Chilled Magazine | Thoroughly Modern Moonshine

When people hear the word “moonshine,” they often titter uncomfortably. Isn’t that what hillbillies make, some unenlightened souls might say? That stuff will make you see stars, warn others. While there was once some truth in both those statements, the history behind moonshine is as American as apple pie and often just as sweet. Brands like Ole Smoky are moving beyond the somewhat sordid reputation that moonshine had in the past and actively turning it into a spirit category of its own. With moonshine-based cocktail programs opening and numerous brands emerging in what was once an empty space, moonshine is here to stay.

While some companies simply hope to cash in on the curiosity aspect of moonshine — hey look, we can make bathtub hooch! — other companies like Ole Smoky have deep-seated roots in distilling. Ole Smoky co-founder Joe Baker makes no bones about the company’s history. Right on the website, he is quoted as saying,

“We’re Appalachian born and bred. The Ole Smoky families are among the first to step foot in the Smoky Mountains. Like other families, we have honed the art of whiskey making in order to survive during tough economic times.”

Ole Smoky isn’t just some fly-by-night operation. They are, in fact, the first federally licensed distillery in the history of East Tennessee. And, while the family behind the company might have a history of bootlegging and lawbreaking during America’s dry decades, that history makes them proud and helps define them as survivors. They are, in a sense, as American as it gets.

Ole Smoky Front Porch Tea

Courtesy of Ole Smoky Moonshine


  • 2 oz. Ole Smoky Peach Moonshine
  • 1 oz. Sweet Tea
  • 1 oz. Lemonade
  • Sliced Peaches, for Garnish

Preparation: Combine all ingredients in a rocks glass or small mason jar. Stir to combine. Garnish with peach slice.

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