Moonshine, that backwoods staple that Granny Clampett kept safely hidden in her medicine closet, is now the hippest new addition to the Farm-to-Table movement. This movement has created an interest in small batch liquors that opened the door for the illicit secret recipes passed down through generations in the hollers of Tennessee to find their way to way to Plan Check, Perch and the Shore Bar thanks to local sons, the Kaufman Brothers. They started Short Mountain Distillery in the heart of Tennessee Moonshine country.
Twelve years ago Billy Kaufman moved to Short Mountain, Tennessee to farm organically and sustainably. He soon got to know his Southern neighbors and learned that the local farmers on the mountain made ends meat making Moonshine. It wasn’t long until Kaufman was approached by his new friends to put a still on his 300-acre farm. He agreed to put a still on his farm, but not the illegal kind. After a legal referendum and a local election, Kaufman was able to have the laws in his conservative, dry county changed to allow for the legal distillation of spirits. Soon the former illegal moonshiners were working for the now legal, Short Mountain Distillery. Kaufman’s recipe has a history that can be traced back to the days of Al Capone. His ‘Shiners tell stories of their grandfathers and great grandfathers selling their illegal wares to the famous mobster during prohibition. True connoisseurs of Moonshine have long seen Short Mountain in Cannon County, Tenn. as the source of the best, which they sip straight up, but those not raised in the tradition find it best added to a cocktail. A visit to the Short Mountain website at www.shortmountaindistillery.com will teach you to whip up a kickin’ White Mule in no time.
Like the original moonshine tradition, Short Mountain Distillery is a family affaire. Kaufman’s brothers David and Ben helped finance the building of the modern still and bottling facilities. David, an MBA graduate from UCLA, helps with finance and distribution. Ben, the youngest brother, moved to Tennessee for two years to learn the intricacies of the surprisingly complex brew and is now back in his native LA excited to help David introduce Yankees to the all-American Southern mixer.
For more information about Short Mountain Distillery, Moonshine and how to enjoy this slightly wicked brew, go to www.shortmountaindistillery.com.