Although the process of distilling had been around since the 1700s, it wasn’t until an economic crisis (caused by the devastation of the Civil War) that enterprising southern farmers found a new way to utilize the resources at hand. What couldn’t be eaten or sold was quickly turned into spirits: corn was used to produce whiskey, while apples and peaches were used to make brandy. The result was a white – rather than brown – whiskey. To avoid paying luxury taxes on alcohol, these farmers distilled the product in the moonlight, thus giving it the name “moonshine.”
While moonshine in the ‘untaxed’ sense remains illegal to produce, white whiskey is making a comeback. White whiskey is distilled in the same manner as traditional whiskey; what makes this elixir different from other whiskeys is that it skips the barrel aging process and is immediately available for distribution. The result is a clear, raw spirit, with notes of the grain used to produce it.
White whiskey is comprised of 80 percent corn mash. As the popularity of craft distilling rises, white whiskey is becoming a staple for hand-crafted cocktails. Also referred to as “white dog,” this spirit is a great alternative for vodka. It is often distilled longer to remove the bite, producing a smooth, clean taste.
At Local Republic, the cocktail program focuses on hand-crafted cocktails using craft spirits produced by small distributors; because they are a small business, it is a fundamental value that they support other small business as well. The craft cocktails also aim to provide a unique experience to their guests, offering more than your run-of-the-mill drink options. All the syrups and tinctures used for the cocktails are made in-house.
Local Republic’s signature cocktail menu features the Raspberry Beret, made with silver whiskey from Atlanta’s own ASW Distillery. This cocktail consists of house-made raspberry syrup, fresh squeezed lemon juice, thyme and is topped off with sparkling wine. Light, bubbly and fun, it’s the perfect summer cocktail. Local Republic invites guests to explore new territory and try something new; this versatile spirit is the whiskey for aficionados and non-whiskey drinkers alike.