It ain’t your grand-pappy’s Moonshine.
No backyard still, cleaned perhaps annually, hidden in the trees behind the barn. Transported in oversized boots, in cars speeding away from pursuing police.
This is much more genteel – a Moonshine that’s made from that same corn meal, but is meant to be sipped, exploding in flavors that surprise and please the palate.
Enter Sherry Brice, who since 1999 has owned and operated Cosmetic Cosmos in Newport. She found she couldn’t drink wine anymore because of the sugar content. On a wine tasting tour, she discovered a distillery making moonshine – and an idea was born.
“Why couldn’t anybody take a moonshine and make a nice clean spirit, a little healthier to drink,” she said.
And a year and a half ago, Sherry introduced Seaport Shines, a moonshine whiskey that’s lower in alcohol content than traditional moonshines, with less calories and gluten-free.
Its four flavors are produced in a boutique distillery in Rivera Beach, Florida, bottled not in what had been moonshine’s traditional vessel, jugs, but in hand painted bottles with glass corks imported from Italy.
Visit Seaport Shines website, www.seaportshines.com, and you can learn about the flavors, find recipes, learn about tastings, and where you can buy and sample Seaport Shines. It’s sold in more than 20 liquor stores, primarily around Rhode Island, and available in several restaurants.
The challenge now, that the line is complete, is getting the word out.
“People get stuck in their ways,” Sherry said. “Alcohol is no different. “It’s an uphill educational battle, a little bit of a hurdle to get people to try it.”
But when they do, they’ll be surprised. It’s a pleasant drink, best served over ice or with a bit of sparkling water, but with many recipes that can enhance what’s already an enjoyable sipping whiskey.
After a year and a half of rolling out the whiskey, Sherry has started an aggressive marketing campaign that she hopes eventually leads to expansion of Seaport Shines to other areas of the country.
Seaport Shines offers a unique Moonshine to what is a fast-growing industry. Since it was legalized in the United States just nine years ago, it has been growing in popularity by 30 percent each year.