(Walnut Shade, Mo) — White lighting, rotgut, panther’s breath; it’s known by many names. But the most popular is moonshine.
For hundreds of years Americans have enjoyed the good old ‘shine and Jim Blansit of Walnut Shade won’t let that stop any time soon.
“We’re really focusing on making the traditional style of corn whiskey, here in the Ozarks,” says Jim Blansit, owner of Copper Run. “The way it was made a long time ago.”
Corn whiskey, better known as moonshine, is the same ‘white lightening’ that bootleggers smuggled through the Appalachians and the Ozarks, just with a legal twist.
“If we didn’t pay taxes, it would be illegal. But that’s really the only difference.”
After working in breweries and vineyards all his life, Blansit opened his distillery on what was once his grandparents land half a century ago.
Halfway between Branson and Springfield Jim found the perfect spot to work.
“We are one of those rare distilleries with the water, the grain, the barrels, the local help, the local support. So it’s really coming together for us.”
Jim jokes that the furthest thing imported comes all the way from St. Louis.
Everything else is made right here in the Ozarks.
“We have had a tremendous amount of help from local people. It’s been interesting opening a distillery; a lot of people have wanted to help us.”
In an industry that places great value on age, Jim believes his hooch is definitely worth a shot.
“I absolutely love what we are doing here,” says Jim. “Our products are fantastic. They are young. I’m confident that once our products have the age that our competition has, we will blow them out of the water.”
In addition to moonshine, Copper Run offers whiskey rum and vodka.
Their liquor has become so popular, the only place they can sell it is at their distillery in walnut shade.
see video at link here: OzarksFirst.com