Moonshine has always been the bad boy of hard liquor. It got its reputation from historically being brewed in secret to avoid paying tax on alcohol and having a higher alcohol content than traditional whiskey. Moonshine is gaining more of a spotlight as distillers are putting the corn mash based liquor on their roster (ensuring that it meets federal regulations on alcohol content).
Compass Distillers, a trendy distillery in the North end of Halifax was advertising their moonshine, along with the traditional whiskey, rum and gin. The distillery is in an up and coming area of town, that’s also home to my cider house (Chain Yard Cider Bar). Compass Distillers has a multi-level bar that’s located inside what looks like a watch tower. In that building they make their products, provide tastings in their bar, and rent out an Airbnb apartment. The bar is quite tiny and hosts quite a few events (like Jazz night on Thursdays). They don’t take reservations, so I’d recommend you go earlier in the week or during the day if you want to get a seat.
To start, I ordered a flight of their spirit to split with my boyfriend, which included a few different types of gin, rum, vodka, and moonshine. We also each ordered a cocktail made with one of their spirits; I wanted to try their moonshine margarita so I could get the full moonshine experience. The waitress dropped off our flight of spirits, and I tried moonshine for the first time. Although taking of shot of straight liquor never really tastes good to me, moonshine definitely tasted horrible. It had a really earthy taste, which is not my thing. Luckily, the waitress forgot what cocktails we ordered so I was able to change my order and get a mojito made with their rum.
It was a really cool experience trying moonshine for the first time. The spirit has so much history and isn’t readily available yet (maybe for a reason?). If you want to try moonshine, I’d recommend having something to chase it with close by.
Are there any other food/beverage experiences I should have on my bucket list? Let me know in the comments below.