Long time readers of the Gateway Gazette may recall this familiar name!
Lex Monoxide was a regular column back in our print days and we're excited to announce that Lex is back! With his wit, charm, and colourful humour - we recommend that you hold on to your hats for this one!
Greetings mini Monoxides! It’s been a while since I belted out any food, booze or ranting reviews, so I hope you’ve been keeping well. Thought I’d get stumbling in the right direction by sharing my recipe for Apple Pie Moonshine. Just to warn you in advance, this might taste like dessert, but too much and you’ll wake up in the woods holding a half eaten bear leg.
I tried the Ole Smokey line of “moonshines” and really like the Hunch Punch, but calling the store-bought variety moonshine is like calling Tic Tacs OxyContin. Just because a producer throws a mullet on vodka, doesn’t make it moonshine. You can’t buy shine in a store because it’s illegally distilled corn whiskey. It’s also crafted by toothless hillbillies whose parents met at a family reunion. Well, that’s how it looks in my mind.
The Apple (pie) of My (bloodshot) Eye - It's time to shine! @LexMonoxide #Moonshine #Food #Reviews
You might not have a connection to the moonshine pipeline, but shine’s kissin’ cousin, Everclear, is legally distilled grain alcohol available in most liquor stores and is the closest substitute. It retails for under $40 and boasts a momma-slappin’ 95% Alcohol By Volume (190 proof). Right on par with moonshine’s alcohol content, that’s the kick we’re looking for.
We also need a nice spiced rum for this joy juice; something flavorful like Shipwreck, Baron Samedi, or Costco’s Kirkland brand, where you can smell and taste those exotic caramels, spices and cane sugars. Spiced whiskey will also deliver depth of flavor; Spicebox Gingerbread works nicely.
Alright, it’s time to shine. . .
750 ml. Bottle of Grain Alcohol
2 cups Spiced Whiskey OR Spiced Rum
4 l. of Apple Cider
15 Cinnamon Sticks
2 ½ cups Brown Sugar
1 cup White Sugar
1” Ginger Root (optional)
4 Cloves (optional)
Sealable Bottles or Mason Jars
Bring cider, ginger, cloves and 10 of the cinnamon sticks to a mild simmer and stir in the sugars until dissolved. Kill the heat and let it cool to room temperature. This will take several hours, but can be sped up by placing the pot in an ice bath in your sink. I recommend letting it cool the long way, as it gives more time for the flavors to mingle and coax more goodness from the ginger, cloves and cinnamon.
The importance of this cannot be overstated: Don’t add the alcohol until the mixture is at room temperature! The heat will evaporate the alcohol at an accelerated rate and no one wants that.
Mix in the grain alcohol and spiced rum or whiskey. Place a cinnamon stick in each jar and start filling them. I pour mine through a strainer into a pitcher first to filter out the solid ingredients and make filling the bottles and jars easier. If you’re using bottles, a funnel will come in handy.
Tighten the lids and store in a cool, dry place for a couple of weeks. I refrigerate mine to prevent fermentation. The other ingredients will take the edge off the alcohol flavors to give you a smoother finished product.
You can always jazz up your presentation for a few bucks by checking your local dollar store for cool bottles and labels. Enjoy. And, if anyone asks, the moonshine made you do it.