June 28, 2010 (Day 149) — Jack Collins
Hooch. White Lightning. Mountain Dew. White Dog.
Okay, techinically moonshine is defined as any sort of distilled liquor that’s been manufactured and sold illegally. But, when you think of Moonshine, you’re probably thinking of White Dog. What’s White Dog? It’s unaged bourbon whiskey. Whereas bourbon is typically stored in fired casks after distillation (which is where you get that beautiful gold color/flavor), White Dog is taken straight from the still into the bottle. It’s the way frontiersman would drink it. And it will straight up slap you around and call you “Sally.”
For my birthday this year, my brother Paul brought me a small bottle of Buffalo Trace Distilleries’ “White Dog Mash #1” from Manhattan (NYC that is. Not Kansas). I was way psyched. In recent months there has been a bit of a White Dog uprising among cocktail ranks. It has an incredibly complex flavor that doesn’t seem anything like traditionally-aged bourbon. So, it’s become something of an underdog, gaining more and more recognition with some big names cooking up some creative mixes with the 62-percent alcohol booze.
Of course, I had to do a taste test on the liquor straight up. After opening the bottle, the first whiff is reminiscent of sourdough bread dough. It’s very yeasty and has a distinct “dough” scent. It doesn’t have the potent kick was actually expecting. The smell makes me want to swing by one of the local Mexican bakeries here in town and pick up some fresh baked bread.
After tasting it, I think I get why old-timey prospector types let out hoots after taking a swig of moonshine. Very tasty, but man does that pack a whollop. You get a creamy, yeasty taste going down. Really doesn’t taste too much like bourbon in my opinion. Incredibly unique. Unlike anything I’ve had before, which is a good thing actually. That same sourdough taste hangs out on the end. I decided to play off that sourness with a recipe I found on The Huffington Post.
The Jack Collins
2 oz White Whiskey
1 oz Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed
1 t superfine sugar
Club soda or tonic water
Shake white whiskey, lemon juice, and sugar in an iced cocktail shaker and strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Top with club soda or tonic water, stir once.
Truthfully, I was a bit hesitant as I began to take my first sips of this. I mean, how to make something well-balanced with a liquor that’s simply so strong and unique? This recipe plays to the White Dog’s strengths. The sugar and water mellow the bite of the unaged whiskey, while the lemon juice bolsters that sour flavor. This is really, really good. You only need a little bit of booze though, considering the flavor of the White Dog is so damn powerful that is permeates throughout. I made one for both Paul and my brother Luke for my birthday party. Both agreed it was tasty.
I’m looking forward to trying out some new ones!
Just be warned, this is not a liquor for the faint of heart. It’s assertive. If you were in prison with it… well… you know how it would end.