Can moonshine actually taste good? Hell yes! Not only does moonshine have that old school cool factor, but it also can appeal to all tastes. That is because the hardcore enthusiasts can make the traditional corn white whiskey, while others can experiment with a variety of amazing moonshine recipes. Check out the 21 best moonshine flavors!
Making moonshine has come a long way from the days of running a still in the middle of the woods and getting chased in the streets by the police. While moonshiners may not be able to be loud and proud for their love of shining in all the areas of the world, the craft of making your own moonshine is certainly becoming a mainstream favorite.
Why is Making Moonshine so Popular?
One of the likely reasons for the sudden popularity of old-fashioned shining is likely the popularity of Discovery TV’s Moonshiners. This series follows a group of moonshiners who risk it all to produce and sell ‘white lightning’.
Of course, popular culture often blends into our buying habits. However, not everyone is interested in trying the popular spirit known for its kick and burn. However, that is where flavored moonshine comes in.
Instead of sippin’ moonshine straight from the jug, moonshine is now a popular addition to many favorite cocktails. It adds a strong kick but its flavor is usually masked by the other ingredients. This is the perfect combination for those who want a strong drink without a strong flavor.
Many commercial distilleries have cashed in on the popularity of making moonshine by releasing a line of flavored moonshine that can be enjoyed legally at home. However, these recipes can easily be created at home for a fraction of the price. In addition, by making these recipes yourself you have complete quality control over moonshine and ingredients.
Flavored Moonshine vs. Traditional Moonshine
Of course, there are those who insist that only traditional corn recipes are really moonshine. However, moonshine actually refers to the origins of how spirits were produced once the infamous ‘whiskey tax’ forced the production of spirits underground. Instead of simply distilling their excess grain for trade and profit, early American pioneers were forced to produce their whiskey ‘by the light of the moon’.
Variations of Moonshine Spirits
With this in mind, any spirit produced outside of a commercial facility could be considered moonshine. In fact, we have recipes for producing rum, rye, bourbon, gin, tequila and even absinthe!
The variety in moonshine does not end there. You can also produce moonshine using a fruit based mash instead of a grain based mash. This will give a subtle fruity flavor that is sure to please more mature palates. It is also a great way to save overripe fruit from going to waste. If you plan on pursuing these fruity varieties we suggest becoming friendly with the local farmers!
If you care more about recreating your favorite cocktails for a smaller price tag, flavored moonshine may be the best route for you.
One of the benefits of moonshine is that it is a very neutral spirit. This characteristic makes it perfect for infusing flavor. This means that all those fancy specialty liqueurs that you pay top dollar for at the liquor store can easily be replicated at home.
Flavoring moonshine is a fairly straightforward and economical process, especially when compared to the prices you will encounter at the liquor store. Not only are you saving money, but you are also consuming a product with less chemicals and more natural ingredients. Although this may not be everyone's top priority, it is always a nice bonus.
Which Moonshine is the Smoothest?
Moonshine is known for its kick and burn. However, some are after a ‘smooth’ moonshine that is easier to go down. So how is this accomplished?
Well, for starters, that kick and burn can often be a result of the chemicals that are not taken out of your moonshine but should be. When distilling moonshine there is a fractionating process that is very important to both the safety of your moonshine as well as the overall taste.
Fractioning can be done by smell, taste and temperature. Smell and taste develop as you become a seasoned shiner, so most newbies rely solely on temperature.
Distillation works by removing the alcohol from the water in your mash. This is done because alcohol and water have different boiling points. However, when you are distilling it is not only ethanol that will come though your still. You will also be producing some nasty stuff like methanol and acetone which you will certainly not want in your final product.
Separating these elements during distillation is called fractionating. It is important that this is done well as it will have a big impact on your final product. If you do this well, you will get a smoother final product.
In addition to fractionating properly, subtle flavors can be added to your moonshine to help mute the kick and burn. Some experts recommend adding sugar to your spirit to up the smooth factor. Another option could be using subtle flavor techniques such as adding fruit to your mash.
What is the Best Tasting Moonshine?
The best tasting moonshine will certainly come from your personal tastes. While many swear by a good moonshine being determined by the region it comes from ‘Kentucky Moonshine’ or ‘Tennessee Moonshine’, we prefer to say it comes from a great recipe and good execution.
There are many who swear by using old school techniques such as using wild yeast and open-air fermentation.
Others don’t want their spirits to taste like moonshine at all. They want to have a strong spirit that tastes like their favorite candy or favorite fruit.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference. That is why we have compiled the top 10 best moonshine flavors. This list has something for everyone. So get ready to check out our top ten and get ready to pick your poison!
The Best Traditional Moonshine Recipes
Of course, we wouldn’t feel right if we didn’t start off with our favorite traditional recipes. If someone offers you moonshine, these recipes are going to be what they are likely to expect. These recipes are often passed down from generation to generation and are going to produce the best of the best white whiskey has to offer.
Infamous and traditional to his core, Marvin ‘Popcorn’ Sutton was a moonshiner through and through. He believed in using old school moonshine methods and loved sharing his love of moonshine through both his books and his self-made how-to videos.
Popcorn Sutton Moonshine is a famous 100 year-old family recipe that Popcorn Sutton would sell out of the back of his Ford Model A truck.
If you want to make and taste the moonshine of a legend, check out the recipe here.
If you want to taste a truly traditional recipe, it doesn’t get much more old-school than this. This recipe truly takes old-school to the next level by removing the commercial yeast. Many old school shiners insist that commercial yeast can ruin the taste of modern moonshine. This recipe removes the commercial yeast to give you a taste of history. Check out the recipe here.
Capture the traditional moonshine flavor with this cracked corn moonshine recipe. This moonshine recipe uses cracked, air dried yellow corn. Taste the tradition with this amazing old-school moonshine recipe here.
Nothing rolls off the tongue like a delicious finger of bourbon. Now you can make your own with this easy and traditional bourbon recipe.Get ready to feel fancy and take your moonshining to the next level with our bourbon recipe here.
Rye whiskey is a favorite around the world. Just because you are making moonshine does not mean that you have to make corn whiskey. Enjoy this delicious take on a traditional rye whiskey with our easy recipe here.
When it comes to traditional moonshine, we can’t overlook AppleJack! Traditional AppleJack moonshine recipes use freeze distillation which utilizes a freezer rather than a traditional still to separate your elements. This traditional recipe is a favorite around the world and perfect for those who love a hint of fruity flavor in their moonshine. Try it for yourself here.
A delicious rye whiskey with a fruity twist, this apple rye whiskey combines the best of both worlds. This is a great compromise between a traditional rye whiskey and applejack but still uses a traditional still. Check out our recipe here.
The Best Fruit Mash Moonshine Recipes
Making a fruit mash is a delicious way to bring a subtle fruity flavor and rich body to your moonshine.
Instead of using traditional grain, these recipes use ripe fruit to make their mash. These recipes call for large amounts of fruit to make their mash. However, the best fruit is overly ripe. Your best bet is to make a deal with a farmer to purchase the fruit they would not be able to sell otherwise. You can usually get a better price. If not, you can always offer to pay in moonshine!
Sweet as a peach with the strong kick of moonshine, peach moonshine mash is a popular favorite among the moonshining community,
Peaches are undoubtedly one of the best tastes of summer, and by using it as the base of your moonshine you can enjoy the sweet taste of summer all year long. Check out this sweet recipe here.
A great twist on the traditional apple moonshine, this pear recipe is a crisp upgrade. Take your moonshine skills to the next level with this definite crowd pleaser. Check out our pear moonshine recipe here.
This sweet recipe uses frozen berries for an inexpensive and easy method for making moonshine. Check it out here.
Pomegranate is known for its health effects, but did you know it is a great base for a delicious shine? By using pomegranate as the base of your shine you can produce a quality shine with a fruity aroma and mild flavor. Try it for yourself here.
Blueberry moonshine is a delicious twist on a traditional fruit mash that produces a tart yet satisfying moonshine that is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Get all the details here.
Turn your favorite summer treat into a delicious run of moonshine. Watermelon may not be the first fruit that comes to mind when it comes to making moonshine, but it should be! Try it for yourself here.
The Best Equipment for the Job
Making your own moonshine doesn’t have to be difficult. At How to Moonshine, we pride ourselves on taking our customers step by step through the moonshining process.
The first step is our quality craft stills. Our line of moonshine stove top still kits provide everything you need to make a traditional or fruit mash.
Our Appalachian Complete Moonshine Stove Top Still Kit includes everything you need to get started. Its barrel is able to perform as both a fermentor and a still. This means less for you to buy and store.
Our Appalachian is made from food grade stainless steel so it is easy to clean and maintain. It also features copper coils to neutralize the sulphur in your mash for better tasting moonshine every time.
Check out the Appalachian Complete Moonshine Stove Top Kit here.
Moonshine truly has a universal appeal once it is flavored. The possibilities for flavoring your shine are endless. From using fruits, candy, and even chocolate to recreate your favorite speciality liqueurs and favorite cocktails.
Flavoring moonshine is also an incredibly simple process. More often than not all you need is a mason jar, your ingredients and a little bit of time. It couldn’t get much simpler!
This moonshine is dangerously good. It is smooth, chocolatey and tastes like a dream. It is the perfect addition to your morning coffee (we won’t tell), or evening after dinner digestif. This recipe would be a winner at any party or a perfect gift for the holidays. Check out the recipe here.
A childhood favorite turned into your favorite adult beverage! This lemonade moonshine truly captures summer in a bottle. Imagine if you could get this at your local lemonade stand! Try it for yourself here.
This delicious moonshine makes the most amazing spiked butterbeer! Adult Harry Potter fans can unite over their love of this delicious recipe. Check it out here.
The perfect moonshine for your tropical cocktails! This recipe combines everyone’s favorite fruit with the strong kick of moonshine. One drink will truly take you away. Try it for yourself here.
Is there any better combination than peanut butter and chocolate? How about chocolate and peanut butter moonshine?
Peanut butter moonshine is a great base for many cocktails or even to sip after a long day of not drinking peanut butter moonshine. Hook yourself up with our recipe here.
Do you prefer savory to sweet? Looking for a little spice in your life? Our spicy jalapeno shine is the perfect addition to a bloody mary and is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Check out our spicy jalapeno recipe here.
This sweet shine is the perfect dessert in a bottle. Whether you plan on using it in your favorite cocktail, sippin’ or shootin’ it. This sweet spirit is bound to be a crowd please. Check out the recipe here.
This recipe is certainly the cherry on top of our list. Imagine making spiked cherry cokes with this delicious spirit! We couldn’t think of a better way to end the day. Make your own cherry moonshine with our recipe here.
Finding your Perfect Moonshine Still
If flavored moonshine is more of your speed, an air still may be the right fit for you. Our Mist 1 Gallon Air Still is about the size of a kitchen kettle and just as easy to use!
The Mist’s plug and play technology means you can make moonshine simply by pressing a button. The Mist does not require any additional water as it uses an internal fan for cooling. This makes it the perfect addition to your boat, cottage, or trailer.