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In the Spirit: Dear Santa, Are you a Bootlegger?

Dear Santa,

Word on the streets is that you’re the man to bring us some great, interesting and somehow, obscure adult beverages. Especially since I heard that last year you sampled quite a few of them while delivering everyone’s gifts.

pictured above: @lady_rockwell Love the variety of “firestonemerlin. Here’s Mocha Merlin, a strain from Velvet Merlin.. strain.

Grandpa Simpson told me that moonshine is what bootleggers used to deal during the prohibition era. He said that good ol’ whiskey, wine and even beer was being dumped cause it was illegal to sell them and then it went on for years without anyone drinking anything. So he thought!

But then this moonshine started rolling around and people were drinking it like it was water.

I know that those days are long gone and we can buy anything now but since I am just a little boy and not of the mature age yet, I am leaving it up to you, cause you know… you are Santa.

Pictured above: @barrelandbrew I feel like today would’ve been a good day to skip work and sip 12 year old silky sweet goodness on the golf course. #wishfuldrinking

I don’t know who was naughty or nice this year but here goes my list:

Grandpa Simpson – Since he likes this moonshine very much, how about a jar, or a few…

He really likes those fruit flavored ones, especially the Appalachian apple pie or Ole Smokey Tennessee with peaches. BTW, I don’t know why they call it moonshine; they should call it eyeshine, since his eyes get brighter than the moon when he drinks it!

My dad – he likes beers. The other day I saw him chugging a very large can of PBR through a funnel. He said it reminds him of his college years. I was shocked! I had no idea dad went to college.

He also likes Guinness, he drinks them in the morning and he says it tastes just like coffee. Maybe you can bring him something new for breakfast. Firestone Walker Mocha Oatmeal Stout, from California has all the ingredients he likes.

My mom – Last year you brought her a box of Chablis but since then, she has been following this wine connoisseur guy on the web and he says that boxed wine is so last year! He says that wine in a can is the new thing!

He recommends Underwood from the Willamette Valley. They even have a sparkling rose that he says, pairs well with the fried chicken my dad loves. He also suggests Francis Coppola Pinot Noir in a can. (You know that movie guy?).

The wine guru guy says that Pinot Noir and turkey is a match made in heaven!

Lisa and Maggie – They are easy since they are not allowed to drink yet. Lisa would be happy with a new saxophone or just a new iPhone and Maggie a new binky. Mom says she sleeps better after dunking them in dad’s beer.

Patty and Selma – You might need to be extra nice to them, since they work for the DMV which is a subdivision of the DFC (Department of Flying Carriages). They can help you out in a pinch. A few cartons of Pall Mall or Virginia Slims will do the trick, but if you really want to get their attention, I hear they are very much into the White Claw frenzy. A variety pack will make them happy.

Mr. Burns – Mr. Burns might be in the naughty list but since he is my father’s boss maybe you can bring him a lump of coal, soaked in rum.

Liberty Rum from New Jersey is a good choice. Maybe he will give my dad some freedom… Screech Rum from Guyana also sounds good (no pun intended here).

Smithers – Speaking of naughty, Smithers has an eclectic taste and I am not sure if he would enjoy more a bottle of Pinot Grigio or a cosmopolitan. New Amsterdam Pink Whitney Vodka from California might be his thing. He is always spending time with Mr. Burns so bring a couple of very nice martini glasses.

Moe – He can be your partner in crime since he has experience in running “illicit business” in the past. Bootlegging is his claim to fame! Despite the mood swings and his inability to smile, you might be able to bring him some joy. He would take a Bulleit from you. Rye especially! You can also throw him a Bone, from Texas.

Well, I think this is it. Oh no wait!

As for me, I don’t think I want anything. I know I have been a good boy this year, so my gift would be to just see everyone’s faces when they open their gift…


Did you really think I would not want anything???? Got ya!

I want a bottle of 20-year-old Pappy Van Winkle!

I know I am only 10 years old but by the time you get around to the waitlist on this little puppy, I will be old enough to drink it!


My mom said this year she is going to leave you plant-based chocolate chip cookies. Last year you got stuck going down the chimney so she thinks you could use some slimming. Don’t expect whole milk either!

Love, Bart.

– Robert Aquilino. Sam Snead’s Sommelier and Manager at The Greenbrier. HashtagWV #120. December 2019.

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