Quote of the Week

"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere."- Albert Einstein

Friday, October 19, 2012

Rum in a Pumpkin... and Shoe Polish Moonshine

I'm not going to fib:  I enjoy alcohol.  It's nice being able to sit down in the evening, have a beer and watch a movie, or sit on the patio and sip a vodka ceasar while I read a good book.  Few things beat the act of sitting around a firepit (or in a carport) and talking about life, philosophy, and movies with a friend and a beer.

I also enjoy trying new things.  I've had nasty doggy tasting beer, horrid banana beer, smooth rum, and delightful stouts over the years.  For me, it's like meeting new people: some beers become friends, some occaisonal buddies, and others fowl enemies deserving scorn and distrust.

Many of the tales of my life have occured in one way or another due to alcohol- as have stories I have heard.

My Dad served 43 years in the Canadian Forces- going from Reservist to Regular Force, back to Reservist, to the Cadet Instructors Cadre.  He worked his way up from Private up to Captain as he was sent to places like Germany (where I was born incidentally), and even Cyprus as part of the United Nations.  He would regale us with his adventures- both good and bad as we grew up.   Several involved, you guessed it- alcohol.

One such story revolved around his early years in the service.  I think he was a Private at the time.  Him and a buddy of his had heard that you could distill the alcohol that was in shoe polish in order to make moonshine.  Dad freely admits that even though he was capable as a kid of building a working ham radio from scratch, he was also capable of what he would describe as "bone headed" things too.

Actually attempting to make moonshine from shoe polish fell under the latter description.  Now, I'm not going to describe the process... since I don't want to start receiving hate mail complaining about "Little Johnny" getting the idea to do this from me, okay?


Anyways, Dad and his buddy decided to give it a try, and went through the process they'd heard about.  Once they were done, his buddy took the first sip.

And promptly went blind for a few days.  Yeah, you read me correctly: BLIND!

Needless to say, I will NOT be attempting this myself.

Dad also told me that it's possible to make rum in a pumpkin.  Yeah, I was intrgued by the sound of that too.  The process he described was pretty simple too. All I would need is a pumpkin, brown sugar, hot water, and wax. Of course though, since this tale quickly followed his "Shoe Polish Moonshine" story, I decided caution was in order.  For the past five years, I've been searching the internet for a recipe or directions on how to do this.

Well, folks- today, I found out how... and it's even simplier than what my dad said.  The video below outlines what to do.  Since it takes about 30 days to make, I wouldn't be able to make any for Halloween... but you can be sure that I WILL be attempting this next year.  When I do, I'll let you all know how it goes.

Now, here's how to make alcohol in a pumpkin:


  1. I finally had a chance to read this post. Wow! Blind for a few days? At least it was only a few days. I bet he was relieved when his sight came back. That story is pretty frightening. The pumpkin alcohol sounds a lot safer!

    1. Yeah, the tale of the "Shoe Polish Moonshine" is definately a cautionary tale about the dangers of home brewed booze.

      I think I'll stick to trying to make rum in a pumpkin for Halloween 2013. :)

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