By Franz Mahr
Chuck Miller once said “moonshine is as American as Apple Pie.” Its lineage begins with a do-it-yourself idea during the prohibition era naturally rebelling against the law. With recipes mastered and passed down from distiller to distiller, the spirit with illicit an background has been perfected into a smooth clear liquid that if done right, can be sipped right out of the bottle with ease. Boris Stojkovic, Beverage Program Director for Copperwood Tavern is passionate about this lineage and true to Copperwood’s farm to table theme, has sought out Virginia Lightning Corn Whiskey distilled just a drive away in Culpepper, VA to perfect the Shine N’ Tonic cocktail.
Made with the 100% Corn Whiskey (Moonshine) and a house made herbal tonic topped with a sweet lime foam to top, the Shine N’ Tonic is a twist of the traditional gin and tonic with an Americana theme perfect for a hot Virginia summer. It’s sweet but not desserty. You can drink 4 of these and satisfy your sweet tooth without feeling like you’ve ingested a ton of syrup. Boris creates his own tonic with lemongrass, citric acid, quinine, and black pepper similar to the recipe used for tonic water in the mid 1850s.
Using his pastry chef background to good use, Boris creates a sweet lime foam from egg whites, hibiscus, simple syrup and fresh squeezed lime juice that elegantly contrasts the bitters of the Tonic and creates a tartly flavor.
When I asked him why he chose moonshine, Boris proclaimed, “It’s part of our history!” It’s a forgotten spirit that Boris aims to be the main hit with an arsenal of infused moonshine from Ol’ Smokey and Virginia Lightning.