Food & Spirits

American Born Moonshine Brings the Spirit of Tradition Back in Full Glory

An LA’s The Place Top Pick for Best Moonshine!

When you think ‘moonshine’, you might not necessarily associate it with entrepreneurs Sean Koffel and Patrick Dillingham, both Stanford MBA Grads who, together, pursued their passion to resurrect an American tradition, recreating an authentic moonshine that’s in a league of its own, American Born Moonshine.

american born moonshine

Good friends Pat Dillingham, former quarterback at Notre Dame and Sean Koffel, a former a U.S. Marine Corps captain and Iraq war veteran, together saw an opportunity in the age-old spirit of moonshining.

Wasting no time, they hit the road, traveling around the country, visiting friends from the South and tasting different samples of small-batch moonshine, trying different recipes, and researching the history of moonshine. “We wanted to make sure that we produced a moonshine that authentically represents the history of the product.” They wanted to honor the incredible tradition and rebel spirit of American Moonshiners, and their fundamental belief of selling whiskey with a handshake that has been passed on from generation to generation.

American Born Moonshine

Their goal was to create the smoothest-tasting, most authentic Moonshine Whiskey on the market, at any price. And they succeeded. In 2012, American Born Moonshine was founded in Nashville, Tennessee. It embodied the true flavor of their Tennessee history and their deeply-rooted American patriotism.

Part of that authenticity is evident in the recipe that features the three historical ingredients of fine ‘shine: The American staples of corn, sugar and water. The resulting “cane and grain” spirit is called American Born Moonshine Original, a 103 proof product.

The second moonshine offering of American Born is ‘Apple Pie’, flavored with natural apple and cinnamon. The perfect blend of flavors, not sweet and syrupy like other moonshines, American Born is still whiskey-proof at 83.

Then there is the 83 proof “Dixie”, with the delightful flavor of sweet tea. Smooth and delicious on the rocks, or mix with lemonade for a refreshing summer drink.

The "Don't Tread on Me" emblem on the side of  a 'jar' of American Born Moonshine.

The “Don’t Tread on Me” emblem on the side of a ‘jar’ of American Born Moonshine.

Dillingham and Koffel are very proud and pleased to point out that everything about American Born is American –made, from the moonshine to the mason-jar bottle to the label on the front. Some of the coolest jars ever, they feature  “Don’t Tread on Me” emblem on American Born Moonshine which is embossed on the side and also prominently displayed throughout their web site.

The three stars from the Tennessee flag is also embossed on the bottom of the bottle, and it’s capped off with a unique lid. Much thought was given to every aspect, as the lid screws off to better pass the bottle around to share a few swigs. It also features a removable cork for more accurate pours.

An interesting sidenote about American Born Moonshine is that their moonshine isn’t just produced with the intention of ‘getting drunk’. It’s a story, a way of life, and a heritage that has grown over time and weathered years of deep tradition and stories rich in American culture.

It’s a story of rebellion, passion and deeply entrenched American spirit and proud people focused on providing for their families in one of the toughest times of American history which can be traced back to 1680 in Jamestown and continuing through the whiskey rebellion, the civil war, and prohibition.

One of my favorite quotes from their personal history “The Smooth Side of a Rough History” sums up in my mind what moonshining is all about:

“From the moonshiners, to the bootleggers, to the hush of the speakeasies, the story of America moonshine whiskey is the story of the indomitable rebel spirit of America. It’s the story of people who asked only one thing from their government – to be left alone so they could ensure the survival of their families by any means possible – and in doing so demonstrated all the best in American ingenuity and patriotism.”

LA’s The Place had the opportunity to meet with Sean and Pat, who has brought the brand to California, marking the return of moonshine to the Golden State. Moonshining’s history with Californai dates back to the early 1930’s, when many businesses, despite its illegality, offered thirsty travelers some liquid relief while wearily traveling Route 66. Prior to this, ABM’s distribution has been predominantly limited to the Southeast.

Pat Dillingam, Jane Emery and Sean Koffel

Pat Dillingam, Editor in Chief Jane Emery and Sean Koffel

You can make a request to have your favorite bar or restaurant carry American Born Moonshine, an LA’s The Place Top Pick for Best New Moonshine!

For more information on American Brand Moonshine product availability at your local bar or store, drink recipes, and to stay informed on news and updates, please visit American Born or stay connected with the brand on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Here is a recipe for a Moonshine Mojito:
#AmericanBornMoonshine Original, 4 oz. Club Soda, 6-8 Mint Leaves, 2 TSP Sugar & 1 Lime (halved).



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