When you hear the word moonshine, you tend to get visions of good ole boys up in the hills distilling their white lighting out of a homemade still before loading it up into mason jars to be smuggled off in the trunk of a bootlegger’s souped up jalopy. What you don’t think about is a moonshine distilled in the heart of New York City by an upstart distillery who wants to pay homage to the Prohibition Era, where white whiskey (aka moonshine) was introduced to the masses at speakeasies and underground jazz filled parties that graced the pages of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic tome, The Great Gatsby. This spirit is what the folks at Manhattan Moonshine want to inspire with their carefully crafted moonshine, which we were lucky enough to get to check out recently and use in our original cocktail, the Thyme to Shine. This post contains sponsored content brought to you by Manhattan Moonshine. We received a bottle to review, but all opinions presented here are 100% our own. For further information please see our Disclaimer page.
Prohibition was also an era where craftsmen were inspired to shine, be it Chanel’s bold new fashions gracing the pages of Vogue, the beautiful glass work of the Tiffany Studios, or in the beautiful Art Deco architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, and white whiskey is truly a craftsman’s spirit, the quality of the ingredients and skill of the distiller comes through in the flavors of the moonshine. With no barrel aging process that can help smooth out the rough edges, a good quality white whiskey is highly dependent on the ingredients used in the mash bill and the skill of the the distiller.
The folks at Manhattan Moonshine wanted to make a moonshine that would fit right in with the fine arts of the esteemed craftsmen and their distinctive and attractive Art Deco decanter bottle. Manhattan Moonshine used a special mix of grains grown in New York including rye, spelt and oats to give their whiskey a distinctive flavor. Oats are a very rare ingredient in distilled spirits, as American spirit makers typically use corn, wheat and malted barely to make their mash. Oats can be difficult to use in distilling, as they require special milling and care when processing through the still, but the addition of oats to the grain bill gives a very distinctive flavor of sweet and nutty cereal to a spirit. When combined with the spiciness of a rye, the oats gives Manhattan Moonshine a complex crisp flavor full of nutty grain and warming spices with a subtle edge that brings a little boozy bite. Being un-aged, Manhattan Moonshine doesn’t have the flavors of oak and caramel that a traditional aged spirit would have, but there is still a complexity that works well in a cocktail.
With our bottle arriving in the summer, we wanted to make a cocktail that would highlight the moonshine and embracing some summer herbs. After trying Manhattan Moonshine neat, we decided that it would pair well with some of the thyme simple syrup we made using thyme from our garden. The thyme syrup has a aromatic sweetness which works well with the nutty spiciness of the moonshine. Fresh lemon adds fresh brightness and pleasing sour note. An egg white adds a rich meringue flavor and gives the Thyme to Shine a velvety smoothness. Delicious for summer sipping, the Thyme to Shine brings herbal freshness and a boozy edge in a glass. Cheers!
- 2 oz Manhattan Moonshine
- 1 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1.5 oz thyme simple syrup (recipe below)
- 1 egg white
- 3 drops orange bitters
- Thyme Simple Syrup: 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp thyme leaves, fresh
- Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake for all you are worth!
- The egg white will foam up and everything will intermix,after about 20 seconds.
- Add a few ice cubes and shake again until chilled.
- Strain through cocktail shaker as well as a mess strainer into a coupe glass.
- Thyme Simple Syrup: Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan, bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Once it boils, pull off the heat, and add the thyme leaves. Let steep for 10-15 minutes, then strain out leaves. Let cool. Store in fridge for up to 7 days.
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