Sugar Plum Moonshine - The Perfect Holiday Cocktail

Sugar Plum Moonshine - The Perfect Holiday Cocktail



The Sugar Plum Moonshine is a holiday cocktail recipe that tastes like sugar plums and smells like cinnamon. This festive drink has a sweet taste but isn't too sweet. Sugar plum moonshine will make the perfect addition to your holiday party this year!


Sugar plum moonshine is a great drink for any party or holiday occasion.

Sugar Plum Moonshine is served in mason jars and has been made into shots with the addition of sugar plums on top!

Sugar plum moonshine is also popular at weddings, but it's not just because they taste so good - they look amazing as well! Sugar Plums have a naturally festive color that perfectly complements this seasonal cocktail recipe.

The Sugar Plum Moonshine recipe can be made in advance and will make your home smell like the holidays. It's super easy to mix up, but if you're looking for something even more challenging, you can also make sugar plum moonshine using a sugar plum fruit mash.


Check out Top 5 Fruit Mash Recipes

What are Sugar Plums?



Sugar Plums, or prunus domestica subsp. insititia, are small fruits of deciduous trees belonging to the rose family Rosaceae. They are small, round fruits with red skin. Sugar Plums contain a single hard stone (or pit) that must be removed before eating, similar to peaches or apricots.

Sugar plums are also known as European plums as they are actually a type of self-pollinating Italian plums. They are used to make prunes and are named for their high sugar content. Sugar Plums will add an amazing flavor to this moonshine!

Sugar Plums Danced in Their Heads


It is important to note that while you can make moonshine from 'sugar plums' or European plums; this is not what is believed to be referenced in Clement Clark Moore's "A Visit from St. Nicholas," a.k.a. "Twas the Night Before Christmas" (1823).


In fact, the plums in those sugar plums refer to the size of the item and not what it is made of. Instead, sugar plums were small candies with a nut or kernel in the middle. These sugar plums were much closer to Jordan almonds than any type of fruit.


However, Jordan almonds remind us more of a disappointing wedding favor rather than a holiday drink. Therefore, for this recipe, we will be using Italian or European plums as the basis for this drink, rather than a piece of obsolete candy.

Sugar Plum Moonshine has a perfect balance between tart and sweet and will make your next party extra festive!

How Did Sugar Plums Become Associated with Christmas?



Sugar plums are also associated with Christmas because of the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker ballet. Sugar is a common holiday flavor, so it's no wonder that sugar plums have become linked to this time of year!

The Sugar Plum Moonshine recipe calls for moonshine and triple sec, but you can also try substituting rum or gin.

How to Make a Sugar Plum Fruit Mash


  • 20-35 pounds of Sugar Plums (enough to get 3 gallons of liquid)
  • 5 pounds of overripe red table grapes
  • 5 Campden tablets
  • 5 Tablespoons Pectic Enzyme
  • 2 teaspoon Grape Tannin
  • 2.5 teaspoon yeast nutrient
  • 4 pounds of cane sugar
  • 1 packet dry wine yeast

How to Make your Sugar Plum Mash

  1. Wash the sugar plums well to remove any potential pesticides
  2. Bring 4 gallons of water on the stove to a boil in a large pot while continuing to prepare the sugar plums.
  3. Add a few of the sugar plums at a time to a separate pot and crush them with a potato masher. There is no need to remove the skin, pit, or stem at this point. You are aiming to collect 3 gallons of plums/juice in this pot.
  4. In a large bowl, crush 5 pounds of grapes and then add them to the pot with the fruit.
  5. Remove the 4 gallons of water from the stove and add enough water to the fruit pot to reach 5.5-6 gallons of total volume of liquid.
  6. Stir the mash well mixing the boiling water with the crushed fruit.
  7. Dump the mash into a 6.5 gallon (or larger) fermentor.
  8. To kill any wild yeast or bacteria in your mash simply add 5 campden tables and cover with a cloth and leave for 24 hours stirring periodically.
  9. After 24 hours add 5 Tablespoons of Pectic Enzymes. These enzymes will help break down the pectin in the fruit.
  10. Add 2 teaspoons of Grape Tannin
  11. Add 2.5 teaspoon yeast nutrient. Most brands require 1/2 tsp per gallon, but you should always follow the label.
  12. Add 4 pounds of cane sugar to the fermenting bucket and mix well.
  13. Add 1 packet of Lalvin RC-212 red wine yeast
  14. Add airlock to bucket and ferment in a dark location between 59-86 degrees.
  15. After fermentation, strain solids from liquid.
  16. Transfer only the liquid to your still. Distill.
  17. Sugar plums have a high pectin content, so it is advisable to discard twice as many foreshots, about 300ml for a 5-gallon batch.


This Sugar plum moonshine recipe can also be made into shots by adding sugar plums to each shot glass before serving. However, keep in mind that this moonshine will be about 40 ABV, or 80 proof, and will hit you hard.

Sugar Plums add a festive touch that makes this drink extra special for any party or occasion!

For an easier version of sugar plum moonshine, you can simply flavor your moonshine in a mason jar. 



To make this Sugar Plum Moonshine recipe, you will need: - Sugar Plums (or Italian plums) - Triple Sec (orange liquor) - moonshine - Mason Jars with lids and rings.


The Sugar Plum Fruit Mash is made by combining Sugar Plums and vodka in a jar. Then the fruit mash needs to steep for at least 48 hours ( or longer depending on your taste) before you can strain it out and serve as moonshine!


This makes Sugar Plum Moonshine an easy holiday recipe that tastes like Christmas! If you want to switch things up even more, try adding other fruits such as cranberries or pomegranate juice which would complement this drink perfectly!