Yesterday’s local newspaper ran an article on moonshine – the great illicit whiskey – white lightening – hooch – mountain dew – ah, you get my drift.  I don’t care what your pedigree is, if you claim to be a Southerner, there is somebody, somewhere in your family tree that has at one time or another done a little shining.

In my own family, apparently it was my grandfather who liked to tend to the still under the light of an East Tennessee moon. Then somewhere along the way, he went to a revival, found the Lord, and took up preaching.  As I write in Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen, “he built a church and nurtured a flock, all the while delivering another libation just as intoxicating as his moonshine.”

But now the infamous drink is becoming cool, hip, and worst of all, LEGAL.  The mystery and aura around moonshine will, I’m afraid, fade with the setting sun now that micro-distilleries are brewing small batches of rye, wheat and millet shine with cute, catchy names like Death’s Door, White Dog and Wry Moon.  Soon there will be moonshine-based martinis and other specialty drinks with even cuter names like Lightning Breeze or Corntini.

Please, please, listen to reason.  Some things just need to remain a little shadowy, a little prohibited, a little banned!

Posted July 5, 2010 at 1:28 pm · 4 comments · Leave a Comment


  1. Eddie Piper, July 13th, 2010, 8:40 pm

    I totaly agree, I just heard that you are coming to Chattanooga and I am trying to find out when and where you will be.
  2. Becky Brothers, July 15th, 2010, 3:55 pm

    Awesome post! I love to hear you say this about its illicit nature. It's no fun being good all the time!
  3. Kari, July 26th, 2010, 2:24 pm

    I was really hoping when I read "local newspaper" that it would link to The Tennessean...and then it did. Love it! I also love my dad's stories about buying bootleg whiskey by putting money on a lazy susan and having the whiskey spin back around. Ah, the South.
  4. Deana Watson, August 1st, 2010, 12:10 pm

    Ouch on keeping the moonshine illegal! I think it is time those of us born and raised in East Tennessee made a little cash on our talents! lol Unfortunately, I never developed this talent, but if canning beans, freezing corn, or crocheting ever make big money, I'm there! Here's to true East Tennessee tradition!

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Susan Gregg Gilmore