If you’re like me—that is, frequenting local wine and spirit shops for the newest products, or going back to snag an old favorite—you’ve probably seen it on shelves everywhere in the Las Vegas Valley: Las Vegas Distillery’s Grandma’s Apple Pie moonshine.
It’s currently the best-selling product the 3-year-old distillery produces, according to owner/operator George Racz. (It’s also his current favorite—he keeps a bottle in his refrigerator.) During a recent interview with Racz, he said that most of his young products—vodka, whiskey, gin, rum and moonshine, among others—work best as mixers in cocktails. But Grandma’s, which Racz produces using Martinelli’s apple juice and cinnamon, is meant to be consumed on its own.
Racz gave me a bottle upon the conclusion of our interview. That was three weeks ago. I’ve since bought two bottles of my own. In case you needed clarification, I’m a big fan.
Anyone who’s read my blog knows I’m primarily a fan of whiskeys—bourbons, Scotches, blends, you name it. I’ve never been a huge fan of moonshine, mainly because it strikes me as so … one-note.
Grandma’s, however, is a real treat. Its presentation alone gets you in the mood to pretend you’re on an episode of FX’s Justified (which, coincidentally, had “apple pie moonshine” featured prominently in one of its seasons): It comes in a Mason jar, and once you snap off the paper seal and unscrew the lid, you’re ready to go.
The first sip reveals a pleasant balance between the sweetness of the juice and the alcohol, neither one really dominating. And Grandma’s is a relatively non-threatening 80 proof with no burn whatsoever, so it’s extremely easy to get into and enjoy. A bit too easy—on my first go-round with this stuff, I lost track of how much I was consuming, giving me my first real hangover in many, many years.
Racz keeps his refrigerated, but I recommend pouring this over some ice. This is a great and easy way to beat the Las Vegas heat, and its current popularity is well-deserved. And at a $20 price point, it might be one of the best bargains available right now.
Just don't blame me if you get a hangover. I tried to warn you.