Moonshine in Legal Language
The Armenian name for moonlight is aragh (the word comes from the Arabic araq عرق, meaning “sweat” or “juice”); However, the Armenian word oghee is used more often. Oghee production is widespread in Armenia. White mulberry, grapes, cornelian cherry, plum and moonlit apricot are especially popular, especially in the countryside. While illegal moonlighting dominates the radio airwaves, it is the legal moonshine that is increasingly present in liquor stores and bar shelves. However, purists reject the idea that any product made for retail sale is called “moonshine” and insist that the term only applies to illegally produced spirits. According to them, everything that has paid taxes and is called moonshine is a fake. Moonshine – also known as Hooch, Corn Whiskey, Bath Gin and a few other creative nicknames – could be associated with more rural areas of the country, its roots are not directly in any particular region. In fact, as Mental Floss points out, the term has been used since the 18th century to describe illegal craft alcohol. The name “moonlight” refers to the fact that illegal alcohol would often have to be produced and/or smuggled under cover of night to avoid detection. You probably tried Mountain Dew as a kid — but did you know that the bright yellow drink is named after the colloquial term for moonlight brewed in the mountains? Of course, many moonshiners in these small communities had a reputation they could preserve for their regular guests – many of whom were friends and neighbors. If their alcohol was of inferior quality or if people got sick or died, then the moonshiner in charge would be thrown out of trouble.
While brewing is allowed in Norway, distillation is not. Possession of distillable equipment is also illegal.§ 8-5.  The application of this law is uneven at best. You may remember seeing pop culture references depicting moonlight in a jug labeled XXX. That`s because, in typical DIY fashion, these X`s would one day indicate how many times a load of moonlight had passed through the distillery. Home distillation of alcohol is illegal in Australia, but the law is rarely enforced. The sale of stills with a maximum capacity of 5 liters and other distillation equipment, including yeasts, flavorings and other ingredients specific to distillation, is legal. Brewery supply stores are allowed to sell larger stills, usually up to 25 liters.
It is often believed that the name is derived from the fact that moonlight producers and smugglers often worked at night (i.e. in the light of the moon) to avoid being arrested for illegal alcohol production. The 1811 edition of the Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, originally by Francis Grose, defines “moonlight” as: “A matter or mouth full of moonlight; A trifle, nothing. White brandy smuggled to the coasts of Kent and Sussex and gin in North Yorkshire are also known as moonlight.  It has been suggested that the term may have been derived from smugglers who explain their crates and barrels as “mere moonlight” (i.e. nothing).  Piedmont Distillers, based in Madison, North Carolina, holds the title of the first legal moonlight operation in the United States and the first legal distillery in its state since prohibition. Since moonshine can be produced with almost any grain or fruit, the flavors can be just as diverse. Moonshine historically referred to “clear, unaged whiskey,” which was once made with barley in Scotland and Ireland or corn porridge in the United States, although sugar was just as common in illegal alcohol in the last century. The word originated in the British Isles as a result of excise duty laws, but only became prominent in the United States after a Civil War tax was passed banning unregistered stills. Illicit distillation accelerated during the prohibition period (1920-1933), which imposed a complete ban on alcohol production under the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution. Since the amendment was repealed in 1933, laws have focused on tax evasion for any type of intoxicating alcohol or spirits.
Applicable laws were historically enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice`s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, but are now generally administered by government agencies. Law enforcement officers used to be colloquially referred to as “revenues.” The term “moonshine” is used to refer to different types of alcohol. Historically, moonlight meant liquor made and distilled at home. The term “bathtub gin” referred to the moonshine brewed at home when alcohol was illegal in the United States during the prohibition era. Moonlight is usually made from a type of corn porridge. As The Whiskey Reviewer pointed out in its moonlight guide, the truth is not so open and closed. On the one hand, the etymology of moonlight indicates its meaning of “illegal alcohol”, dating back to at least 1785, when it referred to brandy smuggled into England. Many dictionaries also define moonlight primarily by its illegality. So what did we learn? Moonlight = illegal. But it doesn`t matter, as long as it goes back to tradition and is made in a still, that the moonlight you buy at the store is most likely, but not always, unaged corn whiskey. Due to the very high taxation of alcohol, moonlight production, especially from potatoes and sugar, remains a popular, albeit illegal, activity in various parts of the country.