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:
Sparkling Peach-Pomegranate Cocktail: