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Moonshine: A Sip of History

Moonshine is a term that often brings to mind images of illicit production and bootlegging. However, moonshine has a rich history dating back to the early days of America. 

This spirit has been produced for centuries by people in rural areas, often using homemade recipes and methods. While the production and sale of moonshine are now legal in some parts of the country, the tradition of making this unique spirit remains strong.

What is Moonshine?

Moonshine is a type of distilled alcoholic beverage. It is typically made from corn, sugar, and water. Moonshine is usually clear or white and has a high alcohol content. Moonshine is illegal in many countries due to its high alcohol content and lack of regulation.

In the United States, moonshine is regulated by the government and can only be produced in certain states. It has been around for centuries and was originally used as a medicinal remedy. 

It was thought to cure various ailments such as colds, flu, and stomach problems. Moonshine was also used as a form of payment during the Prohibition era in the United States. Moonshine is still produced today and can be found in many parts of the world. 

It is often made in home stills and is not subject to government regulation. It is also sometimes used to make other distilled alcoholic beverages such as vodka or whisky. Moonshine can be dangerous if consumed in large quantities due to its high alcohol content. 

Drinking moonshine can lead to alcohol poisoning, which can be fatal. Moonshine should always be consumed in moderation and only by adults who are of legal drinking age.


How Is It Made?

Moonshine is a type of alcohol that is made illegally, typically in rural areas. It is made by distilling fermented sugar or corn into high-proof alcohol. Moonshine is typically clear in appearance and has a high alcohol content. 

Moonshine has been around for centuries and was originally produced in the Appalachian Mountains of the United States. It became popular during Prohibition when the production and sale of alcohol were illegal. Moonshiners would produce alcohol in secret and sell it to people who wanted to drink. Today, moonshine is still produced illegally in many parts of the world. 

It is also becoming more popular as a legal product, with some companies selling moonshine that is made using traditional methods. Moonshine is typically made using a still, which is a type of equipment used to distill liquids. They still heat the fermented sugar or corn to a high temperature, causing the alcohol to vaporize. The vapor is then condensed into a liquid and collected in a container. 

The alcohol content of moonshine can vary depending on how it is made. However, it is typically around 40% alcohol by volume (ABV). This makes it much stronger than most beer and wine, which have an ABV of around 5% to 15%. Moonshine can be dangerous if it is not made correctly. If the still is not operated correctly, the vapors produced can be explosive.

History of Moonshine

The term “moonshine” is thought to have originated in the British Isles. The word “moon” was often used as a slang term for alcohol, particularly illicit alcohol, and the word “shine” may have come from the glow that moonshine sometimes gave off when distilled. 

Moonshine has been made and consumed throughout history, but it became especially popular in America during the 18th and 19th centuries. Moonshining became a big business in the American colonies, particularly in the Appalachian region. 

The mountainous terrain made it difficult for government officials to patrol and enforce alcohol laws, and many colonists turned to moonshine as a way to avoid paying taxes on their alcohol. In addition, many of the early settlers of the Appalachians were of Scotch-Irish descent, and they brought with them knowledge of distilling. 

As moonshining became more widespread, the government began to crack down on it. In 1791, Congress passed the first federal excise tax on alcohol, which made moonshining even more profitable. The revenue from the tax was used to help fund the War of 1812. In addition, many state governments began passing laws against moonshining. 

Despite the crackdown, moonshining continued to be popular in America. In the 1860s and 1870s, there was a boom in whiskey production in Kentucky and Tennessee, and much of this whiskey was distilled illegally. 

During Prohibition (1920-1933), moonshining became even more common, as people turned to illegal alcohol to avoid the restrictions of the 18th Amendment. Today, moonshine is still distilled illegally in many parts of the world. 

In America, it is most commonly associated with the Appalachian region. Moonshine has also become popular in recent years as a legal, commercial product. Many craft distilleries now produce their versions of moonshine, and it can be found in liquor stores across the country.


5 Must-Try Moonshine Today

1. Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine

Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine is a brand of moonshine that is produced in the Appalachian region of the United States. The company was founded in 2010 by Joe Baker and Jamey Grosser, who are both from East Tennessee. 

The company’s name is a reference to the state’s nickname, “The Volunteer State.” Ole Smoky Moonshine is made from a corn mash and is distilled in copper stills. The moonshine is then aged in oak barrels. 

The company offers a variety of flavors of moonshine, including apple pie, cherry, peach, and strawberry. Ole Smoky Moonshine is available for purchase online and at select retailers in the United States.  The company also offers tours of its distillery in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

2. Copper Fox Rye Whiskey

Copper Fox Rye Whiskey Moonshine is a type of moonshine that is made with rye whiskey. It is a clear spirit that has a strong flavor and a high alcohol content. It is often used in mixed drinks or as a shot. 

Copper Fox Rye Whiskey Moonshine is made by the Copper Fox Distillery in Virginia. The distillery uses copper pot stills to make their moonshine. They use 100% rye grain and use a recipe that has been passed down for generations. 

The moonshine is aged for two years in oak barrels. The flavor of Copper Fox Rye Whiskey Moonshine is spicy and earthy. It has a strong alcohol flavor with a slightly sweet finish. Copper Fox Rye Whiskey Moonshine is a high-proof moonshine. It is usually around 100 proof or 50% alcohol by volume.

3. George Dickel Tabasco Barrel Finish

George Dickel Tabasco Barrel Finish Moonshine is a unique twist on a southern classic. This spirit is made with real tabasco peppers and aged in oak barrels, giving it a smooth, spicy flavor that is perfect for sipping neat or enjoying in cocktails. 

Whether you’re a fan of fiery flavors or simply looking to add some spice to your life, George Dickel Tabasco Barrel Finish Moonshine is sure to please. As one of the most popular brands of moonshine, George Dickel has a long history of producing high-quality spirits. 

The company was founded in Tennessee in the late 1800s, and today its products are enjoyed by drinkers all over the world. While their original moonshine is still a classic, George Dickel has also released several flavored options over the years. 

The Tabasco Barrel Finish Moonshine is just one of these delicious variations, and it’s sure to become a new favorite for fans of the brand. This spirit is made with real tabasco peppers, which give it a unique flavor profile that is both spicy and smooth. The peppers are soaked in George Dickel whiskey before being aged in oak barrels, giving the moonshine a deep, rich flavor. The result is a spirit that is perfect for sipping neat or enjoying cocktails.


4. Junior Johnson’s Midnight Moon

Johnson’s Midnight Moon is a brand of moonshine produced by Piedmont Distillers in Madison, North Carolina. The company was founded by Junior Johnson, a legendary figure in the world of moonshine and NASCAR. 

The Midnight Moon brand is made with corn mash and distilled in copper stills. It is then aged in oak barrels to give it a smooth, mellow flavor. Johnson’s Midnight Moon has won numerous awards for its quality and taste, including a Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. 

It is available in a variety of flavors, including apple pie, cherry, and peach. If you’re looking for a true taste of the South, look no further than Junior Johnson’s Midnight Moon moonshine. This authentic moonshine is handcrafted in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains using only the finest ingredients. 

From corn to copper stills, everything about Midnight Moon is crafted with care. And the result is a smooth, delicious moonshine that’s perfect for sipping on its own or mixing into your favorite cocktails.

5. Corsair Triple Smoke

Corsair Triple Smoke moonshine is a unique spirit made with three different types of smoked malt. The result is a smooth, rich moonshine with a smoky flavor that’s perfect for sipping neat or enjoying cocktails. 

This moonshine is produced by Corsair Distillery in Nashville, Tennessee. Corsair was founded in 2008 by Darek Bell and Andrew Webber, two friends who shared a passion for making innovative, small-batch spirits. Corsair has won numerous awards for its products, including multiple medals at the American Distilling Institute’s annual spirits competition. 

If you’re looking for a truly unique moonshine, then Corsair Triple Smoke is worth trying. You’ll be impressed by its rich flavor and smooth texture. And if you’re a fan of smoky spirits, this moonshine is sure to become one of your favorites.


Though moonshine production and consumption are now legal in the United States, it’s still important to remember the history of this spirit. With a little education and some tastings, you can enjoy moonshine responsibly while also appreciating its unique place in American history.