Moonshine gets a makeover
By Jennifer Justus
It happens at frat parties, hip barbecues, Titans tailgates and even suburban class reunions. A Mason jar emerges from a cooler, shining with a clear, bright liquid, passing surreptitiously from person to person. Suddenly the wine glasses and plastic party cups lose their appeal.
Moonshine is the Waylon Jennings of spirits - all-American, old-fashioned and outlaw, with a swagger that's sure to get a party started.
While distilling illicit moonshine can mean a $10,000 fine and five years in jail, tasting it has gotten a lot easier of late. Licensed distilleries have been marketing "white whiskey" - essentially, legally distilled moonshine - to drinkers and mixologists. And since state law eased Tennessee's restrictions on distilleries about a year ago, two new distilleries have opened in the state, with white whiskey on their rosters: Ole Smoky Distillery in Gatlinburg and Corsair Artisan Distillery in Nashville.
White whiskey is appealing to distillers because it's less expensive to make than aged whiskeys, and bartenders appreciate its unique flavor.
"There's a huge demand for un-aged whiskey right now," said Andrew Webber of Corsair.