Popcorn Sutton, a famous Appalachian moonshiner, surged in popularity after the Discovery TV network aired Moonshiners Wednesday, a show that explored his life that ended in suicide in 2009.
Sutton left behind a legacy of making the first white whiskey that the federal government approved, according to his widow Pam Sutton.
We have a distillery set up in Nashville, Tenn., she said during the show. We can't legally call it moonshine. We have to call it Tennessee Wild Whiskey.
Sutton published Me and My Likker in 1999, a biography set to become a multipart series; Sutton only got to the first volume.
Moonshine is illegal in the U.S., but the well-known bootlegger left behind his recipe to produce the hooch.
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Sutton's recipe from his book:
25 pounds coarse ground white corn meal, enough to fill half of your barrel/container
50 pounds of sugar - 1 pound of sugar per gallon of water of total volume
1 gallon of malt - can be corn, barley, rye or a combination.
Boil the water, cook in the cornmeal and allow to cool to touch. Add sugar and malt and stir in well. Leave for a day and come back. The mix should be bubbling on top, stir one last time and then leave it.
Moonshiners can siphon off the liquor or distill it for higher quality. Researchers have found that typically home-distilled moonshine is poisonous since it can contain neurologically-damaging heavy metals such as lead along with disease-causing compounds such as ethyl carbamate.
Other online sites offer advice on how to make homemade hooch including