Moonshine, an American whiskey so named because it was illegally distilled by the light of the moon, has been resurrected. Manufacturers across the country are specializing in the high-proof alcohol, transforming the backwoods beverage into a star at the bar. Moonshine can be substituted for rye or bourbon in cocktails, which are often mixed in Mason jars. Serve it at an event to give attendees a true taste of Americana. When in the neighborhood, planners can also arrange tours and tastings at distilleries. Get in the spirit for some moonshine!
Smith Creek Moonshine
Visitors to this popular Ozarks attraction can try any (or all) of the varieties, including coffee, gingersnap and strawberry shortcake. The 2,500-square-foot retail store sells jams, sauces and dry rubs, in addition to bottled shine. Hungry? Grab some grub at the onsite barbecue restaurant, which also serves up moonshine cocktails. smithcreekmoonshine.com
Piedmont Distillers, Inc.
Madison, North Carolina
This distillery, 25 miles north of Greensboro, handcrafts its spirits. Catdaddy Spiced Moonshine offers hints of vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon. Enjoy it over ice or add coffee and whipped cream for a sweet treat. Midnight Moon Moonshine, based on the recipe of bootlegger Junior Johnson, is infused with pieces of real fruit.
Lucky Kentucky Moonshine
Reopened last year in downtown Louisville, Kentucky Peerless Distilling Company is a family-owned distillery that had been dormant for nearly a century. It claims that its moonshine, available in unusual flavors such as lemon drop, cinnamon fire, chocolate pie and coconut cream, outshines the competition.
Sugarlands Distilling Company
Meeting groups in East Tennessee can taste numerous flavors of this award-winning spirit, or grind corn, mix mash and thereby create their own batch of customized moonshine. Afterward at the distillery, enjoy live music, Appalachian storytelling and an outdoor adventure tour in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Dark Corner Distillery
Greenville, South Carolina
This craft distillery’s 100-proof moonshine, aptly named The World’s Best Moonshine, took first place in its category at the 2016 International Whisky Competition. Use it as the base to create cocktails such as Raspberry Julep, Berry Bootleg and Honeysuckle Fizz.