Full-Moon Fever

 In Culture, Guide

Un-aged whiskies make a legitimate return to the spirits world.


Once the purview of bandits and bootleggers, moonshine—also called “white dog” and “white whiskey,” among other monikers—has been making a comeback on the legal side of the spirits world. Perhaps fueled by nostalgia or spirit makers’ constant quest for the next big thing, major national distilleries like Buffalo Trace have tapped into the market for moonshine and released their own versions— as have area distilleries like Crown Valley Brewing & Distilling in Ste. Genevieve, which produces Missouri Moonshine; McCormick Distilling Co. in Weston, MO, which makes Platte Valley Corn Whiskey; and Pinckney Bend Distillery in New Haven, MO, which just released its Clear Corn Whiskey in December.

Moonshine is basically un-aged whiskey straight from the still. These spirits are usually boozy, in the neighborhood of 100 proof. They’re criticized by some whiskey aficionados as being unfinished because they haven’t garnered the nuances of flavor and color that doing time in wood bring about. Although it might not be the ideal spirit to sip solo, moonshine can be used to make some interesting cocktails. Read on for a few ways to tame this wild spirit.

White Manhattan
2 oz moonshine
1 oz blanc vermouth
2-3 dashes orange bitters
This see-through version of the classic Manhattan uses blanc vermouth and a semi-sweet fortified wine that falls between the sweet Italian and dry French styles. Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a rocks glass.

Monk’s Moon
2 oz moonshine
1 oz Benedictine
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 dashes orange bitters
Benedictine and bitters add plenty of spice. Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

White Whiskey Sour
2 oz moonshine
1 oz The Big O ginger liqueur
.5 oz fresh lemon juice
Another take on a classic whiskey drink, the ginger liqueur provides some of the complexity missing in the base spirit, while the moonshine gives the drink plenty of backbone. Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.



Missouri Moonshine


Photo credit: Matt Strm

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