November 4, 2016 – It’s hard to resist the lure and romance of Moonshine, even the legal kind with all the taxes paid. A company to watch is Sugarlands Distilling based in Gaitlinburg, Tennessee that offers a plethora of flavored moonshine, cream liqueurs and coming soon, small batch Tennessee Whiskey.
Sugarlands Shine derives its name from the Sugarlands, an area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, also known as “moonshiners’ paradise”. It’s a beautiful area and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Gaitlinburg is the distillery offering tours, tastings and music.
We tried Sugarlands Shine Silver Cloud Moonshine and the Pumpkin Spice Moonshine. First impressions are important and we were intrigued by the 750 ml Mason jars with really attractive labels. The Silver Cloud Moonshine is 100 proof, 50% ABV, which came as a surprise because it is so smooth and while you certainly know you’re drinking a spirit, that hot alcohol burn so often found in high proof spirits is missing, and that’s a good thing. The Pumpkin Spice is definitely milder at 40 proof, 20% ABV. We found it more sweet than spicy but not bad over ice and a good base for mixed drinks.
Mason jars are funky and becoming popular for mixing batches of cocktails but they are a beast when it comes to pouring. Sugarlands offers a screw-on plastic spout that makes pouring a cinch and costs only $3.99 plus shipping. Liquor stores in the South often carry them in the Moonshine display area but not so much in the rest of the country. Since you’ll almost certainly be using these Mason jars to mix batches of drinks in the future, invest in a spout and make life simple for yourself.
Sugarlands Distillery launched in 2014 and has already garnered 28 awards for its products including three silver medals at the prestigious 2016 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. The company has partnered with celebrity moonshiners Jim Tom Hedrick, Mark Rogers, and Steven Ray Tickle from the popular Discovery Channel program Moonshiners to create the Legends Series line of moonshine. Most recently, Mark Ramsey and Digger Manes—also of Moonshinersfame—became the company’s newest ‘Legends.’
Sugarlands products are available in AL, CT, GA, IL, IN, KY, OH, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NY, SC, TN, TX, VA, WI, WV, WY. In states that allow direct shipping, check out
Here are a couple of recipes to whet your appetite.
PUMPKIN SPICE APPLE ALE
2 oz Pumpkin Spice Moonshine
4 oz Apple Cider
2 oz Ginger Ale
Quarter apple slices and stack in a tall glass. Shake ingredients with ice and pour over apple slices.
MELON CLOUD PUNCH
10 oz Silver Cloud
10 oz Premium Melon Liqueur
8 oz Mango Juice
4 oz Orange Juice
20 oz Pineapple Juice
Pour all ingredients in a large punch bowl. Stir well and insert cut segments of fresh pineapple and orange slices. Chill in fridge for 12 hours to saturate fruit. Top each glass with soda to add fizz.