Apple Pie Moonshine

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The prohibition may be over, but we still plan on making our moonshine. This fall-flavored version will make you forget all about Pumpkin Spice Lattes because...well…grain alcohol. Not to mention, you'll finally have the chance to drink your favorite fall dessert. This is definitely the one to break out when you have a few friends over. It also doubles and triples easily if you need to serve an army.

To reach maximum apple pie flavor, we simmered apple juice and apple cider simmered with warm spices for the base of the drink. A combination of grain alcohol and vodka makes this drink more palatable and a little less dangerous but don't be fooled -- these babies are STRONG! So drink responsibly 😎. Keep reading for moonshine 101. 

What is moonshine? Isn't it illegal?

Moonshine is a clear, unaged whiskey made from mashed barely or corn that earned its dreamy name from the fact moonshiners had to produce under the cover of night to avoid detection. Making moonshine at home without a distillers license is 100% illegal, but that's not what we're going for with this. Here the term moonshine is meant to indicate the strength of these drinks, which we mimic using 190-proof grain alcohol like Everclear. 

Does Apple Pie Moonshine get stronger the longer it sits?

What gets stronger is the apple flavor. As it sits, the apple pie flavor takes over, softening the bite of the alcohol. However, this doesn't mean the drink is weaker, so continue to sip slow.

Can I substitute with flavored vodka?

Absolutely! Try vanilla, caramel vodka, cinnamon, or even honey vodka to add an extra layer of deliciousness. Spiced rum or cinnamon whiskey would also make for excellent choices.

Does homemade apple pie moonshine spoil?

Pure moonshine and Everclear are distilled with no sugar and are totally shelf stable. However, we've added a ton of sugar here, meaning it can and will go bad if left at room temperature for too long. The best place to store it is in a jar with a secure lid in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

Can't get enough boozy fall beverages? Ditch the PSL forever with these 40+ fall cocktail recipe ideas

Have you made this yet? Let us know how it went in the comments below!

Editor's Note: The introduction to this recipe was updated on August 8, 2022, to include more information about the dish.

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Yields: 6 cups
Prep Time: 0 hours 10 mins
Total Time: 1 hour 15 mins
4 c.

apple juice

4 c.

apple cider

3/4 c.

granulated sugar

1/4 c.

packed brown sugar


cinnamon sticks

1/2 tsp.

ground ginger

1/2 tsp.


3/4 c.

190 proof grain alcohol

3/4 c.


  1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, combine apple juice, cider, sugars, cinnamon sticks, and spices. Bring to a simmer, then cover pot with lid and reduce heat to medium-low. 
  2. Simmer for 1 hour then remove from heat and let cool. 
  3. Remove cinnamon sticks and stir in grain alcohol and vodka. Transfer to jars or bottles. 
  4. Shake well before serving. 
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