Moonshine Over Manhattan

By Kristen Mager

Manhattan-Moonshine-750ml-Front-NEW-May-2016Make room, vodka. A new spirit is moonlighting on the top shelf. Bottled in geometric Art Deco-style glass, Manhattan Moonshine is the first luxury moonshine to hit the market. And it’s making a smooth entrance into the elite New York restaurant and speakeasy scene, where hipsters and anyone with fine taste belly up to the bar for posh Prohibition-style libations.

Crafted by founder Will Kehler and master distiller and author Ian Smiley, Manhattan Moonshine is a modern throwback to the underground cocktail culture of the 1920s.

“When people hear moonshine, they think of something illegal, cheap, low-quality, and high-proof that’s made out of the hills,” said Kehler. “Today, it’s just another name for white whiskey. What we’re doing is very different from other moonshines out there. We’re putting ours in the hands of the most talented bartenders and mixologists—anyone using new ingredients in creative ways.”

The Backstory
Kehler, a longtime whiskey aficionado, tried moonshine a few years ago. From that first sip, he set out to mix a premium recipe of his own—one that didn’t have the grassy harshness of corn so typical of others on the market.

Setting itself aside from other white whiskeys, the newcomer on the market is based on a four-grain blend primarily
of oats and rye. All grains are sourced from resident farmers in New York, which helps the local economy and ensures that the spirit is consistently made from the highest-quality, freshest ingredients possible.

Handcrafted in small batches, the production process takes about two weeks from grain to bottle. And, because the moonshine is aged for less than one hour in oak barrels, it doesn’t host the heavier barrel flavors like oak and smoke.

With its exceptionally soft taste and versatility, Manhattan Moonshine is the perfect stand-in spirit for your favorite martini, Moscow Mule, or Mai Tai.

“It caters to the modern crowd and many first-time whiskey drinkers,” said Kehler.

This makes it a favorite on the rocks or in almost any cocktail, whether it’s mixed with simple grapefruit juice, tonic water, or exotic ingredients such as lavender, black walnut peel, or saffron.

Modern Mountain Dew
Every detail of Manhattan Moonshine—from the sourcing to the distillation to the bottling—adds to the distinctive impression
of the high-end label. Rather than the typical Mason jar, the modern hooch bedazzles in a vintage Chanel-like bottle from the Art Deco days. And, a little secret:  The label was designed to wash off so you can save the decorative bottle as a decanter long after the whiskey is gone.

Look for Manhattan Moonshine in fine Manhattan establishments and soon available in the Bronx and Long Island.

Visit for more recipes and information.


Fly Away With the “Aviation”
2 oz. Manhattan Moonshine
1⁄2 oz. Fresh lemon juice
1⁄4 oz. Luxardo maraschino liqueur
1⁄4 oz. Crème de Violette
Add all ingredients to a shaker over ice and shake hard, then strain into a martini glass and garnish with a lemon peel.

Lift Your Spirits With “Lady Jane”
1 egg white
2 ounces Earl Grey tea infused Manhattan Moonshine
3⁄4 ounce lavender simple syrup
3⁄4 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
Lavender sprig for garnish
Add all ingredients except the garnish to a cocktail shaker and shake without ice. Open shaker, fill with ice and shake once more.

Moonshine Over Manhattan