Throw your pre-conceived notions out the door. The Prohibition era may exist on PBS specials and HBO but gone are the days of bathtub gin and low quality D.i.Y. moonshine. I recently sat down with Chuck Miller, master distiller of The Original Moonshine and Shem Blum, Brand Ambassador (and mixologist at the Boom Boom Room at the Standard) for a tasting at Macelleria - a steakhouse in the meatpacking district in Manhattan.
Meat and Moonshine?
In fact, during happy hour Macelleria has a promo where they offer up a side of Smithfield Virginia Ham as a small bite to accompany a Moonshine cocktail - a fitting combination given both brands’ commitment to local food and ingredients.
Miller, who donned plaid and a cowboy hat (love), spoke to his family’s long standing tradition of distilling this storied American spirit.
But what is Moonshine?
The Original Moonshine is clear corn whiskey, hand-crafted from 100% estate-grown corn and distilled four times in a Prohibition-era copper pot still. At 80 proof, the Virginia distillery prides itself on sticking to an all-natural, gluten-free, proprietary recipe. The whiskey is charcoal-filtered which produces a pure and smooth flavor.
Moonshine is a gateway spirit. It has more flavor than vodka, it’s not as polarizing as gin and is not as aggressive as a brown spirit such as bourbon or scotch. For newbies, first try it neat, at room temp. Then add a couple of ice cubes to open it up. And finally, segue into a cocktail with Shine as the base spirit.
It’s versatile, approachable liquor that will undoubtedly be incorporated in my next Bloody Mary or mixed with apple cider.
Here's The Jist:
As a Drink Editor I receive a lot of requests for restaurant, bar and nightlife recommendations. So I started a blog to chronicle Chicago's social scene which eventually morphed into New York's drinking and dining scene. After years in Chicago, I'm now a full time resident of NYC, the East Village to be exact. Look forward to sharing the latest and greatest from the wine & spirits world, straight from the Big Apple.