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Drinking Moonshine

Hi All-

My wife surprised me last night with a bottle of Moonshine from Kings County Distillery here in Brooklyn. The thing is, I've never drank it before, and I feel silly even asking, but what is the best way to drink this? I'm mostly a vodka drinker, which I would have on the rocks, I prefer to keep it simple. The little bit I've read about moonshine says that drinking moonshine straight is a recipe for disaster.


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  1. I and everyone I know always drink it straight and chase it with a soft drink.

    1. to mix it can be considered a touch gauche and/or declasse. do expect stars to flutter 'round your head. but that's what a water back is for.

      5 Replies
      1. re: hill food

        If one is drinking moonshine, I reckon that considerations of gaucheness or being declassé are rather moot.

        1. re: Naco

          d'ya thinK?

          sorry, but I have known real backwoods makers/sippers who would sorta look at one like "well, what kinda clueless douchebag do we have here?" if you didn't just drink it straight. sure gag, pound the table, all acceptable behavior. hell puke if you must, but a mixer? not a chance. ok, maybe if somebody's grandmother wanted her thimbleful with a little water.

          and the impression is really all the same in the end, right?

          1. re: hill food

            Yeah, I agree. I was just chuckling a little at the thought of someone worried about seeming declassé while drinking some shine.

            1. re: Naco

              Gotta make sure all the snaps is fixed on the o'eralls . . . .

              1. re: Naco

                heh I knew what ya meant Naco...my all-time fave fan of the backwoods stuff has an MA from UVA but he'd never tell you.

                MCZ: this week, it's more about getting the tractor running so we can move hay bales and feed the cows. if I'm still stuck here this summer I may have to set up a still out in the woods.

                is there a how-to thread for that on this board? I know google can answer evreything including whatever number I'm thinking of between 1 and 10, but I DO trust the advice in these parts of the web.

        2. It's an 80 proof corn whiskey and sort of a gimmick, albeit a cool one. So, play along and take at least a couple slugs from the bottle. Otherwise, I'd just drink it neat.

          2 Replies
          1. re: MGZ

            what It's a legit thing? pass.I must have skimmed over the appellation.

          2. There was a posting I read on the CitySips' blog about Moonshine (not sure if it's the same legal version as you mentioned, but it will give you recipe ideas:


            Also, look up recipes for Midnight Moon (the link is from the company website but others exist on the web):


            Also, even illegal moonshine (unlike the legal version you bought that actually paid taxes) can be of great quality as well as aged. True Moonshine just means that it went under the tax and licensing radars.

            1. First, let's get the definition straight. No matter what some of these products call themselves (and I may be guilty of this myself one day,) Moonshine means it's made and sold illegally. If it's legal, it ain't moonshine. ;-)>

              That said, the product is an unaged whiskey. It can be drunk neat, on the rocks, or in a cocktail. They are an interesting distillery. The equipment they use is just a half dozen or so hobby distillers, run on hot plates. I had the exact same one which I used for prototypes at my first distillery, and I made some amazing product with these little five gallon stills. They are a legal and licensed distillery, but doing micro-batches. They are also outlandishly priced at $20 for 200 Ml. That's $100 a liter for unaged whiskey. My hat's off to them for getting that price.

              I haven't tried it yet, but I have tried dozens of unaged whiskies, I judged them at competitions, some are good, some are bad, some are great.

              I'll have some on the market hopefully by next fall. (Also some sugar wash "moonshine", which is a light white unaged rum, and the main style of "moonshine" made during Prohibition.)

              2 Replies
              1. re: JMF

                Thanks JMF for the info, looks like I'll be trying this out tonight.

                1. re: JMF

                  I'm a huge moonshine fan. Let me know when I can buy some!!

                2. Just by way of expansion here, if anyone wants a taste of moonshine without either paying large money to some hobbyist or risking the ire of the Treasury Department, go get some of that Chinese stuff (whose name I can't think of just now) - not the wine, but the distilled hooch. My brother-in-law passed me a bottle of that on a camping trip sometime back, and damned if I wasn't right back in Tennessee!

                  Yes, straight. Splash a little cold water in there if you want, which can enhance flavors and smooth it out. DO NOT follow the example of a fellow I heard of who came upon his hillbilly cousins with a jar of 'shine and a bottle of Jack Daniels as a chaser. He got it backwards, thought the jar was the (water) chaser, and proceeded accordingly while the cousins just watched and grinned.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Will Owen

                    or you could always mix it with cool aide, well at least thats what we did back in Franklin County VA, AKA moonshine capital of the world. Coughing, gagging, and pounding objects is standard protocol.

                    1. re: Taterbugruns

                      "...Coughing, gagging, and pounding objects is standard protocol."

                      Where I grew up, if you were coughing and gagging, it was time to pound on the guy that gave it to you. A bad economic decision underscored with a fat lip usually didn't get repeated.

                      Good shine should not do that to you -- and you shouldn't be drinking bad shine. For the OP, it's corn liquor, legally made. Drink it and enjoy the flavour.

                      1. re: Will Owen

                        Will, are you talking about this?


                        which is distilled from sorghum. I have a bottle at home, and while it's kinda rough around the edges, I have to say I like the flavor. A little sweet, with an interesting grain-like finish. It's really strong, though, 110 proof and not mellow like the 125 proof Booker's or even the 144 proof George T. Stagg...this stuff will burn.

                        1. re: ed1066

                          I do believe you've nailed it. That's exactly how it tastes, and all of the moonshines I've tried (none of which were legal, I might add) tasted almost exactly the same.

                          I'd forgotten that the Chinese use sorghum - there's a very good Chinese movie from maybe ten or twelve years ago called "Red Sorghum", and I think this is what they were making in that.

                      2. The only time I have ever drunk moonshine it was as shots. That was after many Hemingway daiquiris in my regular bar on a quiet night. I think moonshine kind of demands that it be done as shots.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: TheHuntress

                          Good moonshine is sipping liquor, right out of the mason jar.

                          1. re: JMF

                            Ha ha. The shots were on the house as I was asking what it was like out of curiosity - the bar staff joined us for the same reason (moonshine isn't done here). Next time when I go back, I might buy the jar for fun :D