Moonshine definition and recipe


late ME. [f. Moon sb. + Shine sb.] 1. = Moonlight sb. 1. Now rare or poet. † b. transf. (joc.) A month. Lear I. ii. 5. 2. Foolish or visionary talk, ideas, plans, etc. 1468. 3. Smuggled or illicit spirit. dial. 1785. †4. as adj. Moonlit; (of persons) active by moonlight or at night –1831.

A recipe for aguardente de medronho.

Pick the berries one by one when they are quite ripe. Remove all stalks and leaves.

Put them in a container and sprinkle with water daily. After a while they will start to bubble and liquefy. Stop sprinkling and leave them to ferment.

When they are fermented into a paste, cover the container with a thick plastic bag and put sand or gravel over it so that there is no air between the berry paste and the plastic. This is to avoid the top layer of paste souring.

The still must be absolutely clean.

Start by putting some water into the pot section of the still. It should be good drinking water. Then add the berry paste (make sure the top isn't sour; if it is, remove sour part). Add more water and mix everything together. The mixture shouldn't be too thick or too watery, and the pot should be filled at most to about 7 inches of the top.

Light the fire under the pot. The fire must be carefully controlled so that it is neither too strong nor too weak. Stir the mixture from time to time. When it is almost boiling, cover the pot. The steam from the boiling process is already firewater.

Set up the still and check how the firewater is running from it. It should run in a thin, constant stream. If it runs too fast, the fire is too hot. This will ruin the flavour.

The firewater is initially transparent in colour, but it goes yellow brown if stored for a while in an oak barrel. This also adds a nice mellow flavour to it.

large nude male holding cup full of grapes