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Shine on with some old-school Moonshine

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Prohibition might have ended ages ago, but moonshine is still available!
Photo: Beverly Poppe

Moonshine is powerful stuff, both in its lore and its kick. Just the word brings up images of bootleggers hot-footing it from the law or shoeless guys wearing overalls and straw hats chugging back a jug. And depending who you talk to, its alcohol content could range as high as 190 proof, making you go blind if you weren’t careful.

Well, as with any great legend, fact and fiction have blended together. Such is the case with Chuck Miller, a third-generation master distiller who produces Original Moonshine. Yes, his uncle made it during Prohibition at Belmont Farm in Culpeper, Virginia (and sometimes had his car windows shot out while transporting it), but the alcohol content of the family’s product has always been 80 proof.

That product is whiskey made with all-organic corn—clear like vodka but with the after-burn of tequila. “It’s a very diverse spirit,” says brand ambassador Sergio Aguayo.

And, for the first time, Las Vegans can sample this once-sinful beverage. Miller’s Moonshine was introduced here on May 20 at Tao, is available at First Food & Bar (where they made us the cocktail below) and will soon be available at bars everywhere.

Miller registered his craft distillery 25 years ago, and Stillhouse officially launched the product in New York in 2010. Miller continues to use the copper still his family once used illegally. Aguayo says little is known about the family’s activity from 1933 to the opening of the distillery. “That’s why there’s so much mystique about it.”

One thing we do know: When you toast with Original Moonshine, make sure to say “Shine on.” It’s kind of a thing.

The Noah Ellis #48

Ingredients:

1.25 oz. Moonshine

2 oz. milk

2 milk cubes

Method:Use Corn Flakes as a garnish.

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Ken Miller is Las Vegas Weekly's associate editor, having previously served as assistant features editor at the Las Vegas Sun ...

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