The Art of Drinking Moonshine

Moonshine has had a bad reputation because of the stories that it could make you blind or paralyzed. Add to that the fact that its production increased when liquor was banned in the US. Nowadays, this name for most high-proof distilled spirits are legal in a lot of countries including Singapore.

How Moonshine is Made

If you go by tradition, the term moonshine applies only to corn-based unaged whiskey with a clear color and a proof of up to 190. According to whiskey lovers, the best moonshine are homemade and placed in jars. Its name probably comes from the nature of the distillation and purchase which were all done at night to avoid taxes and prosecution.

Although there are differences in the techniques and ingredients used, there are some common elements in homemade moonshine, such as the malt base which is a combination of rye, corn, and barley. Most moonshine are also produced in pot stills, but the rumors regarding the blindness and poisoning may be a result from contamination from the materials.

This is why you should only purchase products from legitimate distillers that do not use lead and other contaminants. Today there are nearly a hundred varieties of moonshine in different countries. In the Southeast Asian region, the following are the names for moonshine: arrack in Indonesia, lao lao in laos, langkau and montoku in Malaysia, lambanog in the Philippines, sura khao or lao khao in Thailand, and ruou in Vietnam.

Moonshine and Food Pairings

Most varieties of moonshine pack a punch (40% alcohol by volume) so it’s not for the fainthearted. The best way to enjoy it if you’re used to strong alcoholic beverages is to pair it with food to complement or contrast its aroma and flavors. Fruit-flavored moonshine for example is best paired with saucy barbecue, coleslaw, and sliders. Smoked meat with cheese and mashed potatoes will also make moonshine go down the throat more smoothly. Any juicy, smoky and heavily-flavored meal can be cleansed with a shot of moonshine on the rocks or moonshine cocktail.

Moonshine Cocktails You Must Try

The best way to introduce your friends to moonshine is to make cocktails. Here are some recipes you must try on your next party.

  • Salty Apple: 2 ounces apple pie moonshine and 2 ounces grapefruit juice
  • Chocolate Moonshine: 1 cup grain alcohol with 151 proof, 8 ounces dark chocolate, 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste, 1 ¼ cups sugar, 1 cup water, and 1 quart heavy or light cream
  • Ginger Snap: 2 ounces apple pie moonshine, ice, and 4 ounces ginger ale
  • Coconut Sunrise: 3 jiggers coconut moonshine, 5 cups orange juice, 1 jigger grenadine, shredded coconut, ice, and maraschino cherries
  • Moonshine Margarita: 2 ounces moonshine, 1 ounce triple sec, 1 ounce simply syrup, 1 ounce lime juice, and ice
  • Cider-Berry: 1 ½ cups apple pie moonshine, ½ pint blackberries, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 lemon juice, 750 mL dry hard cider, ice cubes, and 3 mint sprigs
  • Peach Cobbler: 1 ½ cups Everclear, 64 ounces white grape peach juice, ½ cup peach schnapps, 1 cup brown sugar, 4 peeled and quartered peaches, and 3 cinnamon sticks