Moonshine: A Global History
Kevin R. Kosar
Washington based writer Kevin R. Kosar manages R Street, a Washington research firm and has written over 18 books on spirits, federal education policy and governance. In Moonshine: A Global History (Edible) Kosar gives us the story of the illicit booze distilled from almost anything fermentable, moonshine. Kosar captures a lot of the culture of the drink and has a good discussion on the criminal side of moonshine and its impacts. He takes us through the basics, how it is made, the history and the political side, and moonshine in popular culture. He also introduces us to some of the grea characers of moonshine. Moonshine is more pervasive than we might imagine - he cites World Health Organization figures that a fourth of all alcohol sold world wide comes from illegal stills. He provides a brief section of recipes. Moonshine now comes in legal versions and Kosar provides some recommendations. The book is for the most part accurate but he does mention that there are tales of moonshiners receiving burns from exploding fermenters. Fermenters operate in a temperature range of 50 to 80 degrees and if they should explode will not burn anyone. Exploding stills on the other hand, can do great harm. The book is a quick, enjoyable read, well illustrated, and informaive.