An Ode to Moonshine: Boozy Sweet Tea


I go through great lengths for moonshine.  To say that I would not be married to my husband without moonshine would not be an over-statement.

Not only did we drive to Tennessee to buy Popcorn Sutton’s ‘shine to serve at our wedding, but we also planned our honeymoon around a trip to a moonshine distillery in South Carolina.

But, let me back up a bit.  One year, or so.

My boyfriend and I were going through the growing pains of a relationship that was about to turn serious:  we were on a break.  Miserable without each other, but not quite ready to admit that, I settled into a Saturday night on the couch with a bowl of homemade soup.  He started calling me, begging to come over and talk.  I didn’t want to talk to him.  I was trying to move on.  He came over anyway.

I heard his truck tires crunch on the gravel road and it made me smile.  I hated myself for it.  I wanted to be done with him!  I opened the door and he’s leaning up against the door frame in Wranglers and muddy boots, and has a glass jug of moonshine looped around his finger.  He tells me we’re going to drink this and work out our problems.

We sipped the ‘shine on my couch.  It was hard to talk about our problems at first, but then it got easier, as the moonshine slid around our veins.

Clearly too drunk to drive home, I relegated him to the couch.  I’m a Southern lady after all, and I’m not sharing my bed with a man who shows up to my house uninvited with liquor as the solution to our problems.

I don’t remember much of what happened next, except that I got very sick.  I’m telling you honestly that I had no more than 3 sips of moonshine, so I knew it wasn’t the booze.  It was most likely the emotional roller coaster that happens in your heart when you meet the person you’re meant to spend your life with, and you try to fight it with all your strength.

Clearly incapacitated, he stepped in to take care of me.  I woke up a few times in the night to be sick, and each time, he was there for me.  At one point, I remember waking up and seeing him scrubbing my vomit out of the carpet (I am eternally sorry for mentioning vomit on a food blog). 

I woke up around sunrise to find him sleeping next to me, on top of the covers with his boots on.  As soon as he saw that I was awake, he jumped out of bed.  He returned to my room moments later with a jar of kombucha and my favorite flavor of sparkling water.  He had sobered up in the middle of the night and driven to the market to buy me all sorts of tummy soothers:  ginger candy, spicy ginger ale, and Gatorade were also in the bag.

Two weeks later, we were learning about cut, color and clarity of diamonds and discussing my engagement ring setting.  Ladies, there’s just something about a man who scrubs your vomit out of the carpet (sorry again).

During our wedding planning, we were dreaming up things for our guests to do while we took our first photos as husband and wife.  We elected not to see each other before the wedding, so we knew photos would take some time.  He had the idea to distract our guests with a whiskey tasting.  White lightning was the top of the list.  We were visiting his family in Georgia when we decided to take a quick trip up to Tennessee to buy Popcorn’s famous moonshine.  We bought some for the wedding and also a personal jar for us.

We opened the jar that night, took a sip and smiled.  And then I vomited everywhere.  Just kidding.

On our honeymoon, we were like two kids in a candy store (or two kids with a fake ID in a liquor store?) at the Firefly distillery in South Carolina.  We tasted everything.  Every flavor from peach, strawberry, caramel, cherry to plain.  We loved them all, and smiled knowing that this sweet fermented juice from corn brought us together. 

And if anything ever threatened to tear us apart, we are only one jar away from solving our problems.



Boozy Sweet Tea
yields 2 glasses
Boozy Sweet Tea:
  • 2 black pekoe tea bags
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 shots Firefly peach moonshine
  1. In a 2-cup measuring glass, add the tea bags and boiling water. Let steep for 5 minutes. Remove the tea bags and stir in the ice cubes and sugar. Chill for 2 hours until icy cold. When ready to serve, stir in peach moonshine.

Sparkling Peach-Pomegranate Cocktail
yields 2 glasses
Sparkling Peach-Pomegranate Cocktail:
  • 12 oz. pomegranate juice, chilled
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 shots Firefly peach moonshine, chilled
  • chilled sparkling water, to taste
  1. Stir together the pomegranate juice, lime juice and moonshine. Divide between two glasses and top with sparkling water.


  1. says

    “To say that I would not be married to my husband without moonshine would not be an over-statement.” Well, after reading your tale of wicked good meant-to-be love, some real ‘shine, and your suitor’s persistence to express his love for you, and work out your troubles, even nursing you back to health and cleaning up your mess, this is a true statement! Good thing he showed up lookin’ mighty fine with that jug o’ ‘shine on his finger! (He was probably sporting a sassy but endearing grin, too!) Oh, about the “v” word. It’s perfectly acceptable to use in a non-recipe “feature story” post. LOVE this story, Christina! Thanks muches for sharing. xo

  2. says

    Oh dear! I guess there are two recipes featured here in this post! Had so much fun reading it, I couldn’t wait to race down and comment! OK, you’re forgiven for the “v” word. Why? Because this is a tale of true love. There. How’s that? :)

  3. says

    Love your story! When I was a little girl my grandma brought home a jar of moonshine from a trip South. It sat in her cupboard for years. Everytime I saw it I asked about it. One day, I got brave enough to take my first and last sip – lol… Hubby and I make homemade wine and I think the last batch of apple wine we made tastes a lot more like moonshine than wine – potent – lol!

  4. says

    Christina, what an amazing, touching story! Thanks for sharing this with us–I loved learning more about you and Mr Dessert for Two’s journey. It was a pleasure to read and you know what–there IS something about a man that will scrub your vomit. There. Now the v-word is on your post one more time ;-)
    PS. South Carolina just got added to my “must travel” list purely for that moonshine!

  5. says

    Aww, I love this story so much (well, minus the vomiting ;)). I’ve never tried moonshine before and I was thisclose the other day to buying my first bottle from a roadside store but didn’t do it. I need to go back now and buy at least two jars, because these drinks sound amazing!

  6. says

    I loved this story!!! And hey, it’s been a while since I’ve drank any moonshine. I’m going to clink glasses with my husband, drink this cocktail, and celebrate love!!! thanks for the recipe and story.

  7. says

    There’s nothing like vomit to bring a couple together ; ) Seriously though, I loved this post and the honesty that you talked about your relationship with. Plus the fact, of course, that the story had a happy ending.

  8. Joan says

    Neat story … I have actually been to Firefly and purchased, well, not moonshine. My era connects moonshine with illegal – and possibly lethal – liquor, not good stuff like Firefly sells. I still have a bottle of their bourbon infused vodka.

  9. says

    I’ll take the vomit, your story was so sweet! I’m happy to hear you worked out your problems and although alcohol can be a problem causer, it seems to be a great solver as well. Can’t wait to try one of your moonshine cocktails!

  10. Renee says

    What a fabulous story, sounds like it could be a winning country song. Thank you for sharing the bits about your life on your food blog.

  11. says

    That is such a great story. It’s such a sweet little picture of your lives together – minus the vomiting of course. And any drink that has boozy peaches is just fine by me.

  12. says

    Okay that is the sweetest gross love story EVER!!! My heart melted all over the place! Is that Firefly the same Firefly that does the Sweet Tea Vodka? I HAVE to get my hands on their ‘shine! I love apple pie ‘shine, but Peach? Hello, I’m so there!

  13. says

    I think all couples go through this “break-up” before sealing the deal (so to say). We were on break, and I ran to Hawaii for a couple weeks to hang with girlfriends and mend a wounded heart. Came back, and we’ve been together ever since.

    I have always been afraid of moonshine – maybe it is because I have only had the homemade stuff. Maybe we should give it a try. I like that you added it with tea, seems a very Southern thing to do.

    • says

      It’s so good to hear that you think breaking up before sealing the deal is common, Denise! You guys are an adorable couple, so you must be right! :) xo

  14. Esther says

    Oh my gosh, I love this story! And I remember when it happened too :) Can I just say I was biting my tongue when you didn’t want to work it out with him? I’m just glad he knows the way to your heart! There’s no fightin’ that ;)

  15. Maggie says

    That’s such a sweet story!

    I do want to chime in and say where I come from, moonshine comes in unmarked plastic gallon jugs. Easier to transport, not gonna break and cost you money, and people know exactly how much they’re getting.

  16. says

    Any man who will clean up vomit and drive to the store in the middle of the night is a keeper (p.s. I think you just prepped him for fatherhood).
    And Boozy ice tea is my new jam, love this.

  17. Dragos says

    That is probably one of the best summer drinks and it would go so well with my cocktail dispenser made by these guys


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