The Origin of Pappy’s Moonshine Madness

It’s not often that we pull back the curtain and let outsiders in on our “creative process” for new barbecue sauce recipes, but the origin story of Pappy’s Moonshine Madness is just too much fun.  Like most barbecue sauce connoisseurs, our best barbecue sauces – including most of the ones we currently sell all over the U.S., Canada, Australia, the U.K., Germany, etc. – were dreamed up and perfected in our home kitchen.  Hell, back in the day, the entire Pappy family was involved in the sauce-makin’ biz, mixin’ our fresh ingredients together in an old-school 25-gallon tilt kettle and letting the kiddies bottle it up.  What 5- and 11-year-old doesn’t love bottlin’ barbecue sauce on their Saturday morning?  Child labor laws...what are those?

Anyway, we’d been enjoying the newfound success of our Pappy’s XXX White Lightnin’ for a little while, watching the fanbase grow as more and more people heard about this delicious sauce.  Never one to rest on his laurels, Pappy knew it was time to get cookin’ on the next great sauce recipe.  Out on the competitive barbecue circuit, we’d heard countless requests to “make it hotter!”  People loved our flavors, but wanted a bit more kick to bring it all home.  So Pappy grabbed his ingredients, including the habanero powder, and fired up the stove.

Before long, Pappy had a sauce that was starting to bring a little sweat to his brow.  Wanting an outsider’s opinion, he had a family friend join him in the kitchen and grab a tastin’ spoon.  These two continued to taste and tinker, tinker and taste, all the while adding more and more habanero with every batch.  Soon, both had sweat and tears streaming down their faces, and Pappy had developed a world-class case of the hiccups.  Sputtering, coughing, and hiccupping, they finally agreed that the heat level was sufficient, and raced to the fridge to put out the fire with a nice tall glass of milk.  Their eyes widened in panic when they saw only a small splash of milk left in the fridge.  A brief wrestling match broke out as they fought to quench their burning tongues.  Nowadays, neither will admit to losing the epic “Battle for the Milk”, but each eventually got a tiny bit of relief from the milk jug.  At the end of the day, Pappy knew that he had created a sauce worthy of the claim “So friggin’ hot you’ll go blind!”

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