Moonshine, that legendary contraband whiskey distilled from grain and just about anything else capable of fermentation, has its roots in the mountains. But thanks to distillers across the country who want to share the pleasures of the spirit with the masses, more fully legal refined brands are available than ever before. Although it’s crystal clear, you’d never mistake moonshine for vodka: The source material, be it barley or corn, can shine through, giving the liquor bite or sweetness. Think bourbon without the added mellowness and caramel that come from aging in a barrel. Like the reemergent absinthe of a few years back, “white dog” has an old-timey mystique that has captured the imagination of bartenders. However, this old dog bites and can learn some new tricks. Here are two easy recipes courtesy of our bartender friend Dustin Newsome at Seven Grand in downtown Los Angeles.
WHITE DOG SOUR
1¾ oz. white whiskey
¾ oz. ginger syrup
½ oz. fresh lemon juice
¾ oz. fresh orange juice
Maraschino cherry and orange slice for garnish
Pour liquid ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker. After shaking, strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Top with shaved nutmeg. Garnish with cherry and orange slice.
WHITE DOG TODDY
1 oz. white whiskey
1 oz. apple brandy
½ oz. honey
Lemon peel and cinnamon stick for garnish
Pour liquid ingredients into a mug, top with hot water and stir. Twist lemon peel to release oils into drink. Garnish with peel and cinnamon stick.