During prohibition the “best water in town” came out of the basement and was stored in Mason jars. Memories of such family stories spurred Doug McCormack’s interest in resurrecting his family’s secret moonshine business--only this time around, he and his wife Amanda decided to distill the spirits legally.
It all started in Yalaha 12 years ago when the couple purchased a 1928 Craftsman-style house with eight acres and went to work farming.
"As an organic blueberry farmer, I started noticing more and more u-pick blueberry farms opening up. Competition became more fierce and we needed to find something that no one else was doing," said Doug, a fifth-generation Apopka native.
Yalaha Bootlegging Company came to fruition this year after the McCormacks spent three years jumping through state and federal bureaucratic hoops. The craft distillery is one of only eight in Florida and uses organic blueberries grown on the property for its moonshine, whiskey and brandy recipes.
The fermentation process for their moonshine takes approximately three weeks followed by a 10-hour distillation process. The brandy is made with the distilled moonshine that is aged in new barrels for six months. This process allows the clear moonshine to acquire an amber color and a smoother, richer flavor. The McCormacks’ family-run country store on Blue Bayou Farm offers local produce and honey, as well as jams, Amish products, boiled peanuts, ice cream shakes, homemade pies and pottery.
Yalaha Bootlegging Company is located at Blue Bayou Farms, 8222 County Road 48 in Yalaha. The farm and store are open Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more news and events in Mount Dora, Tavares & Eustis, click here. Download the free Mount Dora Buzz mobile app here for events and news on the go.