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Moonshine is made throughout the globe from indigenous ingredients reflecting the customs, tastes, and raw materials for fermentation available in each region.


Moonshine by country



In Albania moonshine (Raki) is the primary alcoholic beverage men consume on daily basis. it can be produced from various fruits, like grapes, prunes, apples, etc.


A crude moonshine (aragh) device in an Armenian village.

The Armenian name for moonshine is aragh (the word comes from Arabic araq عرق, meaning "sweat" or "juice"), but the Armenian word oghee is used more often. The production of oghee is widespread in Armenia. White mulberry, grape, cornelian cherry, plum, and apricot moonshine are especially popular, particularly in the countryside.


Distillation of alcohol requires an excise license in all states except for NSW, in Australia[1]. The sale of stills up to 5 litre capacity and other distilling equipment, including yeasts, flavorings and other ingredients specific to distillation, is legal[2]. Brewery supply stores have permission to sell stills up to 25 litres.


In Brazil there is a long tradition of home distilling, especially in the rural areas. Artisanal liquors (especially cachaça made on small farms) tend to be of good quality and are prized by collectors.

One form that can be qualified as moonshine is known as "Maria Louca" ("Crazy Mary"). It's aguardente made in jails by inmates. It can be made from many cereals, ranging from beans to rice or whatever can be converted into alcohol, be it fruit peels or candy, using improvised and illegal equipment.


The national spirit in Bulgaria is called "rakia" [ракия]. It is usually made from grapes, but other fruits are used as well, such as plum, raspberry or peach. Rakia is the most popular drink in Bulgaria along with wine. Like wine, it is often produced by villagers, either in a community owned (public) still, or in simpler devices at home. Home made rakia is considered to be of better quality and "safer" than rakia made in factories, since there were, especially during the 1990s, many counterfeit products on sale. By tradition, distilling a certain amount of rakia for home use has been free of taxes. In connection with Bulgaria joining the European Union in 2007, there were government decisions to raise taxes on home made spirits. This led to protests in late 2006 and early 2007. With respect to local traditions and the usually poor performance of state institutions in Bulgaria, there is little risk that the new taxes will actually have to be paid. In Bulgarian tradition, drinking ракия is accompanied by eating little dishes (called meze [мезе]), usually some kind of salad, e.g. Shopska salad. Rakia also has many uses as a folk medicine.


Burma (Myanmar) has several forms of moonshine. Although it is illegal, moonshine has majority share of the alcohol market especially in rural areas of the country. In the country side, moonshine shares the alcohol market with what some call palm wine.


The common name for home-made alcohol is moonshine or screech (although the latter name is also used by a legal distiller as a brand name). Early versions were probably made from potato skins due to the large amount of potatoes produced on Prince Edward Island but now most home producers use molasses or sugar cane in the form of "sweet feed" (for horses) as a sugar source.[citation needed] This is the traditional method of producing Moonshine (Shine as it is known to those that produce,or drink it regularly).

Due to the fact that they are producing "Shine" in the traditional manner(molasses, and cane sugars),The Myriad View Artisan Distllery of PEI, has a Trade Mark on the word "Shine" in relation to all alcohol products in Canada. The Trade Mark was issued by the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.[3] They presently produce "Strait Shine" @50% ABV and a stronger version "Strait Lightning" @75% ABV. Shine is as traditional a drink for Prince Edward Islanders today as it has ever been. It remains the drink of choice for wedding punches and family reunions.

Another legal version of Moonshine was called Cape Breton Silver by Glenora Distillery. It is no longer produced. It was raw, unaged whiskey distilled in the same way as illegal moonshine, and was 50% ABV.


In Colombia moonshine is called "Tapetusa" or "Chirrinchi" and is illegal. However, it is quite popular in some regions and has been traditional for hundreds of years. The cost of tapetusa is a fraction of the heavily taxed legal alcoholic beverages. The aborigines used to make their own version of alcoholic drink called "Chicha" before the arrival of Europeans. Chicha is usually made of corn, which is chewed and spat in an earthen container that was then buried for some time (weeks). The latter is a special kind of alcoholic beverage, and similar to that made by Chilean Indians (Mapuches), but in Chile a legal version of Chicha, made of fermented apples, is sold in September. In the Caribbean coast there is a moonshine called "Cococho", an Aguardiente famous for the number of blindness cases due to the addition of methanol.

On the Caribbean coast of Colombia, the Wayuu tribe produces the "Chirrinche" which is both for local consumption and trade with tourists. Chirrinche is regarded to be very strong and often produces a severe hangover.[citation needed]


In Cyprus a traditional drink is made from distilling grapes, known as zivania.

Czech Republic

The staple Czech liquor is traditionally made from distilling plums and is known as 'slivovice' (pronounced "slivovitze"), or 'meruňkovice', made from apricots. Traditionally produced in garages and cellars, nowadays it is also produced by specialist distillers. It is found especially in the region of Moravia and is popular at celebrations, including weddings. Czech distillers also offer a service to distill your own fruit mash for you, but they charge heavily, on top of the taxes.

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Home-made corn or cassava-based whiskey is known as lotoko in the DRC.


In Denmark, moonshine is referred to as hjemmebrændt (Lit.: Home burnt, that is home distilled).

Dominican Republic

In the Dominican Republic, moonshine is called cleren in the towns near the border with Haiti and Pitrinche in the eastern towns. It is made from sugar or fermented sugar cane. Its production is illegal but the law is rarely enforced. Also, there is Berunte, fermented from either corn (which is the most common), rice, melon, pineapple or wheat.


In Ecuador, moonshine is often distilled from sugarcane, and referred to as Puro, Spanish for pure, or trago from the Spanish verb tragar, to swallow. Some people refer to it as Puntas (Tips)

England and Wales

In England & Wales it is illegal for any person to manufacture spirits by any means, unless they hold an excise licence for that purpose. If found guilty one could face a penalty of £1,000 and have their spirit making equipment confiscated. However home brewing of any quantity and strength of beer or wine is legal for ones own domestic use or for consumption by farm labourers employed by said person in the course of their employment.[4]


In Estonia moonshine is referred to as Puskar and is usually made from potatoes.


Finnish moonshine is home-made vodka, usually made from any fermentable carbohydrates, most commonly grain, sugar or potato. The most common name is pontikka. It is said that this name came about due to the poor quality French wine from Pontacq. Other names are kotipolttoinen (home burnt), ponu (an abbreviation of pontikka), ponantsa (another abbreviation of pontikka, and a joke of Bonanza), tuliliemi (fire sauce), korpiroju (wildwood junk) or korpikuusen kyyneleet (tears of wildwood spruce) as stills often are located in remote locations. In Finland Swedish, the most common term is moscha which is in fact "Swenglish" for moonshine. The term was first used by emigrants who had returned home from America. The word moscha is nowadays integrated in the Swedish dialect in southern Ostrobotnia on the mid-west coast of Finland.

Unlicensed moonshining is illegal in Finland, but it is often considered a challenge or hobby. In practice prosecution follows only if the authorities become aware that the product is being sold. Most Finnish moonshiners use simple pot stills and flash distillation. Some have constructed sophisticated reflux or rock stills for fractional distillation, containing plate columns or packed columns, with reflux filling components of Raschig rings, crushed glass, nuts, glass pellets or steel wool. The city of Kitee is the most famous Finnish "moonshine-city". A legitimate brand of vodka called "Kiteen kirkas" ("Kitee's Clear") is available commercially.


Eau de vie, gnôle, goutte, lambic, fine, or more generically the simple name of the fruit they were distilled from -- poire (Pear), prune (Plum), mirabelle (Mirabelle) -- there is a wide variety of terms in French to speak of strong alcohols, which also reflects the wide variety of recipes and ingredients available to make them. There are strong local traditions depending on the provinces: lambic or calvados is distillated from cider in Brittany and Normandy, mirabelle, prune and kirsch are mainly produced in the East (Alsace, Lorraine, Bourgogne, Champagne), and every wine-producing region has, to some extent, a tradition of making brandy, the most famous being Cognac and Armagnac.

Unlicensed moonshining was tolerated in France up to the late 1950s. Since 1959 the right can no longer be transferred to descendants, and only a few bouilleurs de cru are still exercising their right. Owning a registered fruit orchard or a vineyard still gives the right to have the production distilled, but is no longer free, and a licensed distiller must be utilized. The excise amounts to 7.50 € per litre of pure alcohol for the first 10 litres, and 14.50 € per litre above that limit.


In Georgia the traditional grape moonshine is called chacha. Recently, with modernized distilling and aging technology, chacha is promoted as "Georgian brandy" or "Georgian vodka", and is compared to grappa.


In Germany, moonshine is called Schwarzgebrannter. The term is very often translated "black burned" since the word schwarz means black, but in this case schwarz means illegal (as in black market). A more accurate translation is "illegally burned liquor". Generally, home-distillation of alcohol is illegal in Germany, but there are exceptions. Ownership and use of very small stills up to 0.5 litre capacity is legal. Such stills are only used by hobbyists, and the products of them are not available on the black market. The ownership of larger stills must be reported to fiscal authorities, otherwise it is illegal, and the use of these stills requires a licence. The German market for moonshine is limited, in part because legal alcohol is inexpensive, compared to some other Western European countries and in part because controls are generally effective. German home-distilled alcohol is in most cases a type of traditional German Schnaps, often a type of fruit brandy. There are many legal and often very small distilleries in Germany. Most of these small distilleries are located in Southern Germany, located on farms and are home-distilleries. These producers of distilled beverages are called Abfindungsbrennerei and the operation of these small distilleries requires a special type of licence. The number of such licences is limited and it is difficult to obtain one, since in most cases all licences are in use. An Abfindungsbrennerei is only allowed to produce a limited amount of pure alcohol per year and the operation of the still is limited to some months of the year. There are tight controls of these limitations. The products of an Abfindungsbrennerei, although in many cases home-distilled, are not considered to be Schwarzgebrannter since they are taxed and legal.

Greece and Turkey

In Greece moonshine is referred to as Ouzo or tsikoudia (Greek:τσικουδιά) in the island of Crete and tsipouro (Greek:τσίπουρο) or Raki in other parts of the country. There are legal distilleries for commercial use and many at home and small farms. Some are illegal but there is no market for moonshine, usually home distilled products are extreme quality and limited quantities so they are rare and the producer does not sell it but give it to friends and family. The home distilled products are not in competition with commercial products since moonshine is not sold and not consumed in public places

In Turkey it is called Raki. Sometimes it is flavored with anise. These names however don't imply illegal distilling.


The broadest term for Guatemalan moonshine is cusha. It is popular in large regions of the countryside, where it is made by fermenting fruits, particularly for Mayan festivities. If forbidden, nobody is prosecuting its manufacture. Cusha is also a valuable for shamans, who consume it during cleansing ceremonies and spit on their "patients" with it.


In Haiti moonshine is called Clairin. It is made from sugar or fermented sugar cane. Its production is illegal but the law is rarely enforced.


In Honduras, moonshine is commonly called guaro. It is normally distilled from sugarcane. In small towns, it is often sold out of the home by the producer. In cities and larger towns you can find it where other liquors are sold, usually in plastic bottles with labels of local producers.


Hungarian moonshine is called [házipálinka] (pálinka is a Hungarian spirit, házi means 'from home') because it is homemade. It is mostly made in rural areas where the ingredients, usually fruit, are readily available. Its production is considered illegal if distilled at home, since the distillation process constitutes a tax fraud if not carried out at a licensed distillery, however házipalinka is quite wide spread. Because the ingredients are usually of good quality, and the equipment used (while old and obsolete) is designed for this purpose, the quality of these spirits is higher than most of the other moonshine varieties. Community distilleries also exist, operated by one or more villages to process locally grown fruits.


Icelandic moonshine (landi) is distilled gambri or landabrugg [5]. It is largely made by hobbyists due to high liquor taxes [6], but used to be a prolific business during the prohibition [7]. Due to the lack of natural cover and harsh weather conditions, most "moonshining" activity occurs indoors in a controlled environment. Although potatoes are the most common constituent of Icelandic moonshine, any carbohydrate can be used, including stale bread. Landi is often consumed by people who cannot buy alcohol, either due to their young age or distance from the nearest alcohol store.


Locally produced moonshine is known in India as desi, desi daru, Potli, kothli, tharra, dheno, mohua, chullu, Narangi, kaju, Saaraayam and santra, among other names. It is made by fermenting the mash of sugar cane pulp in large spherical containers made from waterproof ceramic (terra cota) up to near 100% alcohol. However, it is dangerous, mainly because of the risk of alcohol or copper formaldehyde poisoning. In South India, moonshine is any alcoholic drink not made in distilleries. Toddy and arrack are not synonyms or Indian names for moonshine liquor. Toddy is an alcoholic beverage made from the sap of palm trees, and arrack refers to strong spirits made traditionally from fermented fruit juices, and the sap of the palm tree. In the Indian state of Goa, a locally produced cashew flavored drink Feni is popular among locals and the tourists.


Arak is commonly produced as moonshine, as thus has resulted in deaths from contaminants.


Arak, all kinds of fruit based liqueurs as well as wine is commonly produced as moonshine, as thus has resulted in deaths from contaminants.


Grain or potato based moonshine made illegally in Ireland is called poitín, or poteen. The term is a diminutive of the word pota ' a pot'.


Clandestine distillation of alcohol typically from grapes which is called grappa was common in the once poor north eastern part of Italy, which still produces some of the finest grappa in the country but with tighter control over the supply of distillation equipment its popularity has slumped. However, distillation of grappa still continues in the rural areas of Italy especially in the south where control over distilling equipment is not as rigid. Typically families will produce small quantities for their own consumption and to provide as gifts to others. Nowadays, the supply of production equipment larger than three litres is controlled, and anything smaller must bear a sign stating that moonshine production is illegal.[8]

On the island of Sardinia, one can still find local varieties of grappa which are dubbed 'filuferru', the local pronunciation for 'iron-thread'; this peculiar name comes from the fact that grappa stills were buried to hide them from authorities with iron-thread tied to them for later retrieval.


In Japan, cloudy homemade sake is called doburoku. While it is not a distilled liquor, it has a reputation for being quite potent, and is sometimes compared with moonshine. Before World War I, it was commonly brewed at home, but present liquor control laws forbid homebrewing of beverages containing over 1% alcohol.


Illegally distilled alcohol is widely made in Kenya, known as "Changaa", "Kumi kumi" or "Kill me quick". It is mostly made from maize and produced with crude stills made from old oil drums. It has been known to cause blindness and death. This may be caused by unscrupulous adulteration by sellers who want to give the beverage more 'kick', for example, adding battery acid. It may be caused by impure distillation. Because use is so widespread in Kenya the government has little control and has considered legalization to avert deaths.


In Laos (Lao People's Democratic Republic) the home distillation of spirits is technically illegal, although this law is rarely enforced. 'Lao Lao' is the name given to home-produced liquor, and it is drunk openly especially in rural areas, with many small villages operating a communal still. Usually brewed from rice, it varies from well produced, smooth tasting liquor to very rough spirits with many impurities.


In Latvia, moonshine "kandža" (45-55% vol) is generally made from sugar, sometimes from potatoes or also grains. The brewing kettle commonly is old aluminum milk-can (aprox. 40l). Normally sugar, baker`s yeast and water is fermented for few weeks and then distilled with help of gas-burner or wood-cooker. This tradition is especially strong in south-east Latvia (Latgale). Brewing of "kandža" is illegal; however, in reality as long as it is used for own consumption (not for sale) there are no problems with authorities.


Moonshine Samane is made from triticale grain from Dzukija region. The fermented mash is held in stainless steel reservoir and distilled twice what determines its strength of 50 % vol and specific aroma.


In Malawi moonshine is commonly brewed and distilled by women in townships and villages. Known as "katchasu" in Chichewa, various sources of starch may be used including potatoes, sugar cane or maize. Although technically illegal, there is no social stigma attached to moderate consumption.


In the state of Sarawak in Malaysia moonshine is called Langkau. This is made from fermented rice wine (tuak) and cooked in a barrel with a little hose hanging from the top of the barrel. Some rural folks like to drink 'Langkau' at a festival and most of the time during leisure hours. In Sabah, a similar version to 'Langkau' is called 'Montoku'.

Macedonia and Serbo-Croatian world

Macedonia is a country where moonshine is not only legal, but is also the liquor of choice. Typically, the moonshine is made out of grapes, which are the leftovers from the production of wine, but also made from plums (Slivovica). Macedonian moonshine is highly popular because it is commonly used for medicinal purposes. This process usually uses diluted moonshine with caramelized sugar, and the liquor is then boiled and consumed while still hot. Commonly is known as rakia (ракија) and widely consumed in all parts of Macedonia.


Nepal has a home-brewed liquor, rakshi, which is distilled from the grain millet. It is clear in colour, and can cause blindness when not prepared properly. It is not uncommon for Nepalese to tell outsiders that the concoction does not exist. The Nepalese often add rakshi to hot tea, calling the mixture ‘Jungle Tea’.

New Zealand

New Zealand is one of the few western societies where home distillation is legal. In New Zealand, stills and instruction in their use are sold openly. Hokonui Moonshine was produced in Southland by early settlers whose (then) illegal distilling activities gained legendary status, see Hokonui Hills. Hokonui Moonshine is now produced legally and commercially by the Southern Distilling Company which has recently started to export it.


In Nigeria, home based brewing is illegal. Moonshine is variously called 'ogogoro', 'kainkain', 'abua first eleven', 'agbagba', 'akpeteshi', 'aka mere', 'push me, I push you', 'crazy man in the bottle', or 'Sapele water' depending on locality.


Due to the very high taxation of alcohol, moonshine production primarily from potatoes and sugar continues to be a popular, albeit illegal, activity in various parts of the country. Moonshining occurs in the Mid- and North-Norwegian regions, and is most prominent in rural areas. Norwegian moonshine is called "hjemmebrent" or "heimebrent" (which translates into English as "home-burnt") and sometimes also "heimkok" (meaning "home-cooked") or "heimert" (slang) in Norwegian, and the mash is called "sats". In the county of Telemark mash is also referred to as "bæs". In the old days on Finnskogen they called the mash Skogens vin ("Wine of the forest"), a name used by poorer people without access to distilling equipment. When talking to foreigners, some Norwegians use the term "something local" about their moonshine. In Norway, moonshine is commonly mixed with coffee, and sometimes a spoon of sugar. This drink is known as karsk, and has a special tie to the mid- and north-Norwegian regions, but is also enjoyed elsewhere. A common joke is that the traditional mixture was made by brewing the strongest, blackest coffee possible, then putting a 5 Øre piece (a copper coin of size and color of a pre-decimalization English penny, no longer in circulation) in a cup. Add coffee to the cup until the coin can no longer be seen, then add hjemmebrent, straight from the still until the coin can again be seen.

In the documentary film Metal: A Headbangers Journey by Sam Dunn. Vocalist and bassist for Motörhead, Lemmy talked about Norwegian moonshine as "something really awful and the crew wouldn't even drink it." It is also now cited as the cause of his warty appearance.

While brewing is permitted in Norway, distillation is not. Possession of equipment capable of distilling is also illegal. § 8-5.[9] The enforcement of this law is irregular at best.


Alcohol is strictly licensed or otherwise illegal in Pakistan. However unregulated production in rural areas thrives. Products include tharra and its variants including what is ironically known as "Hunza water" and rudimentary beers made from barley, rye and other grain mixtures. Some brandy is also produced in the north where fruit is more readily available. Methanol contamination is a serious problem in some regions.


Home based distillation is illegal, however, small home consumption creation is allowed. There is a product in the rural provinces called "Chirrisco". It is often made out of any kind of fruits but is specially made out of rice. Unscrupulous or ignorant distillers may add car battery acid to increase potency, thereby leading to poisoning and other side effects.


Peru is one of the few countries where moonshine is completely legal. The production and sale of homemade alcoholic drinks is entirely unregulated and their consumption is common in daily meals. Pisco is one of the most common alcoholic drinks in Peru, although different types of chicha, with their generally low alcohol content, are the most popular alcoholic drinks in the country, with regional variations common in all areas. Even small children enjoy chicha as commonly as children in other countries may drink juice. This is especially true of the non-alcoholic chicha morada (violet chicha), loved by both children and adults. The low alcohol content rarely causes drunkenness or dependence, even in small children. Chicha was also consumed by the ancient Peruvians, before the Incas' empire; it was apparently consumed by Chavin De Huantar, one of the first cultures in Peru.


Bottle of Łącka Śliwowica

The Polish name for moonshine is bimber; although the word samogon (from Russian) is also used. Far less common is the word księżycówka, which is roughly equivalent to "moonshine", being a nominal derivation from the word księżyc, "moon". The tradition of producing moonshine might be traced back to the Middle Ages when tavern owners manufactured vodka for local sale from grain and fruit. Later, other means were adopted, particularly those based on fermentation of sugar by yeast. Some of the moonshine is also made from distilling plums and is known under the name of śliwowica. The plum moonshine made in area of Łącko (Southern Poland) called Łącka Śliwowica gained nationwide fame, with tourists travelling long distances to buy one or two bottles of this strong liquor. Because of the climate and density of the population, most of the activity occurred indoors.

In Poland, the simplest recipe for producing moonshine by fermentation of yeast with the use of 1 kilogram of sugar, 4 liters of water, and 10 dag (= 100 g) of yeast is jokingly abbreviated as 1410 - the year of the Battle of Grunwald, the most famous victory of Kingdom of Poland, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and their allies over the Knights of the Teutonic Order in the Middle Ages.

It is illegal to manufacture moonshine in Poland, as confirmed by the Supreme Court’s ruling of 30 November 2004. Selling home-made alcohol is also a tax offence as there is an excise imposed on sale of alcohol, and there is no provision for those manufacturing alcohol illegally to pay this duty if they want to. In reality the law is not consistently enforced, an example being the authorities' toleration of the large-scale manufacture and sale of Śliwowica Łącka. The small sets for home distillation can also be easily purchased in any chemical glass shop with no control whatsoever.

Puerto Rico

The common Puerto Rican term for moonshine rum is pitorro, from the Andalusian term "pintorro", given to a white wine (or rum, near the rum-producing sugar cane fields of Málaga) of inferior quality which has some grape (in the case of the wine) or molasses (in the case of rum) coloring in it. Other terms are, pitrinche or pitriche, cañita (based on the thin copper tubing of the alembic in which it is produced), lágrima de monte (mountain tears), and lágrima de mangle ("mangrove's tears" since many artisan distillers refine their product near coastal mangroves, to conceal it from police). Cañita is a common term so popular that at least two legal brands of rum have used the name, including the current brand, "Cañita Cura'o". Pitorro is an integral part of Puerto Rican culture, and musical odes to it or its production (such as the plena "Los Contrabandistas", popularized by Puerto Rican singer Daniel Santos) are part of local folklore.

Pitorro is usually much stronger than commercial rum. At times its alcohol content surpasses the common 80- or 90-proof (40% or 45% alcohol per volume) mark. Some raids have led to confiscation of rum that is up to 80% alcohol per volume (160 proof). Recipes abound, but common practices include "curing" the distilled product by burying jugs of pitorro in the ground, as well as placing grapes, prunes, breadfruit seeds, raisins, dates, mango, grapefruit, pineapple, cheese, raw meat and other fruits in them.

Puerto Rico is known for its production of legal rum, and since it is a major revenue-generating operation, the Puerto Rican police force, as well as agents from the local Departamento de Hacienda (Treasury Department) tend to pursue moonshine producers fervently, particularly around the Christmas season. A town famous (or infamous) for its pitorro production is Añasco, Puerto Rico.


In Romania, plum brandy is called ţuică (tzuika) or palincă (palinka), depending on the region in which it is produced. It is prepared by many people in rural areas, using traditional methods, both for private consumption and for sale. Although this is illegal[citation needed], and the drink is technically moonshine, the government tolerates these practices, and does not consider this bootlegging, due to the nature of the drink. Some ţuică is sold in markets or fairs. Some communities have acquired licences and legally produce ţuică.


The Russian name for any home-made distilled alcoholic beverage is called samogon (ru: самого́н), literally translated as "distillate made by oneself". Raw ingredients include sugar, beets, corn, and potatoes. Samogon of initial distillation is called pervach (ru: первач), literally translated as "the first one" - it is well known for its high quality (pure alcohol is lighter, so it evaporates in the beginning of the process but impurities don't; over time more and more impurities evaporate, too, thus making the rest of the batch not that clean). The production of samogon is widespread in Russia. Its sale is subject to licensing. (Unauthorised sale is prohibited.) Samogon often has a strong repulsive odor but, due to cheap and fast production and ability to personalize the flavor of the drink, it is of relative popularity. However, pervach is famous for having a little or no smell.

A fictional sort of samogon, called Tabouretovka, is to be made from wooden stools (tabourets). The recipe of it was sold by Ostap Bender to American tourists.

Saudi Arabia

In Saudi Arabia, the name for black-market alcohol is mostly known as "siddiq" ("friend" in Arabic). The abbreviation is widely known as S.I.D. and the true meaning of it is disputed. Some agree with it being "siddiq" but has been known as "Saudi International Drink". Distilled from fermented sugar water, it is well known and remembered by expatriates who have spent time in the otherwise dry Kingdom.


Illicitly produced whisky from Scotland is called peatreek. The term refers to the smoke (or reek) infused in the drink by drying the malted barley over a peat fire.


A common moonshine in Slovakia is slivovica, sometimes called plum brandy in English. It is notorious for its strong but enjoyable smell delivered by plums from which it is distilled. The typical amount of alcohol is 52% (it may vary between 40-60%). The homemade slivovica is highly esteemed. It is considered a finer quality spirit compared to the industrial products which are usually weaker (around 40%). Nowadays this difference in quality is the primary reason for its production, rather than just the economic issues. A bottle of a good home made slivovica can be a precious gift, since it cannot be bought. The only way to obtain it is by having parents or friends in rural areas who make it. Slivovica is sometimes used also as a popular medicine to cure the early stages of cold and other minor aches. Although illegal, small scale home production seems to be tolerated by the government. Several other fruits are used to produce similar home made spirits, namely pears - hruškovica and wild cherries - čerešňovica.

Another common traditional Slovak moonshine is called borovička, distilled from juniper berries or pine. Its flavor, although much stronger, resembles gin and can a reach 50-70% alcohol content.


In Slovenia, especially in the western part, moonshine is distilled from fermented grapes remaining from wine production, and sugar if necessary. It is called tropinovec (tropine, means squeezed half-dried grapes, in the west of the country). Šnops or Žganje, as its otherwise known, is generally distilled from pears, plums and apples. Because it has around 60%-70% of alcohol is often mixed with boiled water to make it lighter (vol. 50%). Tropinovec is rarely drunk in large quantities. It is often mixed with fruits (cherries, pears, etc.) to cover the strong odor and taste, or herbs (Anise, Wolf's bane, etc.) for alternative medical treatment. Home distilling is legal in Slovenia. Still owners are obliged to register and pay excise duties (approximately 15 USD for 40-100 l stills and 30 USD for stills larger than 100 l). There were 20,539 registered home distillers in 2005, down from over 28,000 in 2000.

South Africa

A small bottle of witblits

In South Africa moonshine made from fruit (mostly peaches or marulas) is known as mampoer (named after the Pedi chief Mampuru[10]). The equivalent product made from grapes is called witblits (white lightning). Witblits has a long history in the Cape Province (over 200 years) and many producers take great pride in their product which is widely available from liquor stores and at farmer's markets. Most witblits is of a very high quality compared to typical moonshine worldwide. A licence is required to distill alcohol in South Africa.[11]


The most common moonshine in Sweden (hembränt in Swedish; literally "home burnt") is made of potatoes and/or sugar. Typically of the 90–96% ABV variant. Common nicknames are HB (short for hembränt) and skogsstjärnan ("forest star"). Unlicensed manufacture, transfer and possession of distilled alcohol is illegal in Sweden, as is the manufacture, transfer and possession of stills or parts of stills intended for unlicensed manufacture of alcohol. The manufacture, transfer and possession of mash intended for this purpose is also illegal.[12] Distilling is often done with simple distillation, but sometimes freeze distillation is used, especially to make apple brandy or other drinks with lower alcohol content. Due to relaxed import regulation since 2005, business has declined. Moonshine is most socially accepted in the countryside.

Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, home based brewing is illegal[13]. However, this is a lucrative underground business in most parts of the island. Illicit brew is known by many names; 'Kasippu' is the most common and accepted name, 'Heli Arrakku' (archaic term means, Pot-Liquor), 'Kashiya' (which is a pet name derived from more mainstream term Kasippu), 'Vell Beer' (means, beer of the paddy field), 'Katukambi', 'Suduwa' (means, the white substance), 'Galbamuna', 'Gahapan Machan' (means drink it), vell fanta depending on locality. The raw materials used in the production are mainly common white sugar (from Sugarcane) manufactured in Sri Lanka, yeast, and urea as a nitrogen source.


In Switzerland, absinthe was banned in 1910, but underground distillation continued throughout the 20th century. The Swiss constitutional ban on absinthe was repealed in 2000 during a general overhaul of the national constitution, but the prohibition was written into ordinary law instead. Later that law was also repealed, so from March 1, 2005, absinthe is again legal in its country of origin, after nearly a century of prohibition.[14] Absinthe is now not only sold in Switzerland, but is once again distilled in its Val-de-Travers birthplace, with Kübler and La Clandestine Absinthe among the first new brands to emerge, albeit with an underground heritage.


In Thailand, home-brewed alcohol, most commonly distilled from glutinous rice, is called lao khao (เหล้าขาว; literally "white liquor") or officially sura khao (สุราขาว). It is sometimes mixed with various herbs to produce a medicinal drink called yadong (ยาดอง; literally "fermented herb (in alcohol)").

Yadong is prepared by mixing lao khao with various herbs and allowing the mixture to ferment for 2–4 weeks[15] before use. Some people claim that it helps them regain strength.[16] These days you can find instant yadong mixes that significantly reduce the time it takes to produce the final product.

Trinidad and Tobago

In Trinidad and Tobago illegally distilled alcohol brews are known as Ba-bash or mountain dew. It is primarily made from fermented sugar cane or citrus wines.The "stills" used are very similar to those used in North America. Although Ba-Bash is illegal in Trinidad and Tobago it is readily available if contacts are right.


Boukha is a spirit produced from figs in Tunisia. Its name means 'alcohol vapor' in Tunisian Judeo-Arabic dialect. It is obtained by simple distillation of Mediterranean figs from Tunisia. Its alcohol percentage ranges between 36 and 40 percent.

Boukha is a drink that is drunk dry, room temperature or cold. It can also serve as the basis for many cocktails, flavors and fruit salad or drunk with a meal at room temperature.

United States

A typical jar of moonshine. It was once wrongly believed that the blue flame meant that it was safe to drink.

Moonshine continues to be produced in the United States, mainly in southern Appalachia.[17] The product is often called "white lightning" because it is not aged and is generally sold at high alcohol proof, often bottled in canning jars ("Mason jars", see photo). A typical moonshine still may produce 1000 gallons per week and net $6000 per week for its owner.[17] The simplicity of the process, and the easy availability of key ingredients such as corn and sugar, make enforcement a difficult task. However, the huge price advantage that moonshine once held over its "legitimate" competition legally sold has been reduced. Nevertheless, over half the retail price of a bottle of distilled spirits typically consists of taxes. With the availability of cheap refined white sugar, moonshine can be produced at a small fraction of the price of heavily taxed and legally sold distilled spirits. Moonshine alcohol is used by some for herbal tinctures. The number of jurisdictions which ban the sale of alcoholic beverages is steadily decreasing which means that many of the former consumers of moonshine are much nearer to a legal alcohol sales outlet than was formerly the case. Moonshine-like distilled beverages with names like Everclear, Virginia Lightning, Georgia Moon Corn Whiskey, Platte Valley Corn Whiskey Catdaddy and Junior Johnson's Midnight Moon are produced commercially and sold in liquor stores, typically packaged in a clay jug or glass Mason jar. As a result of these changes and aggressive law enforcement, moonshine production is far less widespread than it was formerly.

Home distillation of ethanol for commercial purposes is illegal in the United States. Legislation was introduced, but failed to pass[18] in November 2001 to legalize home distillation in much the same way as home brewing of wine and beer were legalized in 1978. As early as prohibition, there have been stories of moonshiners using their product as a powerful fuel in their automobiles, usually when evading law-enforcement agencies while delivering their illegal product. The sport of "stock car" racing got its start when moonshiners would modify their automobiles to outrun federal government revenue agents.[19] Junior Johnson, one of the early stock car racers in the mountains of North Carolina who was associated with running moonshine, has even "gone legitimate" by marketing a legally produced grain alcohol moonshine, which is made by the only legal liquor distiller in the state.[20] Stokesdale, a town not far from where the distillery is located, has a moonshine still on its official town seal to reflect the corn liquor's history in the town's past.

Old, abandoned moonshine stills can be found throughout the Appalachian Mountains in the states of Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia.


Moonshine is called rượu. Rượu is also the common name for alcohol. Rượu is made from yeast-fermented rice.


  1. ^ Australian Tax Office - Excise licensing (alcohol)
  2. ^ Australian Tax Office - Frequently asked questions for distillation equipment (stills)
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Alcoholic Liquor Duties Act 1979" (PDF). 
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Bann A1rin
  8. ^ "Supplemento ordinario n° 95/L", Ministero delle Finanze, 04-27-2001.
  9. ^
  11. ^ "Liquor Act: Regulations". South African Government Information. 2004-08-17. Retrieved 2008-08-18. 
  12. ^ (Swedish) Alkohollag (1994:1738)
  13. ^ Sunday Times Online
  14. ^ Elaine Sciolino, "Long absent, absinthe to become legal in its native Switzerland", The New York Times, as reprinted in the San Francisco Chronicle, November 4, 2004.
  15. ^ "การเตรียมยาต้ม ยาชง ยาดอง และยาลูกกลอน" (in Thai). Retrieved 2008-02-07. 
  16. ^ "ยาดองเหล้าหนึ่งในการรักษาโรคด้วยพืชสมุนไพร" (in Thai). Retrieved 2008-02-07. 
  17. ^ a b Markon, Jerry "Ingrained in Culture of 'Liquor Country' Va. Moonshiners, Agents Still Tangle in Cat-and-Mouse Game." Washington Post, January 8, 2008.
  18. ^ H.R. 3249, 107th Congress, U.S. Government Printing Office, 11-07-2007.
  19. ^ Mirochnik, Michael (2005). "Speed of a Stock Car". The Physics Factbook. 
  20. ^ Gregg, R. (2007). "Moonshine Makes A Comeback In NC". The Raleigh Chronicle. 


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