Why would I be talking about Moonshine? Well, for a good reason. I had a telephone conversation with Jeff Peace, the founder of Bone Spirits in Smithville, Texas just outside of Austin, and his modern, very hip and environmentally-conscious distillery produces Fitch’s Goat Moonshine along with Vodka, Corn Whiskey and Gin. Bone Spirits uses local produce in their spirits line and after production the mash is used for feed or fertilizer – a valuable resource in the area. I haven’t tasted Moonshine, and likely never will, but thought it time I learned something about it (although the recipe below for a Sour Goat looks tasty), other than recognizing the Platte Valley jug on the liquor store shelf as one of those packaging dinosauers that has been around forever (Southern Living puts Platte Valley among the best “legal moonshine” (see below).
My research began with what is Moonshine whiskey? ” I learned that technically, Moonshine is not whiskey, although it is. Then I learned that Moonshine is also known as “hooch, and is the product of Americans who had lived through the American Revolution only to be charged a tax on liquors, after fighting the Crown to end taxes. Thus was born the backyard still with alcohol distilling done in the light of the moon. The story is longer and far more fascinating than this brief history, but I’ll leave that for another time.
Here are a few notes from some distillers very proud of their Moonshine:
True Kentucky Shine: Unlike whiskey, moonshine has no legal requirements. …when you really get down to it, moonshine is simply ILLEGAL distilled alcohol. Over here in Kentucky, we take our moonshine seriously, so if you do a little looking into the “art of moonshine,” you’ll find our “True Kentucky Shine” is just like the real deal. First of all, it’s made with what we consider a true moonshine recipe, 50% corn and 50% cane sugar, hence the name “True Kentucky Shine.” Due to us using some sugar in the mash, it can’t be called whiskey (refer to above explanation for whiskey if we’ve lost you on that point). Other distilleries have their way of making what they call “moonshine,” and we have ours. We don’t distill our shine to a pure alcohol (there’s an ethanol plant 5 miles away producing grain alcohol at 200 proof for your gas tank if you’re looking for proof as a sign of quality), we want some flavor to come through in the spirit itself. The flavor of our shine has influences from both the corn and the sugar, so it’s really in it’s own league when compared to an all-grain recipe. Furthermore, we only use white, food-grade corn. Source: Whiskey and Moonshine 101
Fitch’s Goat Moonshine is handcrafted from fresh-milled corn, slowly cooked into a sweet mash and triple-distilled to a most pleasurable 87 proof. The bold grain nose starts off peppery then melts away to a smooth finish of butter and berries. Those who seek complexity in a clear spirit will get an impressive kick from Fitch’s Goat. Source: Bone Spirits
Bone Spirits shares a “Recommended Libation,” the Sour Goat:
1½ oz. Fitch’s Goat Moonshine
½ oz. fresh squeezed Lime
½ oz. fresh squeezed Lemon
½ oz. fresh squeezed Orange
¾ oz. simple syrup
Shake over ice
Strain and serve on ice
Platte Valley Corn Whiskey: This one’s clean, light, and bright, with a subtle pear and vanilla finish. Source: Southern Living
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