A Primer to the Moonshines on the Market

Some of the fine moonshine available for purchase in liquor stores
Some of the fine moonshine available for purchase in liquor stores
Kings County Distillery

New York City's underground moonshiners might be making jugs of hooch on the down-low, but if you don't have a bootlegger supplying you on the sly, fear not. Liquor store shelves are beginning to be stocked with moonshine, which might be labeled "white dog" or "white whiskey." Basically they're just bottling corn whiskey right off the still as opposed to aging it, which would then yield bourbon. But moonshine sounds way sexier than "white whiskey," no? Of course, as some of the moonshiners I met noted, commercially produced moonshine is a bit counterintuitive. But even if that's the case, it doesn't mean you shouldn't drink it. Most moonshiners suggest drinking the spirit neat, but if that's too tough to handle, try it on the rocks, or experiment by substituting it into your favorite bourbon or vodka cocktail. Here are some of the most readily available commercial moonshines on the market. Party time!

Kings County Moonshine -- Brooklyn's finest moonshine, made from the city's first legal distillery since Prohibition. One of the best-tasting of the commercially available moonshines, this spirit has a sweet, clean corn flavor and is as smooth as could be. 200 milliliters, $20, kingscountydistillery.com

Buffalo Trace White Dog #1 -- Definitely strong and distinctive, this 125-proof spirit packs a punch. But it has a nice, fruity corn flavor with just a touch of rye. 375 milliliters, $15, buffalotrace.com

Hudson New York Corn Whiskey -- Another of the higher-quality moonshines available, this white whiskey from New York State's Tuthilltown is clear and soft in flavor, but it's on the expensive side. 375 milliliters, $39, tuthilltown.com

Junior Johnson's Midnight Moon -- Nascar legend and third generation moonshiner Junior Johnson's brew is clean and crisp with a peppery finish, making it a good option for vodka lovers. 750 milliliters, $20, piedmontdistillers.com   The Original Moonshine -- Distilled a whopping four times, this moonshine from our own Daisy May's BBQ's Adam Perry Lang is mellow with a lingering sweetness and soft finish. 750 milliliters, $40, moonshine.com

Georgia Moon -- One of the more aggressive (read: bad-tasting) moonshines, this one has sharp grassy and yeasty flavors. It's less of a spirit you want to regularly sip, but if you're into kitsch, you'll appreciate the Mason jar packaging. It's also mad cheap. 750 milliliters, $13, heaven-hill.com

Catdaddy -- Also from Piedmont Distillers, this Carolina moonshine is very sweet and highly aromatic with cinnamon, toffee, and vanilla notes -- ideal for a new twist on bourbon cocktails. Or add it to some warm milk for a nice bedtime tipple. 750 milliliters, $20, piedmontdistillers.com

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