~by Regan Jones, RD
If you believe the stories my mom tells, my great grandmother was a bootlegger.
Well, actually I guess typically a bootlegger was someone who transported illegal spirits (read: moonshine and the likes, not ghosts a la New Orleans style) from producer to buyer. From what I hear, Dovie Duke wasn’t “running” moonshine. She was keeping it in a brown paper sack in her home and exchanging it for money to patrons who knocked at the door that sat on the corner of market supply and demand.
[Imagine — a day where happy hour only came by a secret knock on a door? There’s nothing about that that's happy or speaks-easy to me.]
Tales about the goings on during prohibition abound in the deep south. Those of you in parts of the country where marijuana has recently been legalized may not realize it, but down my way, there are still completely “dry” counties where no alcohol can be served or sold. Sundays are still off-limits in others. And a general shunning of alcohol isn’t all that uncommon.
Disclaimer: nothing about this dialog is meant to imply that alcohol abuse and the issues that go along with irresponsible drinking aren’t a supremely important issue. But for today’s post, we’re talking a much lighter topic — Spirited Recipes courtesy of this month’s Recipe ReDux.
Spirits are a fairly universally accepted enhancement in cooking. Alcohol actually serves as a flavor enhancer in many dishes. Think about it… that’s why vanilla extract is used so often in baking.
But what many people may not know, is that in moderation and consumed responsibly, alcohol consumption does offer health benefits.
Again — responsible and moderate drinking.
In fact, the health benefits are so well researched that even the Dietary Guidelines now include a recommendation for alcohol consumption. Many people mistakenly believe that red wine is the only alcohol that offers a benefit, but actually the research supports alcohol consumption in general. And while I may be prone to take the route of a good Cabernet or Malbec as my drink of choice most days post-five o’clock, there’s no denying the appeal of a fun, cold cocktail during these hot summer months.
The recipe I developed for this month’s ReDux is a fun twist on the fruity, heavy-calorie beachy drinks often sipped in summer. But instead of a sugar-filled top to bottom concotion, I’ve chosen chilled lemon moonshine and topped it with a simple soft-serve mixture made of cherries and bananas. And the bonus — you can easily substitute lemonade if you’re not as spirit-inclined.
Hope You Enjoy (responsibly)!
[And be sure to check out what other spirited recipes my fellow ReDuxers stirred up here and below.]
The liquor I used in testing this recipe came from Ole Smoky Distillery, which I visited earlier this year.
It’s a wonderful little taste of the south (albeit a bit embellished perhaps for the tourist in all of us) located in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. I believe their “moonshine” is distributed nationwide, and I’ve tried quite a few of them. If you’re looking for a new way to spice up your cocktails or add a conversation starter to the evening, check them out.
These Cherry-Lemonshine Shooters are the perfect summer drink. They can easily be made non-alcoholic for the kids! Tweet this
Cherry-Lemon Moonshine Shooters
- 1 (12-ounce) package frozen tart or sweet cherries
- 1 frozen banana, peeled
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons lemon liquor/liqueur (I used Ole Smoky Lemon Drop Lightnin’) or lemonade
- Additional chilled lemon liquor/liqueur or lemonade
- Garnish: lemon slices
Combine cherries, banana, honey and 2 tablespoons lemon liquor/liqueur in a food processor. Process until very smooth. Freeze at least 1 hour or until soft serve consistency.
Fill shot glass or cordial cup half-way full with liquor/liqueur. Top with 1 tablespoon cherry mixture and garnish with a lemon slice. Serve immediately.