For my birthday, I was given a jar of Popcorn Sutton’s XXX Tennessee White Whiskey.
If you’re not in the know, white whiskey is pretty much the same stuff as moonshine, only considerably less potent. “Legal moonshine,” let’s call it. Popcorn Sutton, in particular, is a bit of a legend here in east TN. He was a legendary moonshiner, and was finally hauled in by the feds in the last couple of years. Rather than face a lengthy trial, an inevitable conviction, and subsequently die in prison he opted out in advance and hung himself in prison. I’m not sure if the brand wearing his name and face (as seen above) is tied to his family or not, but there’s an old tradition behind this stuff.
Here’s the problem. I don’t know how to drink this stuff. Sure, I could drink it straight up… but it’s not moonshine. Around these parts, I can get real moonshine; I can talk to a guy, who knows a guy, who gets it straight from the source. That stuff will knock me flat on my ass, and that’s the whole point to drinking it. If you want to drink moonshine, this is sissy stuff. Heck, that’s why they don’t even call it “moonshine”, but “white whiskey” instead.
I understand there’s been an emergence of white whiskey cocktails — I’ve even read some claim 2012 will be the “year of the moonshine cocktail” — but every recipe I find is more elaborate than my modest bar can manage. My wife and I keep a rather practical household, so I don’t see the appeal in buying bitters to make the same cocktail with repeatedly.
I’m looking for some suggestions on what I can mix this stuff with to serve without having to customize my bar for one drink. Simple is good, and if it ain’t simple then I should be paying a mixologist for it. So, who can help a fella out? How do I dress up this drab liquor?