Friday Fictioneers: Smooth and Fuzzy, like a Peach

Frenchy placed the last sealed jar in the box and took it to the cellar. This was the *hearts, a peach flavor, one of the favorites of most of his customers. Only a few hard-core folks liked the corn whiskey any more. “The whole world’s gone soft” he thought as he grabbed a jar for his personal use.

Exiting the cellar the damp night air assaulted his cheeks, the only part of his face not covered by whiskers.

He stopped and looked up at the full moon, and took a swig. “Perfect” he exhaled.

crook3

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

* Hearts

The hearts primarily contain ethanol and it is the most desirable part of the spirit run. One can tell when a still starts producing hearts because the harshness of the heads has dissipated and the smell is no longer harsh. This is the “sweet spot,” which isn’t just a metaphor. The whiskey produced during this phase is very flavorful, but also very smooth and, (depending on the recipe) slightly sweet. It is by far best tasting alcohol produced during a spirit run. The skill of the distiller comes into play as they must recognize the beginning and the end of the hearts portion of the run. However, in general, this phase will make up around 30-40% of all spirits collected during the entire distillation process.

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly 100 word writing challenge inspired by a picture prompt. Click here to read other stories.

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59 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers: Smooth and Fuzzy, like a Peach

  1. Very interesting. Now one must wonder: did she learn all this detailed information from a book, or from personal experience helping grandpa with his still out in the backwoods of Virginia?????

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      • I realize I was unclear. I should have said, “Did the author learn all this from a book or from helping grandpa with his own still?” That will teach me to use poorly referenced pronouns. My creative writing students would “booo” me out of class if they knew.

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        • LOL…luckily I am a little more understanding than those whippersnappers.
          I did some research (online). I’ve only ever had a sip of moonshine before. I was surprised at how much info was out there given it is illegal. But then, I am gullible like that 🙂

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          • I read a big article a couple years ago in some magazine I picked up in the waiting room of the hospital. It was about how several big distilleries are now making “legal” moonshine and it focused on one particular woman who ran a company that had the authentic recipe of some “famous” moonshiner from way back. I don’t recall all the details now, but it was really interesting. Since I read that article, I have a seen a couple places in my area offering one brand of moonshine legally. So I’m not sure what’s going on anymore. I’m a one glass of beer or one glass of wine girl myself. If I drink anymore than that, it puts me to sleep. And if I’m driving at all, I don’t drink anything alcoholic. So I don’t stay up on the stuff either.

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  2. I definitely read this from your distiller’s POV and very strong it came across too. Lovely characterisation – very clear and I can almost imagine him rolling home, sipping from his jar. Great stuff Dawn

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  3. I’ve watched my dad make corn whiskey. I was young at the time, but remember his souring the mash and cooking it off. He used an old milk can for a cooker and ran the worm (condensing tubing) into a tub of cold water.

    Excellent story, Dawn. I could almost taste the clear elixir.

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