The Mandatory Guide to Making Your Own Homemade Holiday Moonshine
Before we start, it’s important to point out that it’s illegal to make your own moonshine. The term ‘Moonshine’ is a slang term to reference high-proof (usually corn-based) white whiskey that was (and still is) made on illicit stills hidden deep in the woods. The name is a reference to the distillers making the spirits late at night under the moon.
In the last decade, many states have passed laws to allow for regulated moonshine. While it might not seem like “real” moonshine, brands like Ole smoky Tennessee Moonshine, Junior Johnson’s Midnight Moon, Stillhouse, and Popcorn Sutton’s Tennessee White Whiskey are all making spirits that taste as close to the real thing as is legally allowed. Plus, it probably won’t make you go blind after only a few sips.
Even though many brands make their own flavored moonshines, some are overly sweet, lower in alcohol, and pretty much lose all of the appeal of the potent, warming spirit made by the light of the moon. That’s why, this holiday season, we want to help you to make your own flavored holiday moonshine to share with friends and family (or drink yourself as you think about how terrible 2020 was). Check out our tips below.
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Buy a bottle of white lightning.
The first step to making a nice, holiday-flavored bottle of moonshine is to buy a bottle of white corn whiskey. Cheap is the name of the game as you’re going to be adding your own flavors.
Buy some mason jars.
While you can just add ingredients to your bottle of moonshine, it’s easiest to add flavor by aging it in mason jars. Specifically, half-gallon, wide-mouth mason jars. They’re easy to seal and fit nicely on a shelf while you wait until all of the flavors meld together.
Determine your holiday flavors.
What seasonal flavors do you enjoy? Cranberries and citrus? How about candy cane? Maybe you want to go all out and make your own eggnog moonshine. Before you just dive in, make sure you know what flavors you want.
Gather your ingredients.
If you’re going to make a cranberry and citrus holiday moonshine, you’ll need cinnamon sticks, orange peels, and cranberries. If a minty, schnapps-like spirit is what you’re looking for, grab some candy canes. Eggnog is a little more elaborate and you should check out a recipe before attempting that one.
Infuse your 'shine.
Prepare your moonshine by setting your jars on a counter or table, adding the specific ingredients, pouring the white whiskey over it, and sealing it until Christmas. It doesn’t need to be an exact science. For the cranberry and citrus ‘shine, add a handful of cranberries, some orange peels, and a few cinnamon sticks. For candy cane moonshine, literally just break up a few candy canes, add them to a jar, pour moonshine over it, and seal it until Christmas. If you prefer it mintier, add more candy canes.
Time to experiment.
If you have other crazy holiday-themed ideas, give them a try. You won’t know what flavors work until you try them, right? Do you want to add rosemary and limes? Give it a whirl. Apples, cinnamon, and brown sugar, why not?
Once you’ve added the ingredients to infuse your moonshine, you need to wait. Rome wasn’t built in a day and your holiday spirit won’t be ready in a day. Wait a few days or weeks at least before you crack these bad boys open.
Sip your holiday treat.
If you can’t wait until Christmas to try it, we won’t hold it against you. As long as you waited a few days or weeks, go right ahead. Just make sure you share it with your friends and family. Or at least don’t tell them you cracked it open yet.
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