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MOONSHINE!

Mason jar style drinks latest fad to celebrate new year

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MOONSHINE!

Mike Morowit with an old standard for celebrating New Year’s — champagne.

HIME ROMERO/Bulletin file photo


POSTED December 31, 2013 1:34 a.m.

Some days are busier than others for Mike Morowit.

But today the owner of Miner Mart liquors will more than likely see one of the busiest days of the year as the crush of people heading out to parties and over to meet friends will stop in and stock up on their favorite adult beverages – whether it’s a 22-oz. microbrew or a top-shelf bottle of whiskey.

Just about everything, Morowit said, sells today, and the colder weather makes some of the harder items more appealing to those looking to cut loose on the world’s biggest party night. Bottles of Crown Royal Canadian blended whiskey will fly off the shelf, and Jack Daniel’s – the Tennessee-staple that’s famous for being distilled in a dry county – remains a top-seller.

It’s going beyond what you’re used to and getting something special, Morowit said, that makes New Year’s Eve a special night.

“Usually this time a year people are coming in looking for something different – they’re going to buy better beers, and we have a large selection of microbrews and smaller labels that people seem to like over just the standard Bud and Coors,” he said. “They’re always buying flavored vodkas for mixes and punches and things.

“Because it’s New Years Eve people are willing to splurge a little bit. They want their night to be memorable and they want to go with something a little bit better than what they’re used to.”

And there’s a whole new fresh crop of bottles that are popular this holiday season.

Moonshine.

A series of brands offer fruit-filled Mason jars filled with the high-test alcohol that some televisions shows have made wildly popular. It’s not the 180-proof stuff you see distilled in the hollows of Appalachia, but alcohol-soaked maraschino cherries, strawberries and raspberries pack a punch all their own.

Drinks, Morowit said, come in fads. The standard Brut and Extra Dry champagne that most people are used to isn’t quite as popular as once was. Fruit-flavored and infused bubbly has become the store’s biggest seller. Plenty of bottles are expected to fly out of the case by this afternoon.

Morowit says that he plans on being home from his West Yosemite Avenue store in the shopping center anchored by Hafer’s Furniture by 11:30 or so tonight so that he can still have enough time to sit down and enjoy the last half-hour of the holiday. A social drinker, he might end up having to bring a bottle of Crown Royal home with him – he’s not sure that he has anything already in the cabinet.

Even though he’s going to wait until the last minute, his customers more than likely won’t. 

“It’s not as much as you would think,” he said. “Usually by 10:30 people are where they’re going to be for the night and they’re pretty much settled in. But between 4 and 9 p.m. it’s brisk – that’s when people are stopping in and picking things up on their way to parties and as they head out for the night.

“I enjoy New Year’s Eve because it’s a busy day and for the most part people are happy to be here. You don’t have to worry about the drinkers, or the aftermath of the bars, and it’s not like a summer night when people have been drinking all day. There’s some festivity there.”

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