What is moonshine? I get asked this at just about every party I go to these days, because it’s what I have been putting in my flask.

So the good news is, if you don’t really know what moonshine is all about, you’re not alone, and for a good reason. Real moonshine ranges from the tolerable, to the terrible. When I say real moonshine, it’s because not all moonshine you will see for sale these days, would I consider worthy of being called ‘shine.

What moonshine is

Moonshine is basically just the word for homemade, distilled, high-proof liquor. It’s called moonshine because it doesn’t really qualify to be anything else. You can think of it as it’s moonshine by default, not by choice.

What moonshine is made from

Just about anything can be made into ‘shine. Some of the more classic ingredients include bananas or corn mash.

Why some moonshine isn’t ‘real’

There are some companies out there mass producing moonshine and selling it in stores near you. I had Ole Smokey send me a couple of mason jar fulls, which inspired me to finally write this post. The thing is, a company like Ole Smokey is selling both real and not real moonshine. I simply can’t consider a 40 proof liquor moonshine, and since it’s made from grain mash, I think of it more as a cheap whiskey.

That being said, the apple pie moonshine is delicious, which is why it was in my flask. It’s dangerous, I warned you.

Now real moonshine, well that shit is not fun to drink. I’m sure someone out there makes some truly world class stuff in their back yard, but chances are any homemade ‘shine you get your hands on will make for a pretty great paint thinner.

Honestly, if you want to truly experience ‘shine, you need to find someone who made it themselves. But if you really just don’t have any friends who would ever do that, then go ahead and buy something at least 128 proof. If it doesn’t suck, you’re not trying hard enough.

PS. Moonshine is the kind of drink, where if you bring it to the party you get three reactions:

  • Some people will be curious and want to try it.
  • Some people will be terrified of it.
  • And some people will be pissed at you, because they know just where this night is headed, you sadistic bastard.