey! Since moonshine is a type of whiskey, you can enjoy a great coke-whiskey cocktail out of this liquor.
Also, some sweet moonshines that have a high content of corn usually contain cola notes.
Pickle juice –
Many people enjoy drinking moonshine with a separate cup of pickle juice. Of course, you don’t need to mix both the drinks!
But what most people do is take a sip of pickle brine right after drinking a moonshine shot. This helps in calming down the burn caused by moonshine.
The pickle juice method is a great way of drinking moonshine if you have never tasted whiskey before!
Sweet Vermouth –
Mixing your moonshine with sweet vermouth is the right way if you want a stronger drink.
Though it is not an original Manhattan drink, you can still use the classic ratio of whiskey to vermouth, i.e., 2:1 while mixing the drinks. Once you mix the drinks, add some ice cubes for the perfect blend!
As of today, moonshine is anything but illegal! Traditional moonshine was not as pleasant with its strong earthy flavor and high burn.
But now, you can find a wide range of moonshine products with varieties of flavors.
The alcohol content also varies from one moonshine to another. Thus, it has become much easier to find a moonshine that suits anyone’s preferences.
If you are a diehard fan of whiskey and have not yet tasted this unaged whiskey, you might be missing out on something big!
Hence, go get yourself a bottle of the finest moonshine from your nearest store and try out these delicious moonshine cocktails!