Michael Lowry: Hi! I am Michael Lowry with Total Wine & More. Moonshine brings to mind images of country folks, trampling through the Appalachian backwoods, making white lightning in illegal copper stills.
Operators of illegal whisky stills conducted their business at night to avoid detection of legal authorities and became known as Moonshiners. During the grim years of American prohibition, millions of gallons of hooch were sold, the demand greatly outstripping the supply. When alcohol became legal again in 1933, the moonshine trade plummeted. Today, hooch has once again become popular, inspiring TV shows and now legate brands have shines in mason jars lining the shelves.
For all intends and purposes moonshine begins in the same fashion as the whiskey you buy on the store. The major difference is that whiskey is aged sometimes for many years in oak barrels that are charred on the inside.
Distilling moonshine is a remarkably simple process requiring four main ingredients, corn, sugar, yeast and water. Corn can be substituted with various ingredients including Barley Rye or fruit, but corn is most often used because it is cheap and easy to obtain.
Moonshine features the pure flavors of the ingredients its distilled from typically the sweet aromas of corn or the subtle spice of wheat. Traditionally moonshine was often heavily flavored to hide the rough taste of home made liquor. But the high quality moonshine available today offers a wide variety of fun and mixable flavors perfect for cocktails. One of our favorite combinations is the delicious mix of apples, cinnamon and ginger. Start with a tall glass, bowl with clean ice, add 2 ounces of apple pie flavored moonshine. Fill the glass to the brim with a high quality brand of ginger ale or ginger beer, stir and blend. Garnish with a thin slice of apple and a cinnamon stick. Enjoy!