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During my first winter break home after my first semester, I met up with an old high school friend who went to a different college than me. Sometime while catching up, he shared with an elaborate plan he made with his college buddies. He and his friends planned to go in the woods next to their school to make moonshine and then flip it for a profit by selling it to fraternities at the school.
He was super excited about this plan. He was ready to walk right onto the set of Shark Tank to pitch that shit and everything. I tried talking Mr. Boardwalk Empire back to Earth. After all, unless your college is populated by cartoonish banjo playing hillbillies, who the hell would drink moonshine? I don’t even think the people who make moonshine drink moonshine. Apparently, he told me, moonshine was very big down there.
For those of you who have never had moonshine, do yourselves a favor and keep it that way. Look, I’m used to subpar liquor, but like Billy Beane would say in Moneyball, there’s good alcohol, there’s shitty alcohol, there’s 50 feet of shit, and then there’s moonshine.
True story: The reason mixed drinks exist is because, during Prohibition, people hated the taste so much they were literally like “we HAVE to mix this shit with something fruity just to make it drinkable!” There’s no way to describe it, except imagine drinking something halfway between hand sanitizer and a liquid that burns on contact. I’ve had it a few times, unfortunately, and I’m pretty sure I’m immune to every disease now. Whenever a toxin enters my body, the moonshine burns it off, if it didn’t destroy my insides first.
The one part of his story that stuck out was that he wanted to sell the moonshine to fraternities, because apparently fraternities use moonshine. I never bothered asking him what exactly they use it for. Did girls show up to parties with empty water bottles filled up with half moonshine and half orange juice? Do guys sit at their frat house on Sunday afternoons watching football with a cool glass of moonshine in their hand? Did they use it to make jungle juice at their parties? Unless I’m missing something and there’s some magical jungle juice enhancing quality to it, jungle juice can be made with a million and one other things. Go to the liquor store, buy some plastic bottle vodka with a label hat looks like a third grader drew it on Microsoft paint and call it a day.
Moonshine apparently has a pretty high alcohol content, but there is zero advantage to using it. You can use a million and one other alcohols like Everclear and tequila. Why would you spring for something that hasn’t been relevant since Prohibition? Are you doing it for historical purposes? Are you running a science experiment? Do you just want to think to yourself “this is how people during the Woodrow Wilson administration got fucked up”? You can do some much better. Some things deserve to stay in the 1920s. Moonshine liquor is one of them.
I don’t know if my friend’s little boozy side business ended up working, but I always appreciated his entrepreneurial spirit. Who knows, maybe he could have been a trailblazer. Instead I’ll just stick to alcohol not made in a backwoods bootleg distillery..
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