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Of all the people in South Africa, I was probably the only sane one rooting for the ban on alcohol to remain in place on Sunday.
Not that I’m a teetotaller. On the contrary. I love a fine wine (like Chateau Libertas), good whiskey (without reopening the debate about First Watch) and any beer, warm or cold.
And being unashamedly Afrikaans, I also consider consuming brannas and Coke – and mampoer.
Needless to say, the alcohol ban was really starting to touch a nerve by the time I decided making my own mampoer would not only be a way to quench my thirst, but it could also help to contribute to our family treasury. Have you seen the price of liquor on the black market? Makes the Johnnie Blue tenderpreneur brigade look like a bunch of indigents.
Sixteen hours of YouTube videos later, I considered myself somewhat of an amateur expert and decided to source the material needed to build a small still.
“You’re five weeks late,” said the voice on the phone when I enquired about copper pipe, thermometers and other stuff that – in combination – can be used for one purpose only.
“We had a helluva run on copper pipe when the alcohol ban was announced. I bet Tops will be open by the time you harvest your first drop,” the voice said, thoroughly enjoying his moment.
That was last week.
But I wasn’t going to let some salesman break my speed, so I bought my gear, built my still, and made the first batch of “mash”. That’s the stuff that, when distilled, kicks like a donkey, tastes like the wrong end of a donkey and makes you behave like a total ass.
Thing is, it takes about seven days for the “mash” to ferment. So, tomorrow, I will hopefully kick-start my still and see the first drops of pure, unadulterated make-an-ass-of-myself liquid drip into a glass jar – well before Tops is set to open next week.
With the booze ban lifted, I doubt whether I’ll make a cent with my still.
But I’m an optimist, so it’s on to plan B: anybody know what is required to grow tobacco?
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