When we think of summer spirits, our thoughts tend to take us to rum, tequila, vodka, and gin. But there’s one more spirit on the market that’s perfect for summer mixing (and sipping) — white whiskey. If you’ve never heard of white whiskey, you might know it by its other moniker, moonshine.
Bear with us here. We know that moonshine doesn’t always have the best reputation. Many people think of it as hidden in the woods in illicit stills, an unregulated spirit famous for causing blindness when improperly distilled. But the liquor, usually made from corn, has actually been legally distilled (with the proper paperwork) since 2010. Whiskey gets its color and most of its flavor from barrel-aging. With moonshine, the spirit doesn’t go through that same maturing process, but it’s still very much whiskey. There’s nothing to be skittish about here! There are tons of brands all over the country getting into the moonshine game. And it’s everything we’ve been missing from summer cocktails.
Since the market has become saturated with white whiskey in the last decade, we decided to ask some of our favorite bartenders to tell us the whiskies and moonshines they like to mix with all summer long.
George Dickel No. 1 White Corn Whisky
Casey Lyons, lead bartender at Pacific Hideaway in Huntington Beach, California
“Dickel Unaged might be the only version of this spirit that I am willing to play with — it keeps its fire manageable on the palate without needing to use a candy store level of syrup to balance it out.”