Saint Luna

Moonshine History Reborn

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David Suk

Founder, CEO, Entrepreneur and overall cocktail enthusiast.

Moonshine has a storied and colorful history in America, deeply intertwined with the nation’s evolution. Originating in the late 18th century, moonshine—illegally distilled alcohol—became a symbol of resistance and ingenuity. Its roots can be traced to early American settlers who brought distilling techniques from Europe. As federal taxes on liquor were introduced, many distillers opted to operate in the shadows, evading the government’s reach.

The term “moonshine” itself is believed to have originated from the practice of distilling at night, by the light of the moon, to avoid detection. Moonshiners often set up their stills in remote areas, from the Appalachian Mountains to the deep woods of the South, where they could evade law enforcement.

The Prohibition era (1920-1933) marked a significant chapter in moonshine history. With the nationwide ban on alcohol, the demand for illicit spirits surged, and moonshining became a widespread underground industry. Speakeasies and bootleggers flourished, and moonshiners became folk heroes, celebrated for their defiance against the Prohibition laws. However, the quality of moonshine varied, with some batches being dangerously impure.

Post-Prohibition, moonshining didn’t disappear; instead, it continued in rural areas, where economic hardship made illegal distillation an attractive option. The craft evolved with improved methods and the advent of more sophisticated equipment. In recent years, moonshine has experienced a renaissance. Legal distilleries now produce “moonshine” as a nod to its heritage, marketing it as a handcrafted spirit.

Today, moonshine embodies a blend of historical defiance, cultural heritage, and modern artisanal spirit. Its journey from clandestine operations to legal recognition highlights a unique aspect of American history, celebrating resilience, creativity, and a touch of rebellion.

Moonshine still
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