brand and bottle
Posted by Jennifer Sokolowsky on January 26, 2011 04:30 PM
Moonshine in L.A.? Sounds like an episode of The Beverly Hillbillies, but according to the Los Angeles Times, modern moonshine is making inroads into the chic bars of the beautiful people. The clear whiskey is showing up as the latest ingredient du jour for the city's most innovative bartenders.
But this isn't your great-grandpa's moonshine, so called because of its illegal nature. Today's moonshine — also called white dog — is whiskey that has not yet been aged in barrels, creating its distinct color and flavor. Moonshine showcases the raw materials of the whiskey rather than the wood it's aged in.
Original Moonshine, made by Stillhouse distillery in Culpepper, Va., uses the recipe that the distiller's grandfather used to make the illegal stuff in the '30s, with similar equipment.
It may be the most ubiquitous brand of moonshine on the market, but it certainly isn't the only one.
The Virginia Lightning brand, from Belmont Farms (featured in the video above) is readily available in the state's liquor stores.
And last November, Hank Williams Jr. helped launch Popcorn Sutton’s Tennessee White Whiskey, based on the recipe of a famous moonshiner and tax evader. It's bottled in Mason jars and marketed in the South.
White dog whiskies are even more common, and range from Kentucky's Buffalo Trace White Dog to Death’s Door White Whiskey from Wisconsin and Headlong White Dog Whiskey from Woodinville Whiskey Company in Washington state.
Although clear whiskey doesn’t necessarily need to go with a banjo soundtrack these days, its historical and outlaw associations certainly can be considered part of the new interest in the drink.
Only a bit of market aging will tell if it evolves beyond being the next new thing.