A Couple of Moonshining Snippets You Might Enjoy


Story by Keith Emms


IT’S ALWAYS lot of fun trawling through the net to find something interesting for my blog.

Here are a couple of little bits and pieces I thought were pretty interesting.

Moonshine Around The World

Obviously Australia and the US aren’t the only countries where moonshine is produced.

Nearly every country on the planet has some sort of homemade alcohol, some sorts more appealing than others.

In South Africa, there’s un-aged grape brandy called “witblits.”

The Congo has “lotoko,” a whiskey made with corn or cassava.

In Russia, “samogon,” which can be cheaply produced, is quickly overtaking vodka’s place as the preferred liquor, despite dangers of poisoning.

Alcohol is strictly forbidden by those who adhere to the Muslim faith, and several countries in the Middle East ban the sale of alcohol, including Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and parts of India.

In these nations, an underground liquor called “arrack” is made using various ingredients, often anise or fruit. Arak (same word, different spelling) is what it’s called in Indonesia… and my Voice of Byron mate Johnny Wright reckons it’s a definite hangover giver!

India in particular has been the site of mass deaths as bad batches of arrack have been laced with methanol.

Where Did the “XXX” Come From?

Before it became synonymous with adult entertainment, the “XXX” symbol had a markedly different meaning.

Most often seen painted on the side of a big clay jug, “XXX” stood for moonshine — more specifically, for moonshine that had been triple-distilled.

In the old days, the equipment for producing moonshine was quite crude.

After one pass through the distilling process, the liquor typically wasn’t all that strong and likely full of impurities. And it got a single “X” on the jar.

After the second run, the jar got its second “X”.

Then after the third run, the last “X” was added, along with the guarantee that the jug contained some serious stuff.

Until next time… Happy Distilling!


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