When one thinks of moonshine, images of Prohibition, speakeasies, and homemade distilling in mountain valleys under cover of darkness is likely to come up. Our American history is peppered with stories of innovation, creation, and distillation that all helped shape our modern distilling industry as we know it today.
What is moonshine, anyway?
For those few that don’t know what moonshine is, let us enlighten you. Moonshine is a magical creation of corn mash that is filtered yet unaged, leaving a blank canvas on which to place fruity and spicy flavors that dance on the tongue. Known for its extremely high alcohol content, the process by which it gained notoriety had its fair share of “gangsters” that helped to shape its creation, distillation, and even distribution procedures as history played itself out.
How is it made?
Making moonshine is simple enough if you have the right equipment. Moonshine is corn-based, so mixing and heating a mash of water, corn, and malted barley is the beginning of delicious distillation. Heating to a specific temperature ensures that starch is converted to sugar, after which yeast is added to the mixture to begin the fermentation process.
Cooling and aerating after yeast is added to your mash helps fermentation to begin. Placing mash into an airtight container and then allowing it to sit for three to four weeks will help glean an adequate amount of alcohol from the pulp. Once the solids have been separated, it is now time to place the liquid in the still for the final step in the distillation process.
Distilling is a chemical process that involves heating your solution until water separates from the alcohol. A condenser catches the evaporated alcohol once the mixture has reached a temperature where it converts to vapor, and the rest is history. Collecting, filtering, flavoring, bottling, and packaging are the final steps in moonshine making---delicious!
A sliver of moonshine history
People have been distilling their own alcohol for centuries, and it wasn’t actually illegal until the Prohibition movement swept across the United States. It was then that the term “moonshiner” became popular, indicating the nature of distillation as secretive and unsavory. Not surprisingly, taxes were the main point of contention between distillers and government officials, and this conflict continued for years, becoming an all and out war between tax collectors and wayward distillers who pushed back against big government restrictions.
Once Prohibition had ended, and the “thrill of the chase” was officially over, the entire distillation industry took on a whole new direction, with some of the more experienced “shiners” seeking to make an honest living selling quality spirits that weren’t in violation of government policies. As practices continued to evolve, specific individuals made a name for themselves based on the quality of their spirits and their passion for creating new and innovative products.
Where are we now?
With loyal families and long lineage, those committed to moonshine production continue to experiment with new ways to deliver on age-old traditions. From adding new elements during the distillation process to hiring mixologists to come up with unique taste and flavor combinations in cocktails, the creative possibilities seem endless.
Palmetto moonshine: More than just a business…..it’s personal
A rich heritage of moonshiners paved the way for brothers Trey and Bryan Boggs, owners of Palmetto Distillery. Their commitment to honoring their unique lineage through famous moonshiner Doc Boggs...and their passion for creating quality spirits shine through every bottle. Whether it’s lip-smacking moonshine flavors or spicy golden whiskey, they do what is necessary to ensure that you have the best of the best in every glass you pour. It’s not just business...it’s a personal passion. If you want to experience some serious flavor to savor, place an order today. Our wide variety of moonshine flavors and smooth, creamy whiskey will keep you coming back time and time again. The flavor of the South is calling; time to answer! Visit www.palmettodistillery.com for more information.