Several months back I wrote about the 19th century Appalachian moonshiner Buck O’Hairen, whose bio surfaced after a one-of-a-kind firsthand journal was discovered and put online. I decided to write about him not only because I had never heard of the dude in all my years of talking ‘shine, but because he just seemed like one odd character. O’Hairen was a renowned distiller as well as a musician, poet, entrepreneur, and even owned a pet raccoon named Trigger. Turns out I’m not the only one who was intrigued by old Buck.
A company called Sunshine Beverages, LLC out of Winston-Salem, North Carolina recently launched a beverage called Buck O’Hairen’s Legendary Sunshine. Their drink is “inspired” by the 1875 recipe O’Hairen concocted…a drink called Sunshine, which was a non-alcoholic mash of fruit, vegetable and root juices that he sold from a roadside wagon.
While the modern-day version of Buck O’Hairen’s Sunshine seems to be more of a contemporary pick-me-up refreshment than a simple “mash” from yesteryear, reality is it probably tastes a helluva lot better. It rocks some natural ginger, blackberry, stevia and artwork on the packaging that a man of Buck’s culture would have appreciated. Most of the reviews I’ve been reading have been positive. I may just have to try a case for myself. The holidays are coming around, and who knows when I’ll need something to clear the clouds.