Moonshine trivia

  • A “tanker car” was a high-performance automobile, often a 1940 Ford with a supercharged Caddy engine and big trunk, that was used to evade reveneurs.
  • The term “bootlegger” was coined in colonial times, when moonshiners hid bottles in their tall riding boots.
  • The “foreshot” is the first few ounces that drip from a still’s condenser.
  • Glenn Dunnaway won the first NASCAR race by three laps with a former moonshine car, a 1947 Ford. But he was later disqualified for making illegal modifications. Judges figured out the car’s chassis had been shored up by spreading the rear springs, a favorite trick of bootleggers looking to improve traction and handling.
  • “Lead burns red and makes you dead” refers to the color of a reddish flame produced when lead-tainted moonshine is set on fire in a spoon to test for quality.
  • A basic moonshine fermentation “mash” contains grain, water, sugar and yeast.
  • In moonshine lingo, the term “catdaddy” means the best of the best.
  • Moonshine season lasts from June to October, the time of the corn harvest and when foliage is thick enough to hide illegal stills.

Cynthia L. Nobles