Nothing quenches the desert thirst like a shot of moonshine…

As anyone who’s been out on the competitive rib-slingin’ circuit will tell ya, practical jokes come with the territory.  There’s just something about working 18-20 hour days during the dog days of summer, cookin’ up slabs of ribs by the ton, that’ll make you go a bit slap-happy.  Sometimes you just have to unwind, and there’s no better way to do it than to play a “Gotcha!” on your buddies.  This particular prank involves the desert heat of Reno, Nevada, a nearly dehydrated friend, and a poorly labeled container of moonshine…

Being from the beautiful, bluegrass-covered hills of Kentucky, the BourbonQ team knows a thing or two about homemade liquor.  Now, I’m not saying we make it ourselves, and if you tell the Feds anything I’ll deny it!  Let’s just say moonshine ain’t hard to find where we come from.  The biggest rib event we do is the Best in the West Rib Cook-Off in Reno, Nevada. This show brings in competitive BBQ teams from all over the country, and we’ve made some great friends among these folks along the way.  Needless to say, our buddies from Arizona, Wisconsin, and other locales not known for their shinin’ abilities look forward to a sip or two of that fine Kentucky moonshine whenever we get together.  We couldn’t disappoint them, so Pappy and the crew made sure to procure a few bottles of the good stuff, conveniently camouflaged in plastic Deer Park water bottles.

Fast forward to the last day of the cook-off.  Seeing an opportunity to pull a fast one, Pappy took a break from the ribs and snuck over to the booth of a buddy of ours, Rasta Joe.  Rasta’s wife, having worked long days in the desert sun for the past several days, was looking particularly parched.  Ever helpful, Pappy sidled up to her, put a caring arm around her shoulders, and innocently suggested “You look really thirsty…here, have some ice cold water.”  With a look of gratitude, she grabbed a Deer Park water bottle from his hand and took a long drink.  Before she’d had time to realize what was happening, she had taken two big swallows of potent moonshine! Eyes huge and tears streaming down her face, her coughing fit could be heard clear across the entire event.  Giggling like a schoolgirl, Pappy ran out of booth and back to the safety of the BourbonQ tent.  Nowadays, everyone knows to think twice before taking a drink from Pappy’s water bottle!