Apple pie moonshine, made with everclear or vodka, is strong and spectacular and exactly what you need to get you through Thanksgiving. Here’s how to make it.
Curious about the story behind apple pie moonshine? According to author Vivian Howard, “When bootleggers had to hide their shine, they’d mix it with apple cider and store it in the cider jug. The juice-colored camouflage quelled suspicion and made white lightning easier to drink. Eventually apple pie moonshine, also called applejack, became a concoction moonshiners hung their hat on.” This apple pie moonshine recipe makes a blissfully ginormous batch. Start with everclear or vodka, add the rest of the ingredients, and then splash it in a punch bowl, pour it in Mason jars and gift it to that special someone, or just keep it all to yourself and indulge in a nip every once in a while. You can easily cut the recipe in half for a smaller batch…although why would you want to do such a thing?!–Renee Schettler Rossi
Special Equipment: Mason jars
Apple Pie Moonshine Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 20 M
- 10 H, 30 M
- Makes about 1 1/2 gallons (5.7 liters)
- 1 gallon (3.7 liters) apple cider
- 1 1/2 cups (320 grams) light brown sugar
- 4 small lemons, halved, preferably organic
- 2 small navel oranges, halved, preferably organic
- 4 whole cloves
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 3 star anise
- Two 2-inch (5-cm) pieces ginger root, peeled
- 4 cups (946 ml) moonshine (or substitute unflavored vodka)
- 4 apples, unpeeled and quartered (any variety), preferably organic
- 1. In a 2-gallon (7.6-liter) pot, bring the cider, sugar, lemons, oranges, spices, and ginger to a gentle boil. Cook for 5 minutes.
- 2. Take the pot off the heat and let it cool completely. Stir in the moonshine and the apples. Cover and let it sit overnight at room temperature.
- 3. The next day, remove and discard the citrus. Take a nip and, if a stronger spice flavor is desired, leave the spices in the moonshine; otherwise, strain them out. Transfer the apple pie moonshine to 1-quart Mason jars with lids wide enough to contain the apples. Screw on the lids and store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve or gift your apple pie moonshine. (If you can, put this apple pie moonshine together ahead of time and let it mellow in the fridge for a week.)
- 4. Serve chilled over ice.
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