For this week's story, I'd originally wanted to write about the hottest new trend in booze - Scotch in a can. Yes, there's actually such a thing as Scotch in a can, and it's from a country known for producing the finest Scotches: Panama. But unfortunately it's not yet available in the States.

For this week's story, I'd originally wanted to write about the hottest new trend in booze - Scotch in a can. Yes, there's actually such a thing as Scotch in a can, and it's from a country known for producing the finest Scotches: Panama. But unfortunately it's not yet available in the States.

With my first option out, I moved on to the next rotgut - a bottle of legal moonshine, Junior Johnson's Midnight Moon from Piedmont Distillers ($25).

I spent my formative years in Kentucky, so I've tried illegal 'shine. While it didn't make me go blind, it was only enjoyable in a miscreant-looking-for-a-buzz kind of way. Ralph Wiggum put it best: "Tastes like burning."

With memories of a melted esophagus, I was hesitant to try the legal version.

Piedmont's moonshine maintains the traditional corn-based recipe made in copper stills. It's 80 proof, so it doesn't have the unlawful stuff's fire-breathing-high alcohol content.

And it's triple-distilled "to deliver an ultra-smooth, clean-tasting spirit that is often preferred over the world's best vodkas," according to the Midnight Moon website. It still smells like pure gasoline, though.

With expectations low, a hearty sip did produce a super-smooth taste, initially. A second later, it burned - bad - and I consider myself a heavyweight sauce man.

I went to the website for recipes. Most involved vodka-like mixers: OJ, cranberry, lemonade, etc. There were also martini concoctions with peach schnapps or champagne. But I refuse to drink schnapps until I become a grandmother.

Then I found the one for me - Mountain Moon Dew. It's a brilliant combination of two hillbilly faves.

And it wasn't all that bad. The harsh liquor cut through the uber-sugary soda, and the Dew's sweetness in turn helped soften the burn. Still, drinking this is probably not recommended by any health professional.

With my moonshine experiment not quite complete, I made up my own Southern-fried concoction: Midnight Moon and red cream soda. Why? Because it seemed like fun. It was quite terrible.