MOONSHINE: White Lightning, Mountain Dew, Hooch, White Whiskey, White Dog, Pop Skull, Bush Whiskey, Donkey Punch, Kickapoo and a host of other nicknames.
WHAT IS MOONSHINE?
Illicitly and illegally distilled and distributed corn liquor found chiefly in the areas of the southern U.S. Yes, ILLEGAL, though the term has crept into legal, federally monitored distilled brands in the last few years. Generally made from a corn mash, real moonshine - the kind made ILLEGALLY by Popcorn Sutton (more information below*) and his Appalachian brethren - is a high proof, clear whiskey. The word "moonshine" is believed to have come from a term for early English Smugglers combined with the fact that most moonshine was produced at night to avoid the notice of the revenuers.
Believe it or not, NASCAR is closely associated with moonshine. The earliest NASCAR drivers, like Junior Johnson, were originally drivers for the illegal whiskey trade who souped up their cars in order to avoid capture. Don't believe me? Just ask NASCAR.
Below are some of my recipes for homemade liquors and liqueurs. I've done tons more (I've even infused booze into whipped cream), I think I've think infused nearly every fruit and herb, and quite a few veggies, candies and spice, into some type of alcohol. I just didn't post all the recipes.
Technically these recipes are not really moonshine because I have not distilled anything, I have simply infused flavors into existing distilled booze. However, if you are like me, it's doubtful you have a copper still laying around your house either. But flavoring your own booze is almost as fun, and it's not illegal.
(Cocktails inspired by the movies, Oscar nominees and winners.)
DRIVING MISS DAISY, 1989
Nominated: Morgan Freeman - Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dan Aykroyd - Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Best Art Direction, Best Film Editing, Best Costume Design
Won, 1990: Best Picture, Best Actress - Jessica Tandy, Best Writing (Screenplay), Best Makeup
Golden Globes: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress
BAFTA: Best Actress
Daisy Werthan: What are you doing?
Hoke Colburn: I'm tryin' to drive you to the store!
Who doesn't love this film about an elderly Southern lady's contentious but admiring relationship with her African American chauffeur?
I loved the story and the whole cast and that theme song is a favorite of mine. One of my other favorite things about the movie is how Miss Daisy's car ages right along with the characters. It's a classic in my movie line up, one I watch at least once a year. Any movie that makes reference to the Piggly Wiggly always gets my vote.
It was also a perfect way to pun another Daiquiri for my movie themed cocktail series. Think of this as a mini Mojito, if you make this in a Collins glass and add soda you have a Mojito, but you won't have the fun cocktail pun.
DRIVING MISS DAIQUIRI
Watermelon Mint Daiquiri Cocktail
2 Oz. Bacardi Light Rum
2 Oz. Fresh Watermelon Juice
1/2 Oz. Fresh Lime Juice
1/2 Oz. Mint Simple Syrup
4 Fresh Mint Leaves
Garnish: Watermelon Wedge, Mint Leaves, Lime Quarter
Tools: Muddler, Cocktail Shaker
Glass: Punch Cup
Purée watermelon in a food processor, then strain into a small bowl.
Muddle the mint leaves, fresh lime juice and simple syrup in the bottom of your cocktail shaker.
Fill the cocktail shaker with ice, pour in the rum and watermelon juice then shake until well chilled.