Got Moonshine? Here's 10 Cocktails You Can Make

Whether you call it white lightning or the real mountain dew, there's one hooch that's been hitting the spot for over a century. READ: Celebrate National Absinthe Day: Cocktails to Make With the Once-Forbidden Spirit Some may assume moonshine is nothing more than cheap, underground whiskey from down south, but this crystal-hued spirit is being savored now more than ever. Time magazine is reporting that moonshine, defined most commonly as simply an “illegal spirit,” is growing steadily in popularity. Though it's been distilled in backwoods Appalachia since the 1800s and mostly produced in secret, things started to change once the recession hit in 2008, and according to Time, several states “looked for ways to generate employment and keep tax revenue rolling in” by loosening laws regulating distilleries. So what makes moonshine stand out from the pack of other clear liquors? You can credit that to its distinct flavor. “Unlike vodka, in which the source grain is often purposely purified to a vanishing point, white dogs are pungently fragrant, with a chewy sweetness to them,” says the New York Times. READ: 10 Spirited Southern Cocktails to Make Now And with a variety of white whiskeys readily accessible, mixologists are increasingly experimenting with smooth drinks that pack a pungent punch, keeping patrons coming back for more. NPR notes that most states still prohibit home moonshining, but fortunately, several professional distilleries are offering this once completely-forbidden spirit to those ready to shake up their happy hours. Don’t know what to do with that jar of moonshine? We have 10 tasty cocktail recipes to better acquaint you with this American favorite.




    Blonde Manhattan

    Ingredients 1 ¾ oz. Hudson New York Moonshine Corn Whiskey 1 oz. Antica Sweet Vermouth ½ oz. Cointreau 3 dashes orange bitters 1 lemon twist Preparation Stir the first four ingredients with ice and strain, up or over fresh ice, into rocks glass. Garnish with lemon twist.
    Whiskey Park in New York City.

    Thyme Moonshine

    Ingredients ½ oz. Tito’s Vodka ½ oz. Dutch’s Spirits Sugar Wash Moonshine ¾ oz. fresh lemon juice ½ oz. limoncello equal parts Sprite and soda water fresh thyme sprigs lemon slice Preparation Place the spirits and lemon juice in a shaker. Strain into a mason jar. Top with Sprite and soda water. Garnish with thyme sprig and lemon slice.
    Chef’s Garden Restaurant at Crystal Springs Resort in New Jersey. Photo courtesy of Lauren Scrudato.

    Moonshine and Peaches

    Ingredients 1.5 oz. STILLHOUSE Original Moonshine 2 oz. ginger beer .5 oz. sweet and sour cocktail mixer .5 oz. peach juice .5 oz. cranberry juice 6 mint leaves, torn 3 peach wedges, skin removed Preparation Place all ingredients, except ginger beer, into shaker with ice. Shake to bruise mint and peaches. Add ginger beer and swirl to avoid breaking down carbonation. Pour into mason jar and serve. RECIPE: The Pot Pie Made With Peaches … And Beer
    Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar in California.

    Watermelon Sling

    Ingredients 1.5 oz. Troy & Sons Platinum White Whiskey .5 oz. Aperol 1.5 oz. fresh pressed watermelon juice .75 oz. lemon juice .75 oz. simple syrup fresh rosemary 1 watermelon slice Preparation Add all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake. Pour into a mason jar. Garnish with fresh rosemary and a watermelon slice.
    Yardbird Southern Table & Bar in Miami Beach.

    Pink Moon Lemonade

    Ingredients 2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice 6 cups water 2 cups granulated sugar 2 cups moonshine ½ cup grenadine syrup strawberry slices thin slices of lemon Preparation Put the water and sugar in a small pot over medium heat, and heat until the sugar has dissolved and the water starts to clear, stirring occasionally so as not to burn the sugar (the mixture does not need to boil). Let cool. In a separate bottle, combine lemon juice, strawberries and moonshine with your syrup, and stir. When ready, pour over ice and add slices of lemon.
    Cornelia Guest of Cornelia Guest Events.

    The Prohibition

    Ingredients 1 part white rum 1 part pineapple juice 1 part grenadine moonshine-infused maraschino cherries Preparation Mix white rum and pineapple juice together. Add grenadine. Finish by adding moonshine-infused maraschino cherries. READ: 5 Classic Cocktails You Should Know How to Make
    Andrea Correale, celebrity caterer and founder of Elegant Affairs Catering.

    Moonshine Mojito

    Ingredients 2 oz. Dutch’s Sugar Wash Moonshine 10 mint leaves 2 lime wedges 1 Tbsp. sugar club soda Preparation Muddle mint, lime and sugar in a pint glass. Combine with shaker full of ice and add moonshine. Shake vigorously for 20 seconds and pour into a highball glass. Top with club soda.
    ABC Cocina in New York City.

    Moonshine Mary

    Ingredients 2 oz. Stillhouse Original Moonshine 3 oz. tomato juice 1 Tbsp. lemon juice salt and black pepper to taste 3 dashes Worcestershire sauce 2 drops Tabasco Preparation Put all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until cold. Strain into a glass. Garnish with lemon wedge, celery stalk, or green olives.
    Mixologist Sam Spohr of Bludso’s in Los Angeles.

    The Schultz

    Ingredients 1 oz. Dutch’s Sugar Wash Moonshine ¾ oz. Dutch’s Peach Brandy 1 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice ½ oz. simple syrup 3 dashes orange bitters 1 egg white maraschino cherries Preparation Add all ingredients (except orange bitters) in a cocktail shaker and shake. Add ice and shake again. Pour into pre-chilled coupe glass and finish with 3 drops of orange bitters on top, making a triangle. Garnish with cherries.
    Mixologist Ivan Mitankin of Bathtub Gin in New York City.

    Blackberry Mint Julep

    Ingredients fresh mint leaves 2 sugar cubes or ½ oz. simple syrup 1 oz. Sugarlands Shine Silver Cloud Moonshine 1 oz. Sugarlands Shine Blockaders Blackberry Moonshine 1 fresh mint sprig Preparation Muddle mint leaves and sugar in glass. Add moonshines to mint and sugar. Fill glass with ice. Stir well and garnish with mint leaves.
    Sugarlands Distillery in Tennessee.
Image 1 of 10