What is more American than apple pie? How about homemade Applejack Moonshine? This recipe is almost as old as moonshine itself and its sweet aftertaste lays its roots firmly in American history.
There are two ways to make a delicious Applejack Moonshine beverage. You can create an actual applejack spirit using an apple cider base and special fermentation process. Or you can use a traditional moonshine spirit as the base of your applejack cocktail.
Beginners may choose to hone their craft a bit longer before attempting this recipe. This is the perfect recipe for those moonshiners looking for a challenge that is sure to produce sweet results.
Why Should You Use Apples in Moonshine?
Using fruit to make flavored moonshine may be trendy, but it is not a recent discovery. Using apples to make moonshine is almost as old as moonshine itself.
With its sweet undertones applejack moonshine is a great intro for beginners or those who are new to drinking moonshine.
It is a great option to bring to parties and is a delicious way to enjoy moonshine straight from the jar. It can easily be packaged and gifted to be enjoyed by those familiar and unfamiliar with moonshine.
Although this sweet reminder of apple pie may go down easily, it still packs a punch.
The actual proof of the moonshine can be adjusted after the fermentation process, but newbies should be warned. Sip slowly and watch out!
How Strong will my Moonshine be?
One of the biggest benefits to making your own moonshine (besides the bragging rights) is the fact that you can customize your spirits to suit your tastes.
This recipe does not use the traditional stovetop distiller and instead uses a freeze distillation method where the water is frozen and removed rather than an evaporation process. With this process you can control the proof of your spirit by the amount of ice removed. However, once the spirit reaches about 30-40% ABV the formation of the ice slows significantly.
This is probably a good thing since this sweet taste of apple pie goes down so easily.
Do you want the taste of apple pie with your traditional moonshine recipe? Check out our Apple Pie Moonshine cocktail recipe!
Can I Add Cinnamon to the Mix?
This mix does not include additional cinnamon although it does require a good quality cider as the base. If your cider includes a hint of cinnamon it will be present in the finished product. However, as you grow in your abilities as a moonshiner, you will find yourself able to adapt and change recipes to reflect your own tastes.
Just because this recipe does not include cinnamon does not mean you cannot make your own additions and substitutions as you go. We have also heard of adding raisins to the mix.
We do suggest trying the recipe as written at first. This is a good opportunity to get the actual technique down and to see what notes you would like to adjust in the finished product.
A cinnamon stick is also a sophisticated garnish to add when served. By putting a cinnamon stick inside a sanitized mason jar to serve you are better able to control the intensity of the cinnamon by removing it when desired. It also makes for a great presentation.
How Do I Store my AppleJack Moonshine?
Proper storage of applejack moonshine is important to preserve the taste and be able to anticipate the proof of your moonshine.
You can store your moonshine in any airtight container. If left open or in a container with a lot of ‘head’ space the taste can quickly and significantly change. Mason jars are an ideal option!
It is important to use glass to store your moonshine for both taste and to ‘see’ when your moonshine is ready to be consumed. By choosing to use glass to store your moonshine you can store it at both room temperature and freeze it.
See more How to Store your Moonshine
Some choose to store their applejack moonshine in 12 oz beer bottles as the amount seems to be a good serving size for about four people. With these amounts in mind it can be easy to know how many bottles you will need to remove from the freezer for your events and get togethers.
Storing your Moonshine According to its Proof
Another option is to store in airtight 125 or 250 ml mason jars. One thing it is important to remember when storing and serving your moonshine is to keep in mind that the proof of the moonshine differs depending on where it is in the jar.
The moonshine resting closest to the lid will have the strongest proof, followed by the liquid in the middle and finally the weakest proof will rest at the bottom. Keep this in mind when serving. Especially when serving those who may not have as much experience drinking higher proofed liquor.
A good rule of thumb may be to always pour for yourself first, or whoever is more experienced with fine spirits and serve those who are considered ‘lightweights’ last.
You can segment and label your bottles according to the proof as well. This can easily be done by pouring the first few ounces into bottles that are labelled as strong. The middle ounces labelled into medium strength and the bottom ounces as lighter in both flavor and alcohol per volume.
What Equipment is Needed to Make Applejack Moonshine?
While many moonshine recipes require a stove top distiller, applejack moonshine does not. This makes it a good option for those who want to try making moonshine without committing to purchasing a large amount of equipment. Or even those who have been making moonshine using the traditional distiller method and are interested in expanding their horizons.
To make this AppleJack Moonshine you will require:
Boiling pot: We love this option for cooking moonshine! It has a removeable preforated basket that is ideal for lining with cheesecloth and holding all your solids. There is no better way to easilly cook and then strain your mash.
Cooking thermometer: This is especially important to those new to moonshining as temperature plays such an important role in the process.
Fermentation Bucket: Is it important to use a bucket big enough for ‘room to grow’.
Mixing Spoon: Your spoon needs to be long enough to incorporate all of your mixture.
Storage Vessel: You can choose to store your moonshine in your fermentation bucket while you perform your freeze distillation or your could divide it up between many mason jars. We encourage moonshine to be stored in glass to best preserve the taste.
Freezer: In this recipe instead of using a stovetop distiller you will be putting your storage bucket in the freezer and removing the ice that forms. Consider the size of your freezer when choosing your bucket.
How Long Does it Take to Make AppleJack Moonshine
Applejack moonshine has been compared to an apple pie in a jar. With spirits this delicious of course we want them sooner than later. However, good things come to those who wait. In this case, at least a week.
This is because the fermentation process takes a least 7 days to complete. Of course, the longer you allow your mixture to ferment, the stronger your moonshine will be. Fermentation isn’t the finish line either. In this recipe you are using your freezer to remove the water from the recipe and increase the proof.
So if you are planning to host a soiree and want to show off your moonshine skills be sure to plan well in advance to avoid ‘rushing’ your moonshine. The good news is that your applejack moonshine can be easily stored and frozen in an airtight glass bottle or jar to preserve its delicious flavor.
It is important to note that by using a freeze distillation, you are not able to fraction your moonshine as you normally would. Learn more about fractionating your yield with our How to Make Moonshine guide.
The Very Best Apple Jack Moonshine Recipe
My favourite recipe ever!
5 gallons of unpasteurized apple cider: It is important to use good quality cider. Apple juice will not produce a quality result and cannot be substituted.
5 lbs table or cane sugar-must be granulated
1 packet of cider yeast: Cider yeast has been perfectly formulated to work with this type of cider base.
To make this applejack moonshine first gather your equipment and ingredients.
Next heat one gallon of your cider to 160° F and add your sugar. Stir well until completely dissolved. This will form a simple syrup.
Pour the syrup and the remaining 4 gallons of cider into a sanitized fermentation bucket.
Once the mixture has reached 75° F you can add the cider yeast.
Cover with an airtight lid and add the airlock.
Let ferment for about 7 days or until there is a cease in activity in the fermentor. You should notice the airlock hasn’t had any movement for about two days.
Once fermentation is complete you can siphon off the liquid into a separate storage vessel. You can also strain the liquid using a strainer.
Place the vessel with the strained liquid into the freezer.
Once in the freezer, ice will form at the top of the storage vessel. This is the water leaving your mixture. Remove the ice using a sanitized metal scoop or strainer to avoid contamination.
How Long Can I Store Applejack Moonshine?
The length of time you can store your applejack moonshine depends on the way you store it. If you can and jar the moonshine it can last up to two years in the fridge or freezer. Opening the moonshine is likely to change its flavor quickly.