White lightning. Hooch. Branch water. Whatever name you have for moonshine, there’s no denying that moonshine is making a serious comeback. Take a peek at your local liquor store’s whiskey aisle if you don’t believe us. Thankfully today’s moonshine brands don’t make the same death liquid of hte 1800s. Back then, the wrong batch could blind you or even kill you. Today, it’s going overboard that’ll make your stomach feel like death.
So if you find yourself at some trendy bar sipping on clear whiskey with an extra kick, impress your drinking buddies with these moonshine talking points — just don’t expect anyone to remember what the hell you said in the morning.
#1. IS MOONSHINE ILLEGAL
Yes and no. Technically, there is no legal moonshine. However, the term “moonshine” has morphed from discussing a backwoods illegal hooch into a generic, umbrella term for any illegally distilled liquor. Most often it refers to grain-based spirits like whiskey, or sometimes to sugar-based spirits like rum. The reason it’s clear is because it’s not given time to age in casks, because nobody knows when the fuzz might roll in with their straws, er, guns and confiscate the goods.
It’s also a good idea to keep illicit goods on the move to, you know, avoid detection. The aging process allows store-bought, legal whiskeys to absorb flavor from the wood, and then lets it mellow out some. Since moonshine isn’t allowed to age, it tastes a whole lot more like pure alcohol and has a definitive kick that even big, bad Jack Daniels can’t match. That being said, some diehards are down to slug it quicker than you can pound a Bud Light. Some moonshine brands, like Tennessee’s Ole Smoky Moonshine, even suggest cocktails to make with their hooch.