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June 1, 2009

Speaking of moonshine ...

moonshiningRead Street Dave's timely, tasty comment about drinking moonshine got me thinking about the backyard brew I scored in college. I think it may have saved my life. Or almost killed me. I'm still not sure.

My freshman year, I went to the Sunshine Daydream Festival in Terra Alta, West Virginia.

Ever been up that way? It's good country. But I was totally unprepared. I brought one blanket and one change of clothes. It snowed.

I vividly remember huddling around a fire at 4:30 a.m. in the mountains as snow fell, afraid I might freeze if I fell asleep.

Someone was selling Mason jars full of fruit-flavored moonshine, and my buddy bought a whole bunch of it and passed it around. Each jar had little chunks of fruit floating near the top.

We could tell it was good stuff because even though it was freezing outside, none of the moonshine froze. That was probably the only good thing about it ...

You know how in those old Western movies, they call liquor "fire water?" After my first sip of Appalachian moonshine, I knew why. To this day, I think those jars of moonshine are the reason I have such a hairy chest.

Each jar had different fruit in it. I got one with strawberries and blueberries and another with peaches. It didn't really matter, though -- the liquor was so strong, it brass knuckled the fruit. I remember popping a blueberry in my mouth and biting down on it. It was like I'd swallowed a hand grenade.

Boom in my belly!

So how did this stuff save my life? It kept me feeling warm on a cold, cold night. I think this is actually incredibly bad for you, and can actually increase your chances of hypothermia. So I definitely don't recommend it. 

But I will never forget my frigid weekend in the mountains, sipping moonshine and praying for the snow to stop. 

(Sun photo by Lloyd Fox)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 1:34 PM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Random stuff


Love the Georgia Moon photo. That stuff is intense.

Man that was a damn good weekend, and damn cold. You didn't even have socks. I had to give you a pair of mine, which was tough cause i had berks too. But a good friend will always share his socks, or something like that. I burnt a hole in my socks standing too close to that fire.

I'm so glad i found this post, it made my day. I haven't smiled this much in a while.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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