We’ve all heard of moonshine before and have been curious about what it tastes like. Whether you’re part of the Dukes of Hazard generation or grew up hearing about “shiners”, you’ve likely wondered exactly what this “hush-hush” brew really is. This leads to plenty of research because there are those around who are creating fake moonshine that is not at all what they claim it to be.
Moonshine is not able to be defined as one specific type of alcohol, however, there is a specific factor to this name that is often forgotten. Historically, “moonshine” was any alcohol made illegally to avoid taxes or to circumvent the era of Prohibition. This term goes much farther back into history than this, as the name itself was given to ANY activity committed late at night or “under the light of the moon”. In this instance, we are simply referring to alcohol made outside of the regulations of the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco sales laws.
Moonshine itself is generally clear, un-aged whiskey, vodka, or rum. Yep, we said it. It’s just raw alcohol guys. However, it has one powerful kick. There are those who will complain that we’re not getting highly technical in our explanation, but the truth is, this is as technical as it actually gets.
For the purposes of simple explanation, we are sticking with the historical moonshine of the U.S. which is un-aged alcohol, clear in appearance, and well-known as a “sippin’ whiskey”. By keeping the explanation basic, it makes explaining what a fake moonshine is much easier. Perhaps some day we will explain precisely how this alcohol is made, but I’m pretty sure you have all seen the “still” from Dukes of Hazard or in movies to gain a pretty good idea.
Now that we’ve established that true moonshine is simply raw, un-aged, clear, and highly potent alcohol, let’s discuss the phenomenon that seems to be gaining popularity called fake moonshine. You’ve probably heard about it. Some random guy in the area selling “apple shine” or “peach shine”, etc. for outrageous prices per mason jar and you’ve been tempted to try it because you’ve never had moonshine before. Do not fall for the game.
If you do want to try it, remember that the price you’re paying is actually triple the price that person spent creating their fake moonshine. Yep, we said it, they’re basically letting you pay three times the value of a fake product. Sorry guys. It may be a painful truth, but it is, in fact, the truth. As for what you’re really getting (other than a splitting headache in the morning), the odds are that you’re paying for one of a couple different clear alcohols that actually have been aged and are NOT the “moonshine” you’ve purchased.
The most common alcohol used to create fake moonshine is the infamous Everclear. This alcohol has been the cause of many a headache, bar brawl, and forgotten episode over time and there is a reason many places will NOT serve it. While it does, indeed, possess a high alcohol content, it is not, in fact, moonshine. It is aged and processed. Moonshine is not. Simple facts.
No. The answer really is that simple. In order to infuse fruit flavoring in fake moonshine, it must be allowed to what? AGE. And what process does true moonshine not undergo? Aging. Therefore, no, you are not going to find genuine shine that has peach, lemon, strawberry, or any other imaginable flavor. Sorry guys. You either learn to love the bite of true shine, or you accept the fakes and their ridiculous prices with a large chunk of salt.
There you have it, guys. There is the truth about fake moonshine and why it’s not really what you’re being made to believe it is. Next time you want some of this stuff, just head over to the liquor store, grab a bottle of Clear, and pick up a bag of whatever fruit you want, because the cost will be far less than those false prophets are charging and we bet you have the materials to make it right at home (considering it is just a matter of heating up the Clear, tossing it and the fruit in jars, and letting it sit on a shelf). Happy “shining” and we hope you save yourself some cash next time you want a jar of flavored spirits.
If you really want to put that money to great use, check out a local craft brewery, like those in West Palm Beach! You’ll find delicious craft brews, some with the flavors you love, and the ABV could be exactly what you’re looking for.