Pumpkin Pie Moonshine Is Everything You Need This Fall

Full disclaimer: Up until last week, I didn't know what exactly moonshine was—or if it was even legal. But when I traveled to the Smokey Mountains to see what was up at Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine, the biggest moonshine distillery in the U.S., a whole new world opened up. (Seriously, though!) People might not be drinking a ton of moonshine in Brooklyn (although it is becoming more popular), but in Tennessee, it seems like they only drink moonshine.

But let's get some myths out of the way first: Moonshine isn't illegal and most definitely will not make you go blind. (That's a falsehood from when it was made illegally during Prohibition in lead pipes.) Today, moonshine is just an umbrella term for unaged whiskey; unlike whiskey, which is aged in wooden barrels, moonshine is clear and has more kick.

In the fall, no one in Tennessee drinks plain 188-proof moonshine (otherwise known as White Lighting)—they drink pumpkin moonshine. Seeing as pretty much everything is pumpkin-flavored these days, it's no surprise that moonshine is getting in on the trend.

At Ole Smoky, I learned how to make moonshine from start to finish: mixing corn and water into mash, letting it ferment and distill. This s*it is a science! And a pretty delicious one— would you try it?!


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