Easy Traditional Boilo Recipe

Boilo Recipe - HowtoMoonshine

Boilo is a traditional alcoholic beverage that will keep you warm on those long winter nights — and keep a coal mining tradition alive. 


We love to keep traditions alive… Especially ones that involve alcohol of any kind. 





However, here’s a tradition you might not have heard of. 


Boilo (BOY-low) is one of those amazing recipes that has been passed down from generation to generation. The alcoholic punch originated in the coal region of Eastern Pennsylvania and is traditionally served during the winter holiday season. 


Every boilo maker has their unique recipe, and every boilo making is SURE their recipe is the best. The basics of the recipe are generally the same, but every version differs slightly in ingredient quantities or flavoring, with perhaps a “secret” ingredient or two thrown in there.


The History of Boilo



An invention of Lithuanian immigrants, boilo shares ingredients with krupnikas, a traditional spiced honey liqueur that’s been consumed in Lithuania and Poland for centuries. The beverage is also closely related to viryta, a drink popular in Baltimore. “Viryta” is derived from the Lithuanian word for “boil” or “cook.”


The coal miners used boilo for everything from warding off the common cold to giving as a gift around the holidays. Mining was a tough job, so finishing a long day with a strong drink became a cherished routine. 


Characteristically, the standard recipe includes citrus fruits (like oranges and lemons), herbs and spices (such as nutmeg, cloves, caraway seed, and anise), and other ingredients like honey and ginger ale. 


Traditionally, the base ingredient in boilo is moonshine. However, today’s boilo makers often swap the potent alcohol for Four Queens, an inexpensive blended whiskey distilled in Scobeyville, NJ. 


Our recipe is going to use both. 




Make Your Own Moonshine from the Comforts of Home


Making moonshine at home is certainly not a new pastime. However, it is steadily growing in popularity. High proof alcohols are becoming more readily available in quality liquor stores and more and more people are loving the extra bite a little moonshine can add to a cocktail. 

While the hit Discovery show Moonshiners may show the art of moonshining as a backwoods operation, in reality, making moonshining is a fairly straightforward process once you get the three steps down. 

Check out our complete How to Make Moonshine guide. 

The Best Equipment for Making Moonshine



When it comes to making moonshine, arguably the most important elements are temperature, time, and a really great still. At How to Moonshine, we offer great all-in-one kits that combine a fermentor and a still to make starting the moonshining process easy and affordable. 

Our Magnum All-in-One Still combines a fermentor with a still with a thump keg. Using a thump keg is an ideal way to produce quality spirits with less effort. It makes the process of distilling spirits easier and yields better results. 


Not only does the Magnum produce delicious moonshine, but it is also easy to put together both as a fermentor and a still. It also comes complete with a hydrometer and a water pump. This all in one kit really makes it easy to get started making quality moonshine from the comforts of home. 


Get Your Magnum

Boilo makes a great gift, and pairs perfectly with any holiday party. 


I am going to teach you how to make the most classic boilo recipe. Feel free to add your own flair and flavour — or any “special” ingredient — to make this recipe your own!

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