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Moonshine!: Recipes * Tall Tales * Drinking Songs * Historical Stuff * Knee-Slappers * How to Make It * How to Drink It * Pleasin' the Law * Recoverin' the Next Day Paperback – May 1, 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 85 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Food historian Rowley wants readers of this home-distillation guide to know something about alcohol and the law: "Without inspection and proper approvals, you are not permitted to make any amount for personal use. Not one drop." That said, Rowley provides clear and well-illustrated instructions for building a still, preparing a mash and distilling alcohol right in your own backyard. It's a complicated process, requiring a fire extinguisher, the skills of a good metalsmith and plenty of patience. For those without the time or skill, however, Rowley includes plenty of appealing recipes for cordials and cocktails that don't require homemade spirits. Fish House Punch, rumored to have left George Washington with a "crippling hangover," is a powerful mix of bourbon, peach brandy, Benedictine and dark rum. Simpler, and similarly all-American, is Cherry Bounce, made with bourbon, honey and a gallon of sweet and sour cherries. But Rowley's mother provides perhaps the best recipe, an easy maceration of fruit and sugar that tastes great over ice cream or on its own. Rounded out with trivia, tall tales and a brief history of bootlegging, a list of home brewing resources and a few warnings for drinkers ("Even for accomplished boozers, moonshine can make off with your dignity before you understand what's happening"), this may be the last book one will ever need on the art of in-house hooch.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Food historian Rowley wants readers of this home-distillation guide to know something about alcohol and the law: "Without inspection and proper approvals, you are not permitted to make any amount for personal use. Not one drop." That said, Rowley provides clear and well-illustrated instructions for building a still, preparing a mash and distilling alcohol right in your own backyard. It's a complicated process, requiring a fire extinguisher, the skills of a good metalsmith and plenty of patience. For those without the time or skill, however, Rowley includes plenty of appealing recipes for cordials and cocktails that don't require homemade spirits. Fish House Punch, rumored to have left George Washington with a "crippling hangover," is a powerful mix of bourbon, peach brandy, Benedictine and dark rum. Simpler, and similarly all-American, is Cherry Bounce, made with bourbon, honey and a gallon of sweet and sour cherries. But Rowley's mother provides perhaps the best recipe, an easy maceration of fruit and sugar that tastes great over ice cream or on its own. Rounded out with trivia, tall tales and a brief history of bootlegging, a list of home brewing resources and a few warnings for drinkers ("Even for accomplished boozers, moonshine can make off with your dignity before you understand what's happening"), this may be the last book one will ever need on the art of in-house hooch. -- Publishers Weekly, March 26, 2007
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Lark Crafts (May 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579906486
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579906481
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 8.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,046 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By D. Jones on February 13, 2008
Format: Paperback
Well, this will be short... The book covers everything you'll need to know to make REAL hooch, moonshine, "licker", etc. Whichever you call it, you'll know exactly the needed materials and methods to get the job done. Being an experienced brewer, I can tell you there are some pretty good (thou basic) recipes as well that'll get you started off in the right direction. After learning the basics, you'll be ready to venture off on your own in the recipe department and create virtually anything you can dream up. And as a passing point, if you get tired of making that ole 'Mountain Dew' and need to get to town, you can put that 'ole pot distiller' to use feedin' your work truck too. Lastly, the author really knows what he's talking about since he rates the other brewin books on the market in the back of his book, and I'd have to agree with his reviews since I've read many of the others as well. Here's to the freedom to create the drinks you like and to the "spirits" that's kept America goin' since before George Washington fired up his own personal still.
Cheers!
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Format: Paperback
Somewhere in the author' blog (Rowley's Whiskey Forge) Matthew Rowley states the following about this book:

"Since 2001, I've traveled over 14,000 miles and interviewed over fifty extra-legal distillers to debunk the notion that moonshining is a dead or dying craft."

Without a doubt, the knowledge and appreciation Mr. Rowley gained while conducting research for this book "shines" through on every page.

Accordingly, of all the volumes I've read on the topic of craft distilling, Moonshine is the most readable, pragmatic, and entertaining.

Given the book's numerous quotes, sidebars, recipes, and (yes), guidance on still construction, one might even say that it carries an important measure of forgotten United States culture.
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Format: Paperback
If you are looking for specifics into making your own whiskey, this may not be the book for you. But, if you want some basics and have fun reading them, then buy this. Easy nightstand reader that can be taken down to the basement when finished and put to good use. Good plans for making a still too.
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Bought the book for my husband who has enjoyed reading it. He said it is written very good and is informative, but doesn't know if it is completly accurate cause he hasn't tried making anything out of the book yet. A good read.
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How much you like this book is going to depend on what it is you are looking for. If you want the history of moonshine making, you are in luck, almost one third of the book is devoted to this. Want instructions on how to build a copper pot still? The book devotes a fair amount of space to this subject, and the instructions are very good. If you like dumb cartoons, you will be pleased since the book has (way too) many of them. Once you finally get down to the nuts and bolts of cooking up a batch of corn whiskey at home the step by step instructions are very good. Special attention is paid to the temperature ranges you should monitor to separate out the various components of the final product. The moonshine shows on television do a great and dangerous disservice by giving very superficial coverage to the real process. Case in point: The moonshiners are often shown waiting for the first few drops of product to emerge from their worm, which it appears they drink to test their new batch. Fortunately, this book makes it very clear not to go any closer than sniffing this stuff for identification purposes, since it can kill you! Bottom line is that this book is a worthwhile investment for the budding home distiller, even though it has what I would call a lot of wasted paper.
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Lovely little book for any friends that love a good, stiff drink. (Or any kind of drink, really.)

Got this for my best friend these past holidays, and might have to get MYSELF a copy: it's very easy to get caught up reading the anecdotes and little bits of history. Plus, of course, DRINK MIXES/recipes abound!

(Made a great themed gift with this lovely book, a fancy shot glass, and the replacement of one of our most beloved CDs of drinking songs: Whiskey in the Jar: Essential Irish Drinking Songs & Sing Alongs.))
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This book is great! It's a complete guide on how to make moonshine. It also has a lot of nice pictures and great background knowledge on moonshine. It's a very large book but I think anyone can be interested in it. Great value for the price you won't be disappointed.
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This book was easy to read, informative and well laid out. I bought two other books on hooch making and this one is by far my favourite. It is the only beginner book you will need to start your distilling journey.
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