busthead (bust-head). noun. Cheap, strong liquor, usually of the illegal variety. Moonshine. Hooch. Poteen. Pop-skull. Bumblings. The origin is obvious to anyone who’s hit the busthead a little hard themselves.
“Appalachian connections to the beverage are both natural and cultural. Clear streams, deep valleys, dry corn, soft water, and industrious farmers come together in the production of whiskey, the almost magical mountain dew or white lightning. Those who know the drink call it corn squeezin’s, skull cracker, thump whiskey, happy Sally, stumper wine, blockade whiskey, tiger’s sweat, rotgut, or busthead.” (Mark F. Sohn)
“Their distillations?” asked Mr. Rand.
The old lady spoke up. “Busthead. Red-eye. Mountain dew. They’re brewing alcohol, Mr. Rand,” she informed him…
“Inside, the air was always thick with the smell of muscatel, smoke, cracklings, draft beer and busthead whiskey, expectorated snuff, pickled hogs’ feet, perfume, body powder, sweat, and home-grown reefer.” (James Lee Burke)