Moonshine is making a comeback—and it's very much legal. Of course, that may be a contradiction in terms, at least when it comes to moonshine's traditional definition. But today, the term tends to refer to any unaged white whiskey, and the market for the stuff is growing. Some 130,000 cases were sold last year, and it's even being stocked at places like Walmart, Time reports. The poor economy has actually been a boon for the product. Hoping to boost jobs and maintain tax revenue, Tennessee in 2009 made moonshine legal in dozens of new counties.
In places like Tennessee and North Carolina, it's seen as a locally-made, unique drink. Walmart and Sam's Club decided to stock it "because it’s an American-made product from a small family business and because it was a well-known product that had been previously unavailable," says the founder of Ole Smoky Moonshine, which is sold in 49 states and was responsible for most of last year's sales. Jack Daniels and Jim Beam have even released their own white whiskeys, and many more distilleries are getting involved in what a trade group rep calls a "gold rush."