Throughout its history, moonshine has been combined with other ingredients. During the Prohibition, high-quality moonshine was a rare commodity and speakeasy bartenders had to be creative in order to mask its challenging character.
In this guide, you will discover the top 10 best moonshine cocktails to make at home:
- Moonshine Caffè Corretto
- Homemade Apple Pie Moonshine
- The Last Word
- Moon Dance
- Redneck Royale
- Apple Pie Mimosa
- Dirty Moontini
- Peach Lemonade
- Adult Root Beer Float
Simply use the links above to jump ahead or scroll down to read them all!
What Are The Best Moonshine Cocktails?
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1. Moonshine Caffè Corretto
High-quality moonshine is often said to share a similar character to Italian grappa. Although their fruity character may be expressed differently, it means that you can draw from its culture for an excellent pick-me-up!
A caffè corretto is a traditional way of enjoying grappa and consists just of pouring yourself a shot of moonshine in a glass and having it alongside an espresso. Every time you take a sip of espresso, you top it up with the alcohol.
While not exactly a cocktail, the two beverages pair wonderfully and offer a bouquet of explosive flavour. Don’t forget to save the last drop of moonshine until the end of a “resentin”. This last step consists of pouring it into the empty cup, swirling it to clean the inside, and then knocking it back.
Alternatively, you can enjoy the two as an ammazzacaffè. On this occasion, you drink your espresso first and then have the alcohol as a shot afterwards, which is said to neutralise the coffee’s effects.
2. Homemade Apple Pie Moonshine
Why buy premade apple pie moonshine when you can simply make it yourself? It’s easy and you’ll enjoy the superior flavours by using high-quality and natural ingredients. There are two approaches to making an apple pie moonshine, but they both require the same ingredients:
- 150 cl (50 Oz) Apple Cider
- 75 cl (25 Oz) Clear Moonshine
- 200 g (7 Oz) Sugar
- 5 Cinnamon Sticks
- 3 Cloves
- 2 Star Anise
- 0.5 Tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 0.5 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 3 Tsp Freshly-Squeezed Orange Juice
The first method consists of making a full batch of moonshine. Add all the moonshine to a 1.5-litre mason jar and set aside. Bring all the other ingredients to boil and then leave it to simmer while covered for an hour.
Take it off the stove and let the mixture cool down. Once it has reached room temperature, strain the contains in the mason jar. Feel free to add a few extra cinnamon sticks.
Close the jar and let it sit for at least two weeks in a cool and dark place. You can drink it the following day if you want but its flavour improves as it’s given the time to steep.
However, if you’re short on time you can easily use the above ingredients to make an apple pie moonshine cocktail. Simply scale down the ingredients the desired amounts and shake them all (except the cider) with ice.
Strain the ingredients into a tumbler or highball glass and top up with the apple cider. Instead of using the whole spices in the recipe, you can just garnish with a single cinnamon stick and star anise.
Although the full recipe will be richer in flavour, the cocktail has the benefit of being sparkling and more refreshing.
3. The Last Word
We thought that it would be appropriate to at least add one pre-Prohibition cocktail that was likely used with moonshine. The Last Word is often overlooked in favour of other well-known concoctions like the Sidecar or the Tom Collins.
You can swap out gin for moonshine, which will give the flavour some addition clout. It requires the following ingredients:
- 20 ml (¾ Oz) Clear Moonshine
- 20 ml (¾ Oz) Green Chartruse
- 20 ml (¾ Oz) Maraschino Liqueur
- 20 ml (¾ Oz) Lime Juice
Simply, shake the ingredients with ice and double strain into a chilled coupe glass!
4. Moon Dance
If you liked the sound of The Last Word, consider also the Moon Dance that was created by the Birds & Bees manager, Jake Larowe, in LA. It shares some similarities but it’s been purposefully adapted for moonshine to highlight its qualities with added complexity.
You’ll need the following to make it:
- 60 ml (2 Oz) Moonshine
- 15 ml (½ Oz) Cocchi Americano
- 15 ml (½ Oz) Dry Vermouth
- 10 ml (¼ Oz) Green Chartreuse
- 10 ml (¼ Oz) Maraschino Liqueur
- 1 Dash Orange Bitters
- Orange Peel
Stir the ingredients in a mixing glass with ice until well-chilled and then strain them into a child coupe. Twist the orange peel over the glass so any oils will fall into the contents and then drop it in for garnish.
5. Redneck Royale
A refreshing cocktail that offers a twist on the classic shandy, you can use fruit-flavoured moonshine to add some sweetness to a beer. It just needs two ingredients:
- 30 ml (1 Oz) Flavoured Moonshine
- 350 ml (12 Oz) Lager Or Pilsner
Simply pour the moonshine into a large glass and top it up with the beer. You can use a variety of different flavoured moonshine such as blackberry, peach, or even strawberry. Check out our guide of the best moonshine for a few ideas.
Speaking of refreshment, why not swap out rum with moonshine for a bit of variety on the classic mojito?
- 45 ml (1½ Oz) Clear Moonshine
- 120 ml (4 Oz) Club Soda
- 10 Fresh Mint Leaves
- ½ Fresh Lime
- 2 Tsp Sugar
Place the mint leaves inside a strong glass and crush them with half of the lime to release the oils and juice. Add the rest of the lime with sugar and crush all the ingredients together. Partly fill the glass with crushed ice and pour the moonshine over it before topping up with the club soda.
Before adding the clear moonshine, consider also mixing it up with 45 ml (1½ Oz) of fruit-flavoured moonshine for a some additional flavour.
7. Apple Pie Mimosa
Here’s a great cocktail recipe that you can use with either the homemade apple pie moonshine described above or one that you purchased. It’s very simple and requires little work. It does need the following, though:
- 45 ml (1½ Oz) Apple Pie Moonshine
- 60 ml (2 Oz ) Ginger Ale
- 45 ml (1½ Oz) Orange Juice
- Apple Wedge
Just add all the ingredients to a tall glass filled with ice and garnish with an apple slice.
Source: Sugarlands Distilling Co.
8. Dirty Moontini
Who doesn’t want an expense account to make all your worries go away? This enticing cocktail combines rum and calvados to produce a harmonious and succulent experience. It’s also quite reminiscent of the classic Sazerac!
You’ll need the following ingredients:
- 75 ml (2½ Oz) Clear Moonshine
- 15 ml (½ Oz) Dry Vermouth
- 15 ml (½ Oz) Olice Brine
- 1 Tsp Maple Syrup
- 2 Dashes Bitters
Add the vermouth to a martini glass and swirl it so that it rinses the interior. Meanwhile, shake the moonshine, olive juice, and bitter with ice and then strain into the glass. Add olives as a garnish to taste.
9. Peach Lemonade
A pleasantly refreshing lemonade with a slightly boozy kick, this is a great option for summer when unwinding in the garden.
You’ll just need the following:
- 45 ml (1½ Oz) Peach Moonshine
- 60 ml (2 Oz) Lemonade
- 1 Lemon Slice
Just add the peach moonshine to a glass filled with ice and top it up with lemonade to taste. Throw in a lemon slice or two for garnish!
10. Adult Root Beer Float
Combining the nostalgia of both a root beer float and moonshine, this take on the classic isn’t for kids!
You’ll need the following:
- 60 ml (2 Oz) Root Beer Moonshine
- 30 ml (1 Oz) Butterscotch Gold Moonshine
- 2 Scoops Vanilla Ice Cream
- 4 Oz Root Beer
- 1 Scoop Ice
- Whipped Cream
Throw all the ingredients into a blender and blend it all thoroughly. Pour the contents into a large glass and top it with whipped cream!
Source: Sugarlands Distilling Co.
Now that you have read about the best moonshine cocktails, why don’t you check out some of our related spirit guides?