Anyone burned (quite literally) from most moonshines will agree there is something quite different — and, dare we say, seriously enjoyable — about the smooth taste of Troy & Sons artisanal moonshines crafted from heirloom white corn once thought lost to extinction. Troy Ball, a genteel Southern belle and mother of three, scoured the State Archives of North Carolina and cozied up with hardened old-timers in the mountains near her Asheville, N.C., home to find a recipe for “keeper whiskey” — i.e., the good stuff that distillers would keep for themselves back in Prohibition days. Creating small batches, Ball takes the time to remove the toxic byproducts of distillation that once saddled the spirit with the moniker “white lightning.” As Ball explains, “That’s the cheap stuff, made in a hurry to sell to outsiders and sure to turn a good night into a bad idea.”

One of just a handful of female distillery owners in the U.S., Ball began garnering international recognition with her very first batch — she now crafts Platinum Moonshine, Oak Reserve and Blonde Whiskey — and scored two silver medals in 2012 from the American Distilling Institute and the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. $30 to $47,