Part history and part how-to, Moonshine! is an exploration of American folk distilling (and its antecedents) from the 17th century to modern times. Making illicit spirits didn't die off with repeal of national Prohibition. In fact, there may well be someone making brandy, vodka, whiskey, or other spirits quite near you and away from prying eyes.
Since 2001, I've traveled around the world interviewing extra-legal distillers to debunk the notion that moonshining is a dead or dying craft. For fun, there are plugs and interviews at the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Publishers Weekly, the Los Angeles Times, Imbibe, and Wired. Since the book first went to print, there has been a seismic shift in American distilling and more than a few of the women and men I interviewed for this book have secured federal, state, and local permits to take their hobbies legitimate. With over 1,000 new distilleries in American over the last few years, more than a few make what many call moonshine. We may quibble over definitions, but we all agree that there could stand to be more people making quality spirits in the United States.
It's warmed my heart that modern "very small batch" distillers, far from being a dying breed, continue to send and bring me bottles and jars of hand-cranked whiskeys and brandies.
One of the more rewarding things I've heard from a reader was a vintner learning to distill: "Your book was like a handrail in the dark." It’s not the last book you’d ever need to learn distilling, but I put a lot of work into making sure it is a solid introduction, easy to understand, and (as Cicero used to say) no bull honkey.