Moonshine, the story of American creativity & Ingenuity
Moonshine is considered an American representation of ingenuity, aversion to authority & creativity.
While Moonshine has an interesting history in America, the modern moonshine is now finding a niche among American drinkers with a wide range of unique flavors. It is not your grandads moonshine.
Irish & Scottish immigrants brought with them to America a time-honored tradition of distilling whiskey. Back home barley was typically used, but when they settled in the Smokey Mountains corn was available.
The Federal government passed in the 1700s, a $2 per gallon tax on whiskey, distillers were not happy about this new tax and decided to avoid the law by distilling at night by the light of the moon. Corn whiskey quickly became known as Moonshine. The term Moonshine originated in Britain, where distillers first distilled their product under the light of the moon to avoid the British taxation of spirits. American distilleries were almost always remote and hard to find, which allowed their continued success. Once Prohibition was enacted, the popularity of Moonshine skyrocketed.
During the 1920s, when demand was at a peak, hidden distilleries needed ‘runner’ to transport their product secretly. These runners’ cars were outfitted with special features to ensure a successful delivery. These former ‘runners’ stated racing these cars after Prohibition ended, this eventually led to the creation of NASCAR. During this time, Moonshine was nicknamed “Mountain Dew”. This common slang eventually became the name of a lemon lime soda bottled in Knoxville, TN in 1932 The lemon-lime soda was originally created to be a chaser for whiskey.
Basic Moonshine needs four ingredients, cornmeal, sugar, water and yeast. Unlike most whiskies, there are no rules for Moonshine, anything goes. Having few regulations to call a libation Moonshine has allowed a plethora of ingenuity and creativity once again making this spirit in demand.