Moonshine is pretty trendy right now. I’ve seen a number of spirits producers introduce Southern-themed “moonshines” lately, and it’s making me curious: I know liquor companies aren’t actually making distilled spirits without a license and running them under cover of night, so what do they mean when they say “moonshine”?
Piedmont Distillers in North Carolina, makers of Catdaddy Carolina Moonshine, say this spirit earns the name moonshine because of the corn base, copper-pot stills and small-batch production. The company also makes Junior Johnson’s Midnight Moon — which is next on my tasting to-do list.
Information you get from the bottle: It’s 80-proof, it’s flavored … and they’re calling it moonshine. One of these things is not like the other! The branding does not affect the taste, and I will judge the product by its taste. However, someone in the marketing department is confused about what people who buy moonshine are expecting. Hint: A sweet, 80-proof spirit you can use to make a Cosmopolitan isn’t it. I say this because I think they might not be reaching potential fans due to conflicting branding.
Catdaddy has a nutmeg and vanilla nose — very sweet and dessert-like. If you like flavored vodkas, I’d recommend this to you. It has a little more kick in the finish than most vodkas (particularly American vodkas) but is very mixable and uniquely flavored. It starts with a spicy note, followed by intense sweet and ending with a little heat. It’s quite versatile for mixed drinks. I can see it in a mojito or a gimlet.
Photo by Piedmont Distillers.