Monday, May 12, 2014

I'm a moonshiner now!

Way back when I was stationed at Fort Campbell in Kentucky, some of my more adventurous comrades would go out in the woods and get moonshine. I don't know how they knew where to find it but they did. This was the stuff that came in fruit jars with tin foil lids. Since I had been raised to believe that drinking that stuff could render you blind (or worse) I never partook. I do remember my friend Paul drinking some while we were talking to girls at a party when the front of his jeans suddenly became soaking wet. He had pee'd himself while he was wide awake and having a relatively coherent conversation and had no idea that it happened. Up until recently, that was my experience with moonshine.
Back in January, Lee Nelson with The Florida Distillery approached me with a proposal involving his efforts to produce a legal, safe, smooth, tasty moonshine that people would be able to buy in stores and restaurants:

"This is going to be a VERY high proof product (109) and has a very light, almost buttery, profile to it... There is no other moonshine product like this on the market for two reasons: They usually price, package and sell themselves as a whiskey. Moonshine is unaged whiskey -- but it's significantly cheaper to produce and if distilled correctly can be lighter and smoother. Also, none of them are 109 proof... We are going to market it as the craft-mixologists choice and the 'affordable sophisticated' moonshine. So that's why I'm reaching out to you... One way we can unify the theme is with a short and intriguing story on the back of each bottle. It could be a single story line that runs across the bottles. It could be about four unique characters whose profiles are all written similarly. Or, why I specifically thought of you: It could be four humorous observations. About anything! It does not have to mention the flavor profiles but I would like it to."

I was beyond flattered so of course I said yes. Even more important than my being flattered was that it sounded like it would be fun so of course my yes was pretty emphatic. Now, just under five months after that initial proposal, Sunshine Moonshine was officially unveiled this past Saturday and will be hitting the shelves soon. There are four flavors: Sunrise, High Noon, Sunset and Midnight and each one has its own blurb written by yours truly. I'm pretty excited to see it in a liquor store when I will compare that experience with seeing my book on the shelf at a local bookstore. Another perk is that Lee and his partners gave me a case (one of each flavor). I have them displayed on top of my 'fridge, figuring that if I ever bottom out, I can drink it, get wasted, read the blurbs to myself, ruminate on a past when I was a big shot who wrote blurbs for moonshine bottles, look sadly into a mirror and then smash the bottle into the mirror. That'll be super dramatic!
I'll probably just drink it and share it with guests, though, the way it should be enjoyed.

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