“It’s a beverage that deepens the friendships and strengthens the spines of mountain people from the Appalachians to the Urals. Its producers have been discussed and celebrated in books, movies and reality television for decades. It’s also illegal and producing it without a license can result in jail time.
“The product goes by many names—poteen in Ireland, samogon in Russia, “funeral tomorrow at 2 o’clock” in Tanzania. It’s moonshine, an unaged distilled drink that scores of countries produce as a cheap and often nasty way to get blasted. In “Moonshine: A Global History” (Reaktion, 2017), Kevin R. Kosar, a fellow at the R Street Institute, has produced an amiable little book that delves deeply into the culture and history of this ancient beverage….”
“Kevin Kosar, vice president of policy at the R Street Institute, recently released a gem of a book covering an oft-joked about but little understood topic — illicit distilled spirits. Titled “Moonshine, A Global History,” Kosar’s work uncovers some interesting history beyond the familiar perspective of the friendly criminal life of the ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ or the garish prohibition parties symbolizing ‘The Great Gatsby’….”
Winston Groome writes at the July 3/10, 2017 Weekly Standard:
“Moonshine always reminds me of the time the great P. J. O’Rourke got hold of a jug of the stuff in college and it caused him to be struck blind. It seems that O’Rourke and some of his buddies in Ohio went down into Kentucky looking for moonshine to bring back for a party that night. He drank from the jug—amount unknown—and by the time he awoke next morning all he could see was white! He spent several terrifying moments until, at last, he realized he was on his hands and knees with his head hanging in somebody’s toilet.
“With that warning ringing in your ears, Dear Reader—come, let’s investigate this 10,000-year-old phenomenon known as moonshine. Contrary to popular legend, “moonshine” does not take its name from dark Appalachian mountain hollows and a sinister time of night…”
“Much of the current demand for legally produced moonshine has been filled by small distilleries, who are often new to the booze business,” says Kevin Kosar in his book Moonshine: A Global History. “Moonshine is an attractive product for them—they can sell it and reap revenue right after it comes off the still. (Barrel-ageing spirits is costly; one must procure barrels, which are relatively expensive, and a place to store them. The spirits also evaporate, meaning less comes from the barrel than was initially put in.)”