Why is Moonshine Called Moonshine?

Why is Moonshine Called Moonshine?

Everyone at some point in their life, probably several points really, will stop and ask, “Why is such and such called X, Y, or Z?” Sometimes the answer is pretty straightforward, like pizza being the Italian word for pie or any other instance where English has taken an untranslated foreign word hostage and used it to its own end. Other times, the answer isn’t so simple. Case in point – the word moonshine. The origin and meaning may not be what you expect, or even what you think you might know.

The Best Medicine

The Best Medicine

It’s hard to make it through a day without seeing an ad for prescription medicine. It doesn’t matter if you’re an old schooler still watching broadcast TV and reading magazines, or a cord cutter hoping the “skip ad” option comes up in the middle of a boner pill commercial. From cancer, restless leg syndrome, depression, to diabetes, there is a pill for everything it seems.

Celebrity Spirits

Celebrity Spirits

Sometimes it's easy to forget that celebrities are actual people with their own interests and hobbies. After all, we almost always only see them in their role as entertainers. That one-dimensional image is easy to get locked into our heads. So, when we look at a celebrity strike out and do something outside of what they are known for, we instinctively take notice - assuming it's a celebrity we care about and not a Kardashian. These things usually end up being a fashion line, maybe a restaurant or a random side project apart from what they are best known for. Other times, it's something unusual.

The Art of Whiskey Tasting

The Art of Whiskey Tasting

The world is so familiar with the concept of wine tasting that it has spawned countless numbers of people who throw out all manner of wine tasting jargon while at parties or a fancy restaurant, even though they have no idea what they are talking about. They are also the type who hide their lack of knowledge behind a contemptible sneer when someone brings up whiskey tasting. Whiskey has every bit the levels of taste, aroma, and character as any wine, and thanks to the hard work and dedication of craft distillers around the world, everyone is starting to find out this remarkable fact for themselves.

2017 Distilling in Review

2017 Distilling in Review

What will historians say about 2017? Whatever it is, chances are they will need a drink first. Things have gotten so crazy in the world and national politics that when the Pentagon admits that UFO's are real, nobody notices. And with 2018 starting off with kids eating Tide Pods, chances are future historians are going to die from alcohol poisoning before they finish out talking about this decade. It will be up to us to make sure those drinks get made, so let's take a look at some of the big things that hit the craft distillery industry this year good, bad, and in between.

Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fingers…

Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fingers…

…Or maybe it doesn’t. I’m sure that you can find someone on Reddit that will swear up and down that they and a friend tried some in Europe, and some “super freaky” stuff happened. There are also the tales we heard in college where a cousin of a friend of a friend smuggled some in and had a bad trip where he ended up in a mental institution. Movies like Moulin Rouge with the green absinthe fairy scene don’t do anything to dissuade people from buying into this weird reputation of absinthe being the LSD of liquors. However, the truth is far less psychedelic.

Christmas Cocktails

Christmas Cocktails

It’s that season again, and chances are you will be entertaining at some point during the holidays. Or you may need to entertain yourself at one of those more boring parties with an open bar. Or maybe it’s been a long day of shopping or a night of hobnobbing at a dry party, and you need a drink to get over the trauma from the boredom, but you want to keep it festive, so a whiskey straight isn’t going to cut it. Whatever your reason, here are some great holiday cocktails to whip up.

Seasonal Pop Up Bars

Seasonal Pop Up Bars

We have all been to or at least head about bars and restaurants with crazy themes or a gimmick to get people through the door. Maybe the most well-known is the 20s style speakeasies all gussied up like a prohibition era bar, complete with a flapper on her iPhone. There are also your basic theme restaurants which are all over big tourist spots. Nashville has several “honky-tonks” around 2nd Avenue that look like a mix of saloons and cattle barns, sans the smell. We also have the big chains like Planet Hollywood and The Hard Rock Café in places like Vegas and L.A.

Blackout Tuesday

Blackout Tuesday

We’ve all heard of Black Friday—the day after Thanksgiving. But for those of us in the craft whiskey business, it's the Wednesday before, Blackout Wednesday, that kicks off the holidays.

Toasting Dad This Father’s Day

Toasting Dad This Father’s Day

Once again, it’s time for Father’s Day. The people who created this holiday really knew what they were doing by putting it after Mother’s Day. For one, it keeps mom happy. Second, Mother’s Day is more expensive. The gifts have to be more extravagant, the restaurants nicer, etc. Even the cards have more thought behind them and are fancier. This extra cost and effort can leave a kid’s wallet somewhat depleted once Father’s Day rolls around. All is not lost though.

7 Crazy Alcohol Laws Still in Effect

7 Crazy Alcohol Laws Still in Effect

Between temperance moralists wanting to create as much of a backdoor version of prohibition as they can and the politician's desire to squeeze every cent they can out of booze, the alcohol industry is bombarded by strange and arcane laws. And the stronger the booze, the more likely it is for a beverage to be hit by said laws. This usually shows up as legislation that prevents liquor sales in grocery stores or barring alcohol sales on Sundays. We have gotten used to those as being a fact of life, but some laws are just plain bat-$#!* crazy. Some are more funny than practical, but others are the kind that can put the damper on a good time while simultaneously not doing anything to fix the problems they were meant to solve. Take a look at a few of these.

Where is the Love for Rum

Where is the Love for Rum

One of the best things about the craft distilling industry is how it is changing the way people see liquor. For decades, it's been a giant corporate whiskey maker's game, with other spirits relegated to the minors or just something you add to make a proper drink. That glass ceiling was cracked when small distilleries showed that a better product could be made and that Jack, Jim, and Crown weren't the only choices around. They are also showing us that whiskey itself isn’t the only spirit that can be made with artisan attention to quality. This loving dedication to making some of the best non-whisky liquors isn’t without its pitfalls, however. Let’s use rum to illustrate this point.

Toasts for Any Occasion

Toasts for Any Occasion

It's not known exactly when alcohol entered the diet. Some experts relate it back to prehistoric times and fermented fruits. Others offer accounts of Ancient Chinese wine or Egyptian beer. But, regardless of where it started, one thing is indisputable about the history of alcohol consumption—it always led to a good time accompanied by some rowdy behavior and some loud noise.

The Water of Life, or Whiskey if You’re Irish

The Water of Life, or Whiskey if You’re Irish

Saint Patrick’s Day is a fine holiday. Something about getting rid of snakes, and achieving sainthood. It’s probably quite an interesting story, but I always end up coming back around to what makes the day great – whiskey. Specifically, Irish Whiskey because green beer doesn’t cut it.

Inauguration Inebriation

Inauguration Inebriation

Well, the big day is here. Inauguration Day. Now we get to see the peaceful transfer of power from the president to president-elect of the most powerful and influential nation in history. Half of you will see this as a rollback of the progress made on many fronts over the last fifty years. The other half will see today as the first day of a brighter future where the shackles will have been taken off the economy, after nearly two decades of malaise, and prosperity will return to all. To each his own. Don’t let this day, and your views on it ruin your relationships.

Holiday Toasts

Holiday Toasts

The year is almost over and now we turn to our friends and family to share the love and connection we feel to those closest to us. As much as we care about the people around us, sometimes it’s difficult to find the right words at the right time. As nice as it would be to sound clever or insightful, most of us end up droning on with uninspired crap like, “Sam you are awesome. And Linda, you’re also awesome. It’s been great and stuff.”

Get Ready for One of the Biggest Drinking Nights of the Year

Get Ready for One of the Biggest Drinking Nights of the Year

For those of us in the craft distillery biz, doing an extra bit of “product testing” on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is just one of the perks of the job. We aren’t the only ones wanting to do a little celebration though, or even a drink or two to forget. It’s an overlooked tradition that might be important for your distillery.

Favorite Presidential Hard Drinks

Favorite Presidential Hard Drinks

Every job has its own bits of stress that goes along with it, and that goes double for being President of the United States. Even during the years without wars and depressions, there’s always the other headaches that come from running the country. Past or present it doesn’t matter. It’s no surprise that most of our presidents liked a drink or three to deal with the long days, or to start one off. Most of them stuck to beers, wine, or various kinds of liquor. Not that there’s anything wrong with those choices, but a few of our past leaders liked drinks that were a little more exotic or exciting.