Gwendolyn Glenn/WFAE

  In the early 1940s, television audiences were entertained by the antics of the cantankerous television and cartoon moonshiner "Snuffy Smith." He was known for hiding his moonshine stills in the woods and making toe-curling white corn whiskey under the cover of night.

These days, no shoot-outs are called for because with the proper permits, moonshining is legal in North Carolina. The distillers are more sophisticated, such as a trio who worked for former North Carolina Congressman Larry Kissell. They opened a new distillery in Concord this year and are turning out moonshine while keeping in touch with their political roots.

Winter Cocktails With A Southern Attitude

Dec 13, 2013
Kevin Kniestedt

With the holidays approaching and the weather getting colder, for many it’s a good time to warm up with a winter cocktail. I stopped by Charlotte’s 5Church restaurant and met with lead bartender Jennifer Barnette and Assistant General Manager Mark Childers and asked them for a few seasonal drink ideas – with a little bit of Southern attitude.

There were a few unmarked Mason jars floating around, particularly onstage with the storytellers. White lightning. Hooch. The original mountain dew. It's hard to talk about moonshine without evoking winks and smiles. It carries a mystique. If you own some, you whisper about it. If you don't, you can bet someone you know does. It's probably stored in the back of their freezer. Moonshine also carries a certain romance. Because the truth is, there's a story sealed in every Mason jar of the stuff. Those stories are still celebrated in Wilkes County.

Last week, old time bootleggers and retired revenuers met to swap tales. They told about fast car chases, witty judges, and big still busts. There was a lot of laughter. And rumor has it there was even some sipping.