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PEI Moonshine


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In an act of utterly shameless self-promotion, I would like to draw attention to Ivy Ethier's piece in this week's Gremolata on PEI Moonshine.

Apparently the islanders have not abandoned this noble pursuit, and I was actually privileged enough to try some at a tasting, the details of which are recounted in Ivy's article.

Outside of Appalachia, I am not aware of any other North American hot beds of traditional home brew. But I'm probably just ignorant, so it would be cool to find out if there's anywhere else where they continue to fire up the still.

Cheers,

Malcolm

Malcolm Jolley

Gremolata.com

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  • 2 weeks later...
Outside of Appalachia, I am not aware of any other North American hot beds of traditional home brew. But I'm probably just ignorant, so it would be cool to find out if there's anywhere else where they continue to fire up the still.

They're still at it in Cape Breton; their moonshine tradition is at least as deep as PEI's. I had friends that'd get it from their parents...and I can still remember the drunk. Sort of. The stuff we had tasted bitter, earthy. I suspect it was made from potatoes, not molasses. Leave it to Islanders to need to throw sugar in there.

My mom grew up on a farm in central Manitoba, and her grandmother made shine from wheat or corn. Quite good at it too, apparently. Kept it in the fridge next to a pitcher of green Kool-Aid. She introduced my dad to it one day, and Dad had one glass and promptly fell asleep on her couch :laugh:

Todd McGillivray

"I still throw a few back, talk a little smack, when I'm feelin' bulletproof..."

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We used to get Mason Jars of "potato champagne" wrapped carefully in newspaper from our oyster fisherman in PEI hidden in boxes of oysters at one place I worked in Toronto.

It was doled out only to very special guests and was always a mainstay at any staff parties.

Not only was it great for giving you a steadier hand at oyster shucking competitions but it made a very good antiseptic as well if you happened to cut yourself. (as well as a painkiller) :laugh:

I don't think I was ever able to drink more than 2 ounces at any one sitting but then again, I don't remember much after drinking that stuff usually.

Keep on shucking

Oyster Guy

"Why then, the world is mine oyster, which I with sword, shall open."

William Shakespeare-The Merry Wives of Windsor

"An oyster is a French Kiss that goes all the way." Rodney Clark

"Oyster shuckers are the rock stars of the shellfish industry." Jason Woodside

"Obviously, if you don't love life, you can't enjoy an oyster."

Eleanor Clark

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My Brother makes up a batch of his famous "brandy" every year for holiday gift giving. :wacko:

His first experience in liquor distilling was for his high school science fair project. :blink:

SB (he was disqualified) :sad:

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In an act of utterly shameless self-promotion, I would like to draw attention to Ivy Ethier's piece in this week's Gremolata on PEI Moonshine.

And I'm so glad you did! Ivy's a terrific writer. I highly recommend that everyone read this piece -- it's a blast.

I'm surpised there's been no mention of screech, unless you're considering Newfoundland a kind of off-shore Appalachia.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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In an act of utterly shameless self-promotion, I would like to draw attention to Ivy Ethier's piece in this week's Gremolata on PEI Moonshine.

And I'm so glad you did! Ivy's a terrific writer. I highly recommend that everyone read this piece -- it's a blast.

I'm surpised there's been no mention of screech, unless you're considering Newfoundland a kind of off-shore Appalachia.

Screech is just overproof rum and doesn't really qualify as real moonshine.

"Why then, the world is mine oyster, which I with sword, shall open."

William Shakespeare-The Merry Wives of Windsor

"An oyster is a French Kiss that goes all the way." Rodney Clark

"Oyster shuckers are the rock stars of the shellfish industry." Jason Woodside

"Obviously, if you don't love life, you can't enjoy an oyster."

Eleanor Clark

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They're still at it in Cape Breton; their moonshine tradition is at least as deep as PEI's.  I had friends that'd get it from their parents...and I can still remember the drunk.  Sort of.  The stuff we had tasted bitter, earthy.  I suspect it was made from potatoes, not molasses.  Leave it to Islanders to need to throw sugar in there.

As the supplier of the above "shine", unless you have other sources, I have to tell you it did include sugar. The makers were friends of people who owned a bakery and therefor were able to order these things in large quantities.

Of course we never "knew" where it came from, it just appeared in the tool box of the tractor. Other times it showed up behind the seat of a truck.

I don't remeber an earthy taste possibly because it burned the lining of my esophagus, but I do remeber walking home. Thank God it was only across the hall. :rolleyes:

Edited by moira27 (log)
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There are small backyard stills in Southwestern Ontario making illegal eaux de vie, from raspberries, cherries, and plums, or whatever fruit is in abundance. It takes an enormous amount of fruit and is typically made by old timers from Europe. It could be a dying trade; there is very little of the legal product available now, and it is expensive.

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