Modern Moonshine: 'Artisanal,' Not Rotgut

Hot but illegal trend produces fashionable spirits
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted May 18, 2010 11:47 AM CDT
Modern Moonshine: 'Artisanal,' Not Rotgut
NASCAR great Junior Johnson poses with his Midnight Moon moonshine at the NASCAR Nextel All-Star Challenge in Charlotte, NC, Friday, May 18, 2007.   (AP Photo/Rick Havner)

Moonshiners these days are just as likely to be in a basement in Poughkeepsie as in a holler in West Virginia. Though homebrew is illegal in all 50 states, the trend is on the rise, writes Josh Ozersky in Time. And unlike the "mountain dew" of yore, these "artisanal moonshines" are 'very fine indeed," and mercifully don't result in blindness or death.

It's part of the "libertarian mood of the times," writes Ozersky, "and if its illegality adds a frisson of rebellion to the pleasure of making something good yourself, then so much the better." And although some mixologists give the new hooch rave reviews, not everyone's convinced: "Basically it's a way of cheapening spirits, by skipping the aging of whiskey," says one. "The best way to drink whiskey is not un-aged like that."
(More moonshine stories.)

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