We are gearing up for all things spooky this week, with this in mind we were trying to think about what terrifying tipple to explore. We were racking our brains for a link (bear with us), ghosts? Zombies? Vampires? Then we got to werewolves and more particularly when they like to appear, during a full moon! So moonshine it is!
Moonshine often conjures up images of bootlegging, rustic spirits and ghastly goings on. But on the other hand there are many producers making some excellent examples, which we will discover later on. So in this week’s blog we shall look at its history and how it is made.
Fundamentally moonshine is a distilled, unaged whiskey, traditionally homemade with a base of corn, but this could be replaced with whatever grain/fruit/potato that is available. This homemade spirit is the product of Scottish and Irish immigrants that settled in the southern states of the USA.
With its rise in popularity the government introduced taxation on distillation, thus causing the production of spirits to be made illegal. To avoid taxation its production and trade was pushed into the night, hence the name moonshine.
The US saw the rise of underground bars or ‘speakeasies’ due to prohibition and the same thing happened with moonshine. With the spirit being pushed underground the quality of the spirit suffered, thus leading to its poor reputation.
As we talked about earlier fundamentally it is an unaged whisky that is on the whole made from corn, but can be made from a range of different base ingredients, from grain to potatoes. It differs from other unaged spirits such as vodka due to the percentage it is distilled to. Mashed.com states “In the United States, moonshine can't legally be distilled to more than 80 percent ABV, and can't be bottled at more than 62.5 percent ABV”. With vodka being distilled up to 95% and being a purer spirit you get a lot more flavour characteristics with moonshine.
If you would like flavourful moonbeams dancing upon your tongue then you will love the moonshine produced by the Sweet Potato Spirit Company! They have produced a range of drinks based on the heritage of their North Carolina home. Unlike most varieties of moonshine they have used their sweet potato recipe, it is full of vanilla flavours and is extremely smooth.
You can not go wrong with the whole range with many of them winning Great Taste Awards. We recommend the Honey Moonshine, creamy and unctuous, this super smooth liqueur is blended with British honey and is perfect for sipping straight. Or for those with a sweet tooth The Pink Marshmallow Moonshine will be up your street! It works beautifully in a hot chocolate or a milkshake!
Why not explore the range of moonshine online or instore, they may even be some for you to try before you buy!
Photo by Sweet Potato Company