Is there such a thing as legal moonshine?
- Although moonshine is best known as an illegally homemade alcoholic spirit, there are plenty of legitimate distillers that produce it today. Although some seek to emulate an authentic experience, its loose definition has brought on an exciting variety of beverages.
- 1 Do people really buy moonshine?
- 2 Can you sell moonshine?
- 3 How much do moonshiners sell a gallon of moonshine for?
- 4 How much do they sell moonshine for?
- 5 Why is moonshine so illegal?
- 6 What is the legal proof of moonshine?
- 7 Is making moonshine a felony?
- 8 What states allow home distilling?
- 9 Is it illegal to own a still?
- 10 How can you tell if moonshine is poisonous?
- 11 How much moonshine do you get from 5 gallons of mash?
- 12 How much does a mason jar of moonshine cost?
- 13 Does moonshine go bad?
- 14 Is making moonshine profitable?
- 15 How long does it take to make moonshine?
- 16 Illegal Moonshine Is Still Flowing
- 17 Is Moonshiners real? Does the TV show make real moonshine?
- 18 Where to Find Moonshine in the South
- 19 Moonshine in Georgia
- 20 Moonshine in North Carolina
- 21 Moonshine in Tennessee
- 22 Why Is Making Moonshine Illegal? A Brief History with an Unexpected Bite
- 23 Why is Moonshine Illegal?
- 24 Is It Actually Dangerous?
- 25 So How Come People Still Make Moonshine?
- 26 Moonshine busted
- 27 Moonshine in popular culture – Wikipedia
- 28 Literature
- 29 Movies
- 30 Music
- 31 Television
- 32 Video games
- 33 References
- 34 10 Reasons to Not Make Moonshine – Part 1
- 35 1. Making Moonshine is Illegal
- 36 2. Many Have No Idea What They Are Doing
- 37 3. Explosions
- 38 4. Drinking Moonshine Will Make People Go Blind
- 39 5. Making Moonshine Takes a Long Time
- 40 Bittersweet: California Tea Company Buys Urban Moonshine
Do people really buy moonshine?
The low cost and the long moonshine tradition keep the illegal liquor trade going. But moonshine also remains popular in the rural areas where people have always drunk homemade whiskey. “They’ve drank it so long, they prefer it,” Driskill says.
Can you sell moonshine?
Moonshine is typically made out of some kind of corn mash. Today, people make artisan moonshine out of a sense of nostalgia and preference for taste. These can be sold in liquor stores or brewed just for personal use. However, distilling alcohol at home, even for personal use, is illegal under federal law.
How much do moonshiners sell a gallon of moonshine for?
The selling price is around $25 a gallon if sold in bulk, or $40 for retail price. “They can make as much as $10,000 a month,” the task force said.
How much do they sell moonshine for?
You should be able to find a 750ml bottle of Moonlight priced between 20 and 40. As with most spirits, the price you pay for moonshine depends on the quality, quantity, and where you get it. Street moonshine is most commonly sold in an Orgallone neighborhood. You can expect to pay 30 to 100 for a gallon.
Why is moonshine so illegal?
So why is moonshine still illegal? Because the liquor is worth more to the government than beer or wine. Today, federal rules say a household with two adults can brew up to 200 gallons of wine and the same amount of beer each year. (A few states have their own laws prohibiting the practice.)
What is the legal proof of moonshine?
That’s because alcohol begins to attract moisture from the air at concentrations higher than 96% ABV, immediately diluting your moonshine. It’s worth noting that in most parts of the United States, it is illegal to distill moonshine above 160 proof (80% ABV) and it cannot be bottled at more than 125 proof (62.5% ABV).
Is making moonshine a felony?
But federal law trumps state law, and to the feds, distilling at home for personal consumption is illegal, period. “If you distill without permits, you’re looking at roughly a dozen felonies,” says Tom Hogue, spokesman for the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.
What states allow home distilling?
This tax is built into every bottle of spirits you buy so it’s not a special tax on home made spirits. If you do the calculations, you’ll find your favourite spirits cost up to 90% less when you take the tax off.
Is it illegal to own a still?
It’s perfectly legal to own a still, and you can even use it, as long as you’re not making alcohol – so, you can make essential oils without a permit, or perfume, or distilled water. According to federal law, making beverage alcohol at home is illegal, plain and simple.
How can you tell if moonshine is poisonous?
6 If it burns with a blue flame it is safe, but if it burns with a yellow or red flame, it contains lead, prompting the old saying, ” Lead burns red and makes you dead.”
How much moonshine do you get from 5 gallons of mash?
A 5 gallon run will yield 1-2 gallons of alcohol. A 8 gallon run will yield 1.5-3 gallons of alcohol. A 10 gallon run will yield 2-4 gallons of alcohol.
How much does a mason jar of moonshine cost?
Usually $25 but sometimes they put a flavor or two on sale for $5 off. over a year ago.
Does moonshine go bad?
Although different sources will say different things, the answer for whether moonshine can go bad or not is clear – a bottle of unflavored moonshine, much like other plain spirits, has an indefinite shelf life.
Is making moonshine profitable?
And, moonshiners can make bank. They can haul in more than $100,000 a year in a legal operation [source: Harvison]. And probably make even more when it’s an illegal operation. One moonshine bust in Tennessee netted 1,000 jugs of moonshine thought to have a street value of $50,000 [source: Young].
How long does it take to make moonshine?
As you can see, the process of fermenting and distilling moonshine is quite time-consuming. In general, you can expect it to take between 1-3 weeks to make moonshine, as the mash must ferment and the distillation process must be continued until the final shine is safe for consumption.
Illegal Moonshine Is Still Flowing
The 9th of April, 2002 – In the hills of southern Virginia, the moonshining industry is still going strong, as shown by the potent, illicit white lightning that has been produced in backwoods stills for hundreds of years. Following a combination federal and state operation on illicit booze in Virginia known as Operation Lightning Strike, many people were convicted. The convictions represent the latest chapter in the centuries-old conflict between moonshiners and the authorities. Over the course of three years, Operation Lightning Strike dismantled a multimillion-dollar ring that supplied tons of sugar, bottling supplies, and other equipment and materials used in the production of thousands of gallons of moonshine to customers throughout the country.
According to federal investigators, Stanley and other members of his family operated an illicit booze company for more than 30 years before being forced to close their doors.
The joint federal-state operation also shut down the Farmers Exchange in Rocky Mount, which investigators claim provided enough sugar to moonshiners to produce approximately 1.5 million gallons of the wild liquor.
Who’s Making It Moonshine manufacturing today takes on a variety of shapes and styles.
It’s true that there are some high-tech, bigger operations structured like contemporary enterprises, but, as Earl “Buddy” Driskill Jr., an assistant special agent with the Virginia Department of Alcohol Beverage Control, points out, “it really hasn’t changed that much.” “I believe you have fewer individuals in it in a more significant sense.” His observations of today’s operations include larger and more professional operations, as well as more personnel participating and larger stills, he adds.
- Distilleries are sometimes tucked away in houses, garages, secret subterranean basements, or even caves cut into the side of mountains.
- The larger businesses occasionally trade in drugs and stolen valuables as well.
- While the moonshine industry in Virginia may be booming, it may be on the verge of extinction in other parts of the country.
- According to him, “we’re still putting out anywhere between two and four stills a year, largely in east and northeast Texas, mostly with older people.” “I think it’s simply a sort of ancient family custom; they’ve been doing it for so long that they don’t know how to stop,” says the author.
- Hale believes that after they are gone, the production of moonshine in the region may come to a stop.
- The low cost of moonshine and the lengthy heritage of moonshine production ensure the survival of the illegal liquor trade.
- According to the cheapest white lightning available, it can be purchased for as little as $5 a gallon, which is a fifth to a tenth of the price of legal liquor.
A large part of its appeal can be attributed to its inexpensive cost.
Larger enterprises frequently sell to wholesalers, who package the booze in six-packs of thick, plastic gallon jugs and distribute it to retailers.
“They’ve been drinking it for so long that they’ve come to enjoy it,” Driskill adds.
Home Brew beer and wine, but not alcoholic beverages…
There are also state and local regulations prohibiting the manufacture of alcoholic beverages, as well as a variety of levies levied on the production of alcoholic beverages.
Even while moonshining is normally simply a misdemeanor under state law, the federal government often imposes substantially harsher penalties.
Bill Davis, a Rocky Mount attorney who has defended a number of moonshiners over the years, is critical of Operation Lightning Strike’s “heavy-handed” methods, which he describes as “unnecessarily harsh.” His opinion: “I believe that the administration overstated everything, as they typically do.” As far as he is concerned, moonshining is a small-scale problem that should be dealt with by local authorities.
- Moonshine is not only illegal, but it may also be quite deadly.
- Some distillers have also used dangerous additives like as lye, rubbing alcohol, paint thinner, and other chemicals.
- Making Moonshine is a simple process.
- The name itself goes back to the 15th century, and it is said to have referred to work done at night, under the illumination of the moon.
- However, just a little portion of it is aged in order to soften the unusually sharp flavor.
- It is the first stage in the production of moonshine to ferment in “mash” kegs a mixture of rye, sugar, maize, yeast, and/or other components.
- Modern stills often just employ electric power or propane, in order to minimize the unmistakable plumes of smoke that are released when the mash is “cooked.” In order to bring in fresh water without being noticed, some people employ intricate plumbing systems.
Some bootleggers even offer tasting facilities where consumers may try out their wares before purchasing them.
One type of whiskey, known as milky whiskey, is said to have more in common with lighter fluid than Jack Daniels by some consumers.
Fresh apples, red damsonberries, bananas, hazelnuts, and any other ingredients that strike the distiller’s fancy are frequently used to make illegal “brandy” whiskey.
Because of the wide variation of quality — as well as the lack of health and safety regulations — moonshine consumers have developed centuries-old methods of evaluating their brews.
The approach is not recommended by health professionals.
After Prohibition and the Great Depression took their toll on the economy, there was an increase in production, which was met with resistance at first by “revenuers” from the Treasury Department, and subsequently by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.
“That was the time period when moonshine was extremely popular – in the 1950s and 1960s,” recalls Thomas Allison, 76, who worked as an agent for the Treasury Department and subsequently the ATF, pursuing illegal liquor manufacturers.
They began doing nighttime infrared flights in order to detect illicit stills cooking in the dark.
However, as the federal government shifted its attention elsewhere, the moonshine trade began to revive once again. “It’s a simple matter of supply and demand,” Allison explains. Learn about the history of moonshine by clicking on the links below.
Is Moonshiners real? Does the TV show make real moonshine?
9.04.2002: The ninth of April, 2002, is a Saturday. In the hills of southwestern Virginia, the moonshining industry is still going strong, as shown by the potent, illicit white lightning that has been produced in backwoods stills for hundreds of years in the region. Several recent prosecutions in Operation Lightning Strike, a joint federal and state assault on illicit booze in Virginia, show the newest chapter in a centuries-old conflict between moonshiners and government officials. Over the course of three years, Operation Lightning Strike dismantled a multimillion-dollar ring that supplied tons of sugar, bottling supplies, and other equipment and materials used in the production of thousands of gallons of moonshine to customers throughout the world.
- Stanley and other members of his family, according to federal investigators, operated an illegal booze company for more than 30 years before being forced to close their doors.
- The Farmers Exchange in Rocky Mount was also closed as part of the joint federal-state operation, according to authorities, which sold enough sugar to moonshiners to produce nearly 1.5 million gallons of the illicit alcoholic beverage in the backcountry.
- Who is responsible for it?
- The South, which has always been the epicenter of illegal booze manufacture, continues to have a large number of backwoods blackpot stills.
- As he observes them today, the operations he sees are larger and more organized, with more people participating and larger stills, according to him.
- It is possible for the largest distilleries to have a network of dozens of 800-gallon stills that can produce thousands of gallons of alcohol every week.
- Authorities claim that they are professional criminals trying to make money, rather than old-fashioned artisans with noble motives.
According to Roy Hale, a specialist with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, there isn’t much illegal booze left in northeastern Texas, which is known as a moonshine hotspot.
It’s possible that the region’s moonshine production may come to a stop once they’re gone, adds Hale.
It is possible to sustain the illegal liquor trade because of the low cost and long heritage of moonshine production.
Driskill claims that the customer hasn’t changed all that much.
A large part of its appeal can be attributed to the inexpensive cost.
Major wholesalers purchase booze from larger companies and distribute it in six-packs of thick, plastic gallon jugs to retail customers.
As Driskill explains, “since they’ve been drinking it for so long, they enjoy it.” A number of moonshine enthusiasts have expressed a preference for “natural” homemade whiskey over mass-produced alternatives, while others have expressed a dislike for the prospect of paying taxes on their beverages.
- Beer and wine can be made for personal consumption without a license under federal law, but distilled spirits cannot be produced without a license.
- Federal, state, and municipal taxes account for an average of 55 percent of the cost of a bottle of alcoholic beverages..
- A number of those indicted in Operation Lightning Strike were sentenced to jail terms ranging from 30 years to 60 years.
- Bill Davis, a Rocky Mount attorney who has defended countless moonshiners over the years, disagrees.
- Furthermore, moonshine is frequently hazardous to one’s health.
- Additionally, some distilleries have used lye, rubbing alcohol, paint thinner, and other potentially hazardous substances in their products.
- Moonshine Production The word “moonshine” refers to unlawful alcoholic beverages, most often maize whiskey, though it can also refer to “brandy” derived from fermented fruit under certain circumstances.
- Most moonshine can be 190 proof, which is practically pure alcohol, but most of it is no more potent than its store-bought counterparts in terms of strength.
Whiskey that has not been matured is referred described as “white lightning.” When creating moonshine, the first stage is to ferment a mixture of rye, sugar or maize meal with yeast or other components in kegs known as “mash.” Afterwards, the mixture is distilled in cooker kegs, which are constructed by heating the liquid and collecting the evaporated alcohol via a network of copper tubes and into a “thumper” keg.
- To prevent the unmistakable plumes of smoke created during “heating” the mash, modern stills can run solely on electricity or propane.
- It was formerly possible to stroll down a brook or stream, from one illicit still to another, according to older “revenuers.” Some bootleggers even have tasting facilities where consumers may come and try their wares before buying them outright.
- One type of whiskey, known as milky whiskey, is said to have more in common with lighter fluid than Jack Daniels, according to some consumers.
- Fresh apples, red damsonberries, bananas, hazelnuts, and other ingredients that attract the distiller’s eye are frequently used to make illegal “brandy” whiskey.
- The presence of lead or other impurities in a shaken jar of moonshine, according to some, suggests contamination.
- It’s a Long and Profound Tradition It has been a part of American life since the first colonies arrived, and it is expected to continue to grow.
- After Prohibition, some believe that the era of moonshine occurred, when the desire for inexpensive booze in metropolitan areas reached an all-time high.
- This year, they started flying night infrared missions in order to detect illicit stills cooking in the dark of the night.
However, once the federal government shifted its focus elsewhere, the moonshine trade reappeared. All Allison has to say is, “It’s supply and demand.” Learn about the history of moonshine by clicking on the image. Interactive:
The answer to that question, my friend, is a sophisticated one that involves a discussion about the nature of reality, the interweaving of myth and legend with anticipation, as well as, of course, the degree to which people are willing to accept their own propaganda. Starting with the obvious, we’ll go on. The simple act of seeing reality has the effect of altering it. This is a television show, complete with cameras, producers, directors, and editors, among other things. Many of the cast members are referred to as “actors” throughout the film.
They’re most likely quite similar copies of themselves.
Are the moonshiners legal? What the law says about making moonshine
It’s also worth noting that, traditionally, the clandestine nature of the whiskey cooking hasn’t been the determining factor in whether or not moonshine is legal. It is a tax-free transaction. That is why, traditionally, moonshiners have taken on the IRS rather than, say, the ATF. As a result, if the moonshiners featured on the show secure the necessary permissions and pay the necessary fees, they will be able to stroll around in the woods and distill as much whiskey as they want without ever violating the law.
- Many members of the Moonshiners cast have stated that television video is not admissible as proof in their efforts to maintain their status as genuine outlaws.
- Members of the Moonshinerscast, whose apparent legal acumen is fairly remarkable, also empirically say that they must be caught in the process of making moonshine.
- Moonshine isn’t a big deal in the highlands, and local law enforcement isn’t very concerned about it.
- The occasional good gambling or moonshine bust will occur around election time, but the most of the time, the moonshiner will be engaged in some other activity — such as Tickle being nabbed for possessing a sawed-off shotgun – to avoid being apprehended.
The truth about moonshine culture in the Smokies
Finally, there’s one more layer of reality that we need to take into consideration. It is the result of the culture’s effect on itself. The Godfather movies, according to certain sources, caused a lot of mafia behavior to change in terms of their speech, actions, and overall behaviour. Is it true that these moonshiners are portraying the most authentic versions of themselves, or are they just behaving in the manner in which they have been taught a moonshiner should act? The first season of Moonshiners made extensive use of video of Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton, who committed himself after a series of run-ins with the authorities led to the prospect of genuine prison time.
- He was from the mountains, of course, but I believe he realized that acting in a particular way boosted his renown and capacity to sell his products.
- By the end, I’m not sure Sutton himself was aware of what had happened.
- In this photograph, Popcorn Sutton is holding one of his moonshine stills (photo courtesy ofSucker Punch Pictures) How much is the way he speaks, the way he walks, and the way he behaves influencing the way others see him and his actions?
- Also check out these 6 startling facts about Popcorn Sutton and his moonshine production.
- I believe that the majority of moonshiners would tell you that they show their true selves to the world through their products.
- Is this the actual world?
- Is it possible that you’ve watched the show Moonshinerson Discovery Channel?
- What did you make of it?
- Disclaimer: While we make every effort to provide you with the most up-to-date information, please keep in mind that the attractions and pricing mentioned in this article may vary depending on the season and are subject to change.
The opinions stated here are solely those of the author and not those of any of the businesses mentioned, and have not been approved or sponsored by any of these organisations. If you have any questions or comments, please email us at [email protected]
Where to Find Moonshine in the South
Copper is still used. Lightning takes the form of a white dot. Mountain dew is a kind of dew found in the mountains. Hooch. In some people’s minds, moonshine conjures up images of backwoods “pappies” making whiskey in creeks, all at the danger of being apprehended by the feds. The popular television showMoonshiners, as well as the filmLawless, are also worth seeing. One thing is clear, and that is that illegally made, high strength, unfiltered maize whiskey can only be found in the southern United States.
- It made extensive use of maize, which grows readily in the region, and frequently included fruits such as peaches to add taste.
- The origins of NASCAR may be traced back to moonshiners and their specially prepared trucks, according to historical records.
- It’s frequently in the neighborhood of 100 proof or more.
- are all used in the production of whiskey, and they are mixed and processed in three stages: fermentation, distillation, and condensation.
- While exploring the town of Greensboro, Georgia, I stopped into the local newspaper, where I was greeted by the editor, who handed me a glass of peach moonshine.
- a few days later.
- Although the liquor has had a rebirth in popularity, although legal, in recent years, its origins may be traced back to the mountains of Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee.
“loading=”lazy” data-medium-file=” data-large-file=” data-small-file=” height=”1024″ width=”765″ width=”1024″ src=”alt=”moonshine” src=”” srcset=” 765w,224w,768w,149w,300w,1530w ” srcset=” 765w,224w,768w,149w,300w,1530w ” sizes=”(max-width: 765px) 100vw, 765px”> sizes=”(max-width: 765px) 100vw, 765px”> In 2012, I had my first drink of moonshine.
Although moonshine country stretches beyond these states, the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States reports that the biggest number of illicit stills have been recovered in Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Alabama.
Many of the same family recipes are used in legal forms; the only difference is that there is greater government monitoring and that there are many more taxes.
When properly prepared, you might be surprised at how palatable moonshine can be when combined into a cocktail in lieu of just about any other type of booze.
However, some distilleries sell their maize whiskey using the term “moonshine” rather than the word “whiskey,” and they do it in a traditional manner.
Moonshine in Georgia
- Selections for the moonrise “selections for the moonrise
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- Sizes=”(max-width: Whiskey distiller in Dawsonville ” data-medium-file=” data-large-file=” loading=”lazy” width=”1024″ height=”683″ src=” alt=”” data-large-file=” loading=”lazy” width=”1024″ height=”683″ src=” alt=”” data-id=”6848″ data-link=” srcset=” 1024w,300w,768w,450w,200w,2048w ” sizes=”(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px ” data-id=”6848″ data-link=” srcset=” 1024w,300w,768w,450w,200w,2048w ” sizes=”(max-width: 1024px) “> Distillery in Dawsonville
Dawson County, Georgia, was the epicenter of moonshine production in the state, supplying booze to Atlanta during the Prohibition era. Counties in the surrounding area, including Gilmer, Pickens, and Lumpkin, also had illegal moonshine operations. Some men, such as Simmie Free, who grew up in Rabun County in another mountain county, began distilling with his father when he dropped out of second grade. Today, you can relive the history of moonshine at the Dawsonville Moonshine Distillery, which employs a formula that was passed down from Free’s grandfather.
Ivy Mountain Distillery LLC, which is owned and operated by Carlos Lovell, halted their illicit activities in the 1960s but now produces a legal version of their sour mash utilizing Georgia goods, albeit their distillery is not exposed to the general public.
His recipe was passed down through the generations.
Moonshine in North Carolina
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When it comes to moonshine in North Carolina, the tale is largely concentrated upon Wilkes County, which federal tax collectors dubbed “the moonshine capital of the world.” Although some may disagree with the designation, it is undeniable that the mountains of North Carolina have a long and illustrious history of illegal booze production. Some of these traditions have survived into the present era. One such distillery is Call Family Distillers, which is run by “The Uncatchable” Willie Call. An ancestor of Jack Daniel’s collaborated with the corporation in the 1800s before selling his interest in the business.
Piedmont Distillers Inc., the state’s first authorized distillery, was established in 2005 as a for-profit corporation.
A second distillery in Asheville, the Asheville Distilling Company, commonly known as Troy and Son, manufactures “genuine American moonshine” using only the finest ingredients available.
Moonshine in Tennessee
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- Cocke County, Tennessee ” data-medium-file=” data-large-file=” loading=”lazy” width=”1024″ height=”683″ data-large-file=” loading=”lazy” width=”1024″ height=”683″ The county of Cocke is defined by the src=” alt=”” data-id=”6857″ data-link=” srcset=” 1024w, 300w, 768w, 450w, 200w, 2048w ” sizes=”(max-width: 1024) 100vw, 1024px”> Cocke County
Blount, Polk, and Sevier counties were among the counties where moonshining took place in Tennessee, in the area now known as the Great Smoky Mountains. Popcorn Sutton, for example, gained to prominence in the 1960s as a result of his illicit moonshine distillation operations in Cocke County, Tennessee, and Maggie Valley, North Carolina. He committed himself in 2009 in order to escape serving time in prison, but his memory lives on through the Tennessee White Whiskey created by his wife and Hank Williams Jr.
The number of tasting rooms in the area has increased dramatically in recent years, with Ole Smoky Distillery being one of the most well-known.
In addition to Thunder Road Distillery and Old Forge Distillery, which are located in Kodak and Pigeon Forge, respectively, Cocke County Moonshine Distillery is located in a more rural setting yet produces a more genuine product.
- Blount, Polk, and Sevier counties were among the counties where moonshining took place in Tennessee, in the region now known as the Great Smoky Mountains. Names like Popcorn Sutton rose to prominence in the 1960s as a result of his illicit moonshine distillation operations in Cocke County, Tennessee, and Maggie Valley, North Carolina, which brought him to national attention. He committed himself in 2009 in order to escape being sentenced to jail, but his memory lives on via the Tennessee White Whiskey created by his wife and Hank Williams Jr. at Popcorn Sutton Distilling in Popcorn, Tennessee. The number of tasting rooms in the area has increased dramatically in recent years, with the most well-known being the Ole Smoky Distillery. Downtown Gatlinburg is also home to Sugarlands Distilling Company and Doc Collier Moonshine, among other businesses. In addition to Thunder Road Distillery and Old Forge Distillery in Kodak and Pigeon Forge, Cocke County Moonshine Distillery is located in a more rural region yet produces a more genuine product.
Have you ever tried moonshine?
The Georgia Department of Tourism, Travel South USA, Visit North Carolina, Geiger Public Relations, and the Tennessee Department of Tourism all provided assistance in conducting research for this piece.
Why Is Making Moonshine Illegal? A Brief History with an Unexpected Bite
Moonshine has seen somewhat of a rebirth in recent years. Moonshine, the colloquial term for clear, non-barrel-aged whiskey — and, on occasion, other home-distilled spirits — has piqued the interest of a younger generation of drinkers, prompting the publication of books on the subject and the launch of upscale whiskey brands that use the term “moonshine” in their branding. In fact, there’s a Discover Channel show called Moonshiners that focuses on the American folk heritage of home-brewed handmade whiskey production.
- The manufacturing of moonshine — or, for that matter, any spirit — without a license is strictly outlawed by the United States government and is considered to be highly unlawful.
- Despite the fact that clear whiskey in the manner of moonshine is available for purchase, moonshine is still considered moonshine since it is created illegally.
- Because of this, those who violate the federal law may face various federal offenses, including tax evasion, which may result in up to 10 years imprisonment on top of confiscation and forfeiture of the land that was utilized for the illicit activity.
Why is Moonshine Illegal?
“While many individuals are aware that distilling alcohol at home is against the law, many are unsure as to why or how these rules came to be,” says the author. According to Colin Spoelman, co-founder of Brooklyn’sKings County Distillery and author ofGuide to Urban Moonshining: How to Make and Drink Whiskey, Inverse is a great source of information. On the surface, the legislation appears to be illogical, but when you dive a bit further into its history, it becomes a little more evident. Instead than the government being concerned that you’ll go blind from drinking moonshine, the limitations on moonshine are mostly based on taxation.
Because, after all, they had recently won a battle against the British government’s tax duties, the American farmers who produce the grain used in moonshine were not going to take it lying down.
Fast forward to the age of the Civil War, when it was formally declared that creating moonshine without paying taxes was unlawful.
This legislation, among other things, formally put a tax on alcoholic beverages, making it much more difficult to get away with distilling without a permission.
Unfortunately, this included the production of homemade spirits, and it has been unlawful to produce spirits in private residences in the United States ever since.
Is It Actually Dangerous?
The federal government claims that the legality of home distilling is a method of protecting consumers in today’s craft liquor boom. However, many people believe that it is a barrier. One method by which the government has been able to advertise this rule is by implying that moonshine-making at home is harmful since it has the potential to be contaminated with toxic heavy metal particles. There are other concerns that may be avoided, including tainting the spirit with methanol, which has been linked to blindness in the past.
As Spoelman points out, “Moonshine manufacturing has frequently been portrayed as harmful in popular culture.” “Throughout history, governments have tended to exaggerate the threat of terrorism in order to increase tax revenue.” In general, the government has always placed a high level of scrutiny on the consumption of alcoholic beverages.
So How Come People Still Make Moonshine?
You might be thinking at this point if it’s really worth the effort to make your own moonshine in the first place. Despite the fact that moonshining is illegal, each state approaches the issue in a somewhat different way. As a result of their past with renegade moonshiners, states in the South, such as the Carolinas, Virginia, and Florida, tend to have stronger enforcement, according to Spoelman. In spite of the fact that you may reside in a state such as Missouri, where a person may legally create up to 100 gallons of spirits per year without obtaining a licence, Spoelman warns that distilling your own moonshine is still an extremely dangerous endeavor.
As it turns out, while it’s simple to acquire the equipment needed to produce moonshine online, the Tennessee Bureau of Liquor Control has been known to crack down on unregistered stills.
According to the providers, this is necessary in order to remain within the legal parameters.
Ngoc Vo is known as “The Messenger.” An illegal moonshine manufacturing facility along Gardner Bassett Road was busted this morning in a forested area beside the road. According to Sheriff Russell Thomas, the raid was the result of joint investigation efforts by the Department of Conservation and the Pike County Sheriff Department, with help from the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, which led to the discovery of the illegal distillery. According to Thomas, 20 barrels were discovered, each of which generates around 7 gallons of finished goods, for a total of approximately 140 to 150 gallons of illegal alcoholic beverage.
According to Thomas, “what we have here is a complete contempt for the law.” “They are aware of what has to be done and how to go about it.” According to the state police moonshine task team, the moonshine was in the fermenting stage and had been for around two days, with some being farther advanced depending on the temperature.
- According to Thomas, illicit moonshine manufacturing generates a significant profit difference between the cost of production and the selling price.
- The task team calculated that the equipment and supplies needed to create the moonshine would cost roughly $2,000 to $3,000 total.
- The sugar and wheat used in the production of moonshine cost around $8 per gallon.
- “They can earn as much as $10,000 each month,” according to the task team.
- According to Thomas, clandestine moonshine manufacture is extremely risky because the still is powered by propane.
- Furthermore, there is no safety or health inspection for such an alcoholic beverage on the premises.
A more thorough inquiry will be carried out. According to Thomas, the most recent moonshine still they busted is currently on loan to the Pioneer Museum in Springfield, Missouri. This one will be leased to the Brundidge-based We Piddle Around Theater Company.
Moonshine in popular culture – Wikipedia
According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Navigate to the next page Jump to the search results Moonshine (illicit distillation) is mentioned in a variety of media, including literature, cinema pictures, song lyrics, and television shows. Around 1920, a moonshine window was installed in the storefront of the Arthur Jordan Piano Company in Washington, DC.
- Patrick Dennis’ fictitious biography First Lady revolves around a moonshine known as “Lohocla” (alcohol spelt backwards), which is manufactured by the father of heroine Martha Dinwiddie Butterfield and consumed in the early years. In Lohocla, the concoction becomes less prominent as the story progresses, until the time of World War II, when the now-aged Martha Dinwiddie Butterfield donates her father’s original formula to the United States government, which uses it in the atomic bombs dropped on Japan. In Rocket Boys (and the follow-up movie), written and directed by Homer H. Hickam Jr., moonshine plays a role in one of the home-made rocket fuels the protagonists create. The result is that they become inebriated in order to achieve it.
- Felix the Cat, in the 1924 cartoonFelix Finds Out, is tasked by his friend Willie with the task of determining what causes the moon to shine, as part of the latter’s homework. A bottle of moonshine is consumed by Felix when he visits a distillery that serves moonshine by mistake
- In the 1953 filmStalag 17, in which William Holden plays prisoner of war Sgt. Sefton, the still is one of Sefton’s more “profitable” endeavors. To describe its product, which is created from potato peels and threads salvaged from Red Cross containers, he says the house only promises that you will not become blind. The year is 1958, and the film is titled Among those who appeared in Thunder Road were Robert Mitchumas, who played a moonshine runner who took risks driving his family’s product through the Tennessee hills for delivery in Memphis. The Great Escape, a 1963 film about Allied prisoners of war escaping from a German POW camp during World War II, is based on a true story. It starred Steve McQueen as U.S. Army Air Force Captain Virgil Hilts, “The Cooler King,” and James Garner as British Royal Air Force Flight Lieutenant Bob Hendley DFC, “The Scrounger,” as the film’s two central protagonists. In honor of the Fourth of July, the two of them distill moonshine. As they are dishing out their lethal concoction to the captives on that particular day, German guards come into the tunnel—nicknamed “Tom”—that these two and the other convicts are digging
- This is shown in the 1968 filmKillers Three. After World War II, a moonshine runner in the mountains of North Carolina. Wayne’s characterRuben J. “Rooster” Cogburn is a habitual drinker in the John Wayne filmsTrue Grit (1969) andRooster Cogburn (1975), in which Clark co-stars with Wayne. This is the opinion of a United States Marshal who describes his favorite moonshine as “genuine,double-rectifiedbusthead.” He, on the other hand, never purchases his moonshine, preferring instead to confiscate it from other drunks for his own enjoyment. The use of moonshine was crucial to the narrative of the Burt Reynolds films from 1973. White Lightning, as well as its sequel, Gator The 1973 filmThe Last American Herois based on the actual tale of AmericanNASCARracing driver and ownerJunior Johnsonand his family’s lengthy participation with moonshining in North Carolina
- The film was released in 1973 and has since been re-released several times. Sheriff Buford Pusser is shown in the 1973 filmWalking Tall, who is tasked with combating illicit moonshine distilleries in McNairy County, among other things. The film was released in 1975. In Moonrunners, Jerry Rushing’s real-life experiences and anecdotes are fabricated to tell the story of a moonshiner. Greased Lightning, a 1977 film starring Richard Pryor as Wandell Scott, the first African-American stock car racing champion in the United States, is set to be released on DVD this year. Scott’s actual life experience is partly based on the plot of the film. Scott learnt the art of vehicle racing while working as a taxi cab driver in the years following World War II, delivering bootleg moonshine through the backwoods of Virginia. The television series from the 1970s Aside from the Waltons, there are two recurring characters: the elderly and genteel Baldwin sisters, Southern belle spinsters who follow in their father’s footsteps by making and sharing a product they refer to as “Papa’s recipe” or “The Recipe,” which they naively believe to be a harmless folk remedy but which is actually powerful moonshine whiskey
- And the Waltons’ son, who is a recurring character as well as a supporting character. The 1996 filmThe People vs. Larry Flynt shows Flynt and his brother Jimmy as youngsters who are involved in the moonshine business. During the 1996 made-for-TV film Moonshine Highway, Kyle MacLachlan portrays a driver who smuggles illicit moonshine across the wilderness of Tennessee in a modified Lincoln Continental. Set in the 1950s, the moonshiners face off against federal authorities and a corrupt sheriff in order to survive. It is a study of a rural community in which the regular distribution of moonshine becomes suddenly responsible for a series of mysterious deaths when rebellious women of the town kill the more chauvinist men with select bottles tinctured with lily-of-the-valley root
- The film was released in Hungary in 2002. “Maynardville, Tennessee,” Lt. Aldo Raine (played by Brad Pitt) states in the 2009 filmInglourious Basterds. Bootlegging is something I’ve done my fair share of. If you’re up in the mountains engaged in what the federal government considers unlawful activity, but what we refer to as a guy simply trying to make a livelihood for his family by selling moonshine spirits, it’s important to have your wits about you. To summarize, we hear a story that sounds too good to be true—and it is
- The 2012 film, Lawless, is a biographical drama gangster film directed by John Hillcoat and based on Matt Bondurant’s 2008 novelThe Wettest County in the Worldabout his grandfather and great-uncles in Prohibition-era Franklin County, Virginia
- Moonshine appears in the songs of a variety of artists, including Bruno Marssangmoonshine, Bob Dylan, James Taylor, Van Morrison, John Denver,Ol’ Dirty Bastard,Steve Earle, Jimmy Buffett, Akon, Jamie T, Mike Oldfield, andHank Williams, Jr., as well asHank Williams III. Moonshine is a type of whiskey that is produced by the distillation of molasses. Dolly Parton sang a song titled “Daddy’s Moonshine Still” which was written for her father. “Tear My Stillhouse Down,” a song written by American country-roots singer/songwriter Gillian Welch, is a lament for a dying moonshiner. Hank Williams III wrote “A Moonshiner’s Life,” in which he paid tribute to a specific individual by name
- George Jones’ 1959 chart-topping song “White Lightning” chronicles the story of a moonshiner from North Carolina. “The old man resided in the hills of North Carolina, far away from the city, and he had a still on his property. He worked till the sun went down, brewing white lightning. Then he’d fill a jug with water and pass it around the room. Pappy’s corn squeezin’, mighty tremendous pleasin’, mightily wonderful pleasin'” A song titled “The Ballad of Thunder Road,” sung by Robert Mitchum in 1958, tells the story of a moonshiner and his kid who run the drugs in a truck and escape the “revenuers.” Towards the end of the story, the son drives too fast—”He exited the road at ninety,” according to one sentence. It ends with the lyric, “The Law never caught him ’cause the Devil got him first!”
- ” Copper Kettle ” is a satirical song about moonshine sung by performers such as Joan Baez and Michael Jackson. Bob Dylan’s song “Brown Eyed Women (and Red Grenadine)” contains references to moonshine: “Daddy made whiskey and he made it well / Cost two dollars and it burned like hell / I cut hick’ry to fire the still / Drink down a bottle and you’re ready to kill”
- The Grateful Dead’s song “Brown Eyed Women (and Red Grenadine)” contains references to moonshine: ” a funk group “Moonshine Heather (Taking Care of Business)” is a song about a woman who must sell moonshine in order to maintain her children, and it was recorded by Parliament under the direction of George Clinton. a black metal band with a black background In a song of the same name, which can be found on their album, Venompraise the beverage. Possessed
- Rapper from Covington, Georgia Boondox wrote and recorded a song titled “Sippin on down,” which is about the process of manufacturing and consuming moonshine. The song ” No No Song ” by Hoyt Axton tells the story of a series of successive efforts to sell narcotics and Tennessee moonshine to a recovering addict who refuses to accept any of it. Ringo Starr’s cover of this song was a number-one hit in Canada
- The bluegrass song ” Rocky Top ” (the University of Tennessee’s fight song) tells the story of strangers who went looking for a moonshine still and never returned, as well as the story of locals who “get their corn from a jar” because the ground is too rocky to grow corn
- And the story of strangers who went looking for a moonshine still and never returned is told in There is a reference to drinking moonshine in the song “Ready or Not” by The Fugees
- Dennis Wilson, the Beach Boys’ drummer, wrote a song named ” Moonshine ” on his lone solo album, Pacific Ocean Blue, which is available on iTunes
- And Delta Moon stated in the song “Clear Blue Flame,” from the album of the same name, that “good moonshine burns with a clear, blue flame”
- Aerosmith stated in the song ” Rag Doll,” that “getting crazy on the moonshine”
- And Florida Georgia Line stated that “good moonshine burns with a clear, blue flame.” Georgia Line has a song on their album that is titled In his albumBarefoot Blue Jean Night, Jake Owen has a song called “Apple Pie Moonshine,” which is an ode to his Alabama ancestors. RapperYelawolfhas a song called “Get Your Shine On,” which is an homage to his Alabama ancestors. He believes himself to be a connoisseur of Southern alcoholic beverages, particularly moonshine. In theBubba SparxxxsongDeliverance, record producer and singerTimbalandsexplained his influences. In 2014, country musician Brad Paisley released his ninth studio album, Moonshine in the Trunk, which contains a song with the same title. The Irish traditional tunes are included on the album as well as on the CD. “I’ve been traveling for a while, with my fishing pole and a bottle of’shine.” The Moonshiner and The Hills of Connemara are both films that deal with moonshine. In the film ‘Hills,’ it is referred to as “mountain tay.”
- Granny from the 1960s television seriesThe Beverly Hillbillies runs a moonshine still near the Clampett family swimming pool (also known as the “cement pond”)
- She refers to the product as rheumatism medicine and as an ingredient in her “spring tonic,” and she claims to drink only a thimbleful at a time
- And she claims to drink only a thimbleful at a time. The Waltons revolved around the old spinster Baldwin sisters, who, in remembrance of their dearly deceased father, strive to keep the knowledge of “The Recipe” alive among the general public. To their surprise, their father was a bootlegger, and the cocktail they carefully prepare from “The Recipe” is actually moonshine whiskey. A homemade distillery in their tent was featured in the television seriesM*A*S*H, where the characters Hawkkeye Pierce and Trapper John McIntyre, who were subsequently replaced byB. J. Hunnicutt, produced moonshine (which they typically called to asgin). It is portrayed in each version as though the heroes of the television seriesThe Dukes of Hazzardare still running a still either currently or in the past
- Calvin (Dennis Burkley) establishes a still in Fred Sanford’s kitchen in the Sanford episode “In the Still of the Night.” A key narrative strand in an episode ofEmergency! from the fourth season was a brief outbreak of psychotic behavior among drinkers, which was eventually connected to lead poisoning from a moonshine still. Toward the end of the episode, Engine Co. 51 was tasked with extinguishing a blaze that had engulfed that particular distillery (as well as the home in which it was housed). It was revealed in the second season of The Unit that one ex-member of the unit was making Moonshine for the benefit of the other members. A number of episodes portrayed the members of the Unit sipping Moonshine from mason jars, which was later shown to be false. In an episode of the television show It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, When Frank Reynolds and Mac are preparing a secret microbrew, they are shown pouring enormous volumes of moonshine into the mixture. Cuyler of the Squidbillies, according to legend, was a regular maker of moonshine. This is the eighth episode of the first season of Stargate Atlantis, in which the Atlantis team encounters a culture that produces its own whiskey
- In ‘The Simpsons,’ Homer gets friends with moonshiners, and he eventually becomes an official taste tester owing to his ability to consume a lot of alcohol and have a very good sense of taste in alcohol. When Beecher is handed moonshine by one of his bunkmates on Oz, the HBO drama series set in a prison, it becomes a big deal. Moonshiners is a reality television show that premiered on the Discovery Channel in the fall of 2011. Several episodes of The Real Housewives of Orange County included the phrase It is seen that Tamra Judge’s brother and mother are drinking moonshine. Gordan Clune is a moonshine manufacturer and retailer who appears on the reality television program Frontier House. The MythBusters investigate if an exploding still has the capability of destroying a house and whether it has the ability to utilize booze to power an unmodified automobile on a “moonshine run” on MythBusters. There are several sequences in Pablo Escobar, The Drug Lord in which characters consume Moonshine
- One such scene is in the film “Pablo Escobar, The Drug Lord,” in which characters consume Moonshine.
- Granny from the 1960s television seriesThe Beverly Hillbillies runs a moonshine still near the Clampett family swimming pool (also known as the “cement pond”)
- She refers to the product as rheumatism medicine and as an ingredient in her “spring tonic,” and she claims to consume only a thimbleful at a time
- And she claims to drink only a thimbleful at a time. The Waltons revolved around the old spinster Baldwin sisters, who, in remembrance of their dearly deceased father, strive to preserve the knowledge of “The Recipe” alive in the community. Unbeknownst to them, their father was a bootlegger, and the cocktail they carefully create from “The Recipe” is actually moonshine whiskey. A homemade distillery in their tent was featured in the television seriesM*A*S*H, where the characters Hawkkeye Pierce and Trapper John McIntyre (later replaced by B. J. Hunnicutt) produced moonshine (which they referred to asgin). It is presented in each version as though the heroes of the television series The Dukes of Hazzard are still running a still either currently or in the past. Calvin (Dennis Burkley) establishes a still in Fred Sanford’s kitchen in the Sanford episode “In the Still of the Night”
- It was shown in an episode ofEmergency! that a tiny outbreak of psychotic behavior among alcoholics was caused by lead poisoning from a moonshine still, which was eventually related to the program’s primary story line. A fire that had engulfed the distillery (and the building in which it was housed) was brought under control by the conclusion of the episode by Engine Co. 51. One of the episodes from the second season of The Unit included an ex-member making Moonshine for the other members of The Unit. A number of episodes featured the members of the Unit sipping Moonshine from mason jars, which was later shown to be true. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia was featured in one episode. When Frank Reynolds and Mac are preparing a secret microbrew, they are shown pouring enormous volumes of moonshine into the pot. It is reported that Cuyler of Squidbillies was a regular maker of moonshine during his early years
- A culture that produces its own moonshine is encountered in episode eight of the first season of Stargate Atlantis
- The crew of the Atlantis encounters them. After becoming friends with a group of moonshiners, Homer is recruited as an official taste tester due to his proclivity for indulging in copious amounts of alcoholic beverages and his exceptional ability to detect the presence of alcohol. When Beecher is handed moonshine by one of his bunkmates on Oz, the HBO drama series set in a prison, it is a big deal. During the autumn of 2011, the Discovery Channel premiered a reality television show named Moonshiners. In various episodes of The Real Housewives of Orange County, the women discuss their relationship with their children. Drinking moonshine is seen in the video of Tamra Judge’s brother and mother. Gordan Clune is a moonshine manufacturer and retailer seen in the reality television show Frontier House. The MythBusters investigate if an exploding still has the capability of destroying a house and whether it has the capability of supplying alcohol to an unmodified automobile on a “moonshine run” on MythBusters. There are several sequences in Pablo Escobar, The Drug Lord in which characters consume Moonshine
- One such scene is in the film “Pablo Escobar, The Drug Lord,” which takes place in Mexico.
- Hillbilly: A Cultural History of an American Icon, by Anthony Harkins, is available online. Oxford University Press, United States of America, 2005, ISBN 978-0195189506
10 Reasons to Not Make Moonshine – Part 1
Firstly, a quick reminder that distilling alcohol is unlawful unless you have an approved federal fuel alcohol or distilled spirit plant authorization in addition to the appropriate state permissions. Our distillation apparatus is intended solely for legal reasons, and the information contained in this paper is intended solely for educational purposes. We encourage you to read our comprehensive legal statement for further information on the legality of distillation.
1. Making Moonshine is Illegal
It is true that distillation of alcohol without the required authorization is prohibited by federal law, even if the distillation is just for personal consumption. Only commercial distillers are permitted to legally produce alcohol for human use. Each state also has its own set of laws, which can be rather different from one another. Despite this, there is a federal fuel alcohol authorization that may be obtained. Permits to use gasoline alcohol are also available in several states. Some people will require both, depending on where they live and what state they reside in.
It is always prohibited to distill alcohol at home for personal consumption, regardless of the circumstances.
2. Many Have No Idea What They Are Doing
However, distilling is not rocket science, but it does involve science, and if one is not careful, it could result in a rocket explosion. Complex issues like this should be left to the experts. – However, if you’re interested in learning how a real professional distiller would create a commercially available product, such as Ole Smokey Moonshine, you can read our ” How to Make Moonshine ” article.
We weren’t joking when we mentioned the rocket explosion in the last section. Alcohol vapor is extremely explosive; this is a proven fact. If you still don’t believe us, have a look at this video, which shows an alcohol vapor explosion. During the functioning of a still, a number of circumstances might result in the combustion of alcohol vapor. 1. The still has the potential to get blocked, and if subjected to enough heat and pressure, it might explode completely. In accordance with our sources (and depending on the type of still being utilized), the top of the still will simply snap off prior to an explosion occurring.
A flash heat source might ignite the vapor, causing it to erupt and shock the environment violently. For each of these reasons, it is never a good idea to distill alcohol in confined spaces. More safety information may be found in this post on safety guidelines for moonshiners.
4. Drinking Moonshine Will Make People Go Blind
Yeast converts sugar into alcohol during the fermentation process. The great majority of the alcohol created by the yeast is ethanol, which is the beneficial component of the alcohol produced. However, a trace amount of harmful material (methanol) is created as well. This occurs regardless of whether one is fermenting beer, wine, or a mash for whiskey production. Methanol is present in minute amounts in all of that material, and 5 gallons of beer should have approximately the same amount of methanol as 5 gallons of whiskey wash, if not more (before it is distilled).
- Because of the danger of methanol poisoning, commercial distillers usually discard “foreshots” at the start of each distillation operation..
- Methanol has a slightly lower boiling temperature than ethanol.
- This portion of the run should either be thrown away (and not consumed) or blended in evenly with the remainder of the run.
- That’s how the best commercial distilleries go about their business.
- Take a look at this link to find out more about how much methanol to discard – ” Does drinking moonshine cause blindness?”
5. Making Moonshine Takes a Long Time
This isn’t a stretch at all. Creating quality commercial moonshine requires a significant amount of time. Making a mash may take the better part of a day. Fermentation might take many weeks. On a tiny still, it can take an entire day to distill a batch of mash that holds 10 gallons of alcohol. On a larger still, it can take only a few hours. Part 2 is available by clicking here. It’s important to remember that distilling alcohol at home for personal consumption is against the law. This should not be done.
Bittersweet: California Tea Company Buys Urban Moonshine
To see a larger version of this image, click here. Traditional Medicinals has acquired the bitters and tonic maker Urban Moonshine from Burlington. The firm claims to be the world’s largest producer of organic tea in the United States. “The world needs more herbs, and this is the greatest way for us to do it,” said Jovial King, the creator of Urban Moonshine, who started the business nine years ago by making tinctures in her kitchen. “The world needs more herbs,” she said. Today, Urban Moonshine products may be found at co-ops and health food stores all throughout the country, as well as in certain chain stores such as Whole Foods Market and Sprouts Farmers Market.
Approximately $2 million in sales are generated annually. However, despite the popularity of its herbal treatments (some of which may also be used as cocktail components), the firm has suffered from financial difficulties in recent years. To see a larger version, please click here.
Founded in Burlington, Vermont, Urban Moonshine is now owned by Traditional Medicinals, which bills itself as the biggest organic tea producer in the United States. Founder Jovial King of Urban Moonshine stated, “The world needs more herbs, and this is the greatest way for us to accomplish it.” King started the business nine years ago, making tinctures in her home, and has grown the company into a multimillion-dollar enterprise. Urban Moonshine products are now available at co-ops and health food stores around the country, as well as in certain chain retailers, such as Whole Foods Market.
However, despite the popularity of its herbal treatments (some of which may also be used as cocktail components), the firm has suffered from financial difficulties in the past.