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How Tennessee moonshine is becoming big business

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Nilay stares at whiskey
Nilay stares at whiskey

Moonshine may be closely associated with prohibition and the illegal booze trade, but thanks to some new laws in states like Tennessee, it's slowly becoming a big (and legal) business. As Time reports, moonshine — or unaged white whiskey — only represents one percent of all whiskey sales, but numbers are on the rise. Last year around 130,000 cases of moonshine were sold in the US, compared to just 50,000 in 2010, and even Jack Daniels and Jim Beam are getting in on the action with their own varieties. It's not just the legality that's contributing to moonshine's popularity, though — it's also whiskey drinkers' desire for something a little different. "We tried to embrace the rich knowledge and expertise of this area instead of just basing it on my granddad's recipe," Joe Baker, from Tennessee distillery Ole Smoky, tells Time. "We took the best of a lot of different recipes and came up with a product that we think best represents the area."