Apple Pie Moonshine Recipe – Sweet & Spicy

Marria Beklavac By Marria Beklavac
Sip into a slice of autumn with this homemade Apple Pie Moonshine, where every jar is infused with the warm, spicy essence of your favorite fall dessert. Crafted with care and ready to warm your spirits, it's not just a drink but a seasonal celebration in every sip.

Crafting Apple Pie Moonshine is an art that marries sweet, homely flavors with a spicy kick, perfect for sipping on a crisp evening. With a blend of fresh apples, cinnamon, and a secret ingredient or two, this recipe transforms traditional moonshine into a comforting, spirited drink.

Wondering what twists elevate this concoction from good to unforgettable? You’ll find the spices and tips that make all the difference tucked away in the heart of our discussion.

The Legendary Popcorn Sutton and His Moonshine Legacy

Venturing into the realm of illicit distilling quickly brings you face to face with the iconic figure of Popcorn Sutton, known for his Apple Pie Moonshine that has captured the hearts of many.

This unique character, recognizable by his signature overalls and playful smile, was more than just an individual; he was the embodiment of the moonshine tradition itself.

The legacy of Popcorn Sutton is about much more than the liquid concoction; it’s about the spirit of defiance and the artistry he symbolized. He elevated the craft of distilling, blending innovation with time-honored methods in a way only he could.

His Apple Pie Moonshine, in particular, stands as a testament to his ingenuity. It’s not merely a beverage; it’s an emblem of the warmth, intricacy, and rustic allure of Appalachian distilling traditions.

Sutton’s recipe goes beyond the ordinary moonshine experience, offering a taste that’s both soothing and thrilling. It’s a flavor that narrates a story, a gulp of history, and a homage to a man who lived according to his own principles.

In learning about Popcorn Sutton’s legacy, you’re not just getting acquainted with a beverage but immersing yourself in the narrative of an American icon.

Ingredients Needed

To create your very own tribute to the iconic Popcorn Sutton’s Apple Pie Moonshine, gather a collection of essential ingredients that merge tradition with a hint of your own creativity.

Begin with apple juice or cider as the foundation, capturing the essence of freshly harvested apples with every taste. Sweeten the mixture using both white and brown sugar, adding a richness of sweetness that suggests caramel notes.

Next, include cinnamon sticks and a sprinkle of nutmeg, introducing a warm, spicy element that pairs beautifully with the sweetness. These spices are the heart of your moonshine, bringing to mind those cozy, fall feelings.

The main ingredient, grain alcohol or authentic moonshine, is what turns your mixture into the celebrated drink known from tales and legends. For an extra dimension of flavor, think about adding fresh apple slices to float in your moonshine, giving it a natural, fruity flavor.

Feel free to experiment with additional ingredients like vanilla or cloves. These can provide distinctive twists, transforming your apple pie moonshine into not just a beverage, but an unforgettable experience.

Each component is crucial, coming together to form a flavor symphony that honors a classic while reflecting your unique style.

Step-by-Step Instructions

With your ingredients ready, it’s time to dive into the preparation of your homemade apple pie moonshine. Begin by mixing apple juice or cider with sugars and spices, crafting a base that’s brimming with the flavors of autumn.

Through a process that involves simmering, incorporating moonshine, and allowing the blend to settle, you’ll turn these basic components into a wonderfully strong beverage that’s perfect for enjoying on cool evenings.

1. Combine apple juice/cider, sugars and spices

Initiate your journey into crafting apple pie moonshine by mixing apple juice or cider with sugars and a captivating assortment of spices in a large container. Stir the mixture thoroughly to ensure the ingredients are well combined.

Apple Juice/CiderActs as the foundation, infusing a fruity character
SugarsContribute to sweetness, creating a balanced flavor
SpicesAdd warmth and complexity, enriching the flavor

You are on a path to creating a drink that brings comfort and excitement. With every stir, the sugars integrate, and the spices start to emit their lively fragrances, promising a moonshine that delights both the senses and the palate.

Your kitchen transforms into a sanctuary of sweet and spicy aromas, preparing the scene for the enchanting process to unfold.

2. Simmer mixture

After mixing your apple juice or cider with sugars and spices, the next step is to carefully simmer the blend to enhance its flavors, making your moonshine even more delightful. Follow these tips to master this essential process:

  1. Gentle Heat: Set your stove to a low setting. A slow simmer helps the flavors to fuse perfectly, avoiding the loss of subtle tastes.
  2. Occasional Mixing: Stir your mixture softly every few minutes. This prevents any components from sticking to the pot and assures a consistent flavor throughout.
  3. Time is Key: Let the mixture simmer for around 30 minutes. Resist the urge to speed up the process, as allowing it sufficient time is vital for creating a complex, rich flavor profile that will distinguish your apple pie moonshine.

3. Add grain alcohol/moonshine

After your mixture has gently simmered, it’s time to introduce grain alcohol or moonshine, infusing it with that unmistakable kick. This step transforms your brew.

Ensure your simmered blend is off the heat and has cooled slightly – if it’s too warm, the alcohol might evaporate, reducing the desired warmth in each sip.

Slowly add the grain alcohol or moonshine, stirring with care and excitement. This is more than just mixing; it’s a transformation of simple ingredients into a bold, heartwarming concoction.

The aroma alone signals you’re about to enjoy something extraordinary. The mix of sweet, spicy, and strong is now in perfect harmony, ready to make any moment memorable.

4. Allow to cool and rest

After you’ve skillfully added the lively touch of moonshine or grain alcohol to your brew, allow it to cool and rest, moving on to the crucial step to seal in the deep, intricate tastes.

This period of cooling isn’t merely a break—it’s a critical phase where your mixture transforms into a harmonious blend of sweet and spicy elements. Here are the steps to ensure it’s done properly:

  1. Move Away from Heat: Swiftly move your pot off the stove to halt the cooking process.
  2. Open to the Air: Remove the lid from the pot, letting the steam out and the mixture cool down naturally.
  3. Time is Essential: Allowing a slow, undisturbed rest period will enhance the flavors, making your apple pie moonshine truly stand out.

5. Strain and jar

With your apple pie moonshine mixture cooled and flavors perfectly blended, the next steps involve straining and storing your delightful brew. Use a fine mesh strainer positioned over a large bowl or pitcher.

Carefully pour your mixture through, allowing the strainer to catch any solids, while the beautifully infused liquid passes through. This process reveals the clear, spicy-sweet moonshine, infused thoroughly with the essence of apple and spice.

Next, prepare your clean, airtight jars. Gently pour the strained moonshine into each jar, filling to just below the top to leave a bit of space. Secure the lids tightly.

You’ve successfully bottled the flavors of autumn, creating a treasure ready to enhance moments of relaxation or festivity. Your apple pie moonshine now awaits that eagerly anticipated first sip.

6. Garnish (apple slices)

To make your apple pie moonshine visually appealing, begin by cutting fresh apples into thin slices for a charming garnish. This simple addition not only introduces a touch of freshness but also captivates with its straightforward beauty. Here are steps to create an ideal apple garnish:

  1. Choose Crisp Apples: Opt for firm and crisp apples to ensure a satisfying crunch and lively color. Whether green or red, pick ones that enhance the visual allure of your moonshine.
  2. Slice Thinly: Utilize a sharp knife to cut the apples into the thinnest slices feasible. Slim slices will float elegantly on top of your drink, presenting an inviting appearance.
  3. Fan Out: Carefully spread out the slices before adding them to your moonshine. Doing so not only displays their attractiveness but also enriches each sip with a subtle apple flavor.

Adding this garnish transforms it from mere decoration to something that enriches the drinking experience, inviting you on a journey through a spice-filled apple landscape.

Tips for Best Results

Achieving the optimal fusion of tastes in your apple pie moonshine begins with choosing fresh, high-quality components. This advice is the key to making your blend stand out.

Envision the crisp, sweet flavors of freshly harvested apples combined with the warmth of spices, unified by the smooth quality of premium moonshine. It’s not merely a beverage; it’s a full sensory journey.

After you’ve assembled your ingredients, the real magic of moonshine comes through customization. Adjust the sweetness according to your preference. If you like just a whisper of sugar, reduce it.

For those who enjoy a sweeter touch, go ahead and include a bit extra. This step is essential; it’s how you make the drink uniquely yours, calling out to you with every sip.

Patience is a virtue, especially when crafting moonshine. Give your apple pie moonshine sufficient time to rest.

This period isn’t just about waiting; it’s about allowing the flavors to blend, deepen, and mature. It’s the buildup of anticipation leading to that first memorable taste.

Serving Suggestions

Enhancing your enjoyment of apple pie moonshine can significantly benefit from a variety of serving suggestions, each promising to elevate the drink’s rich flavors in their own special ways.

Whether settling in on a cold evening or throwing a lively gathering, these tips will ensure your moonshine is the highlight of any event.

  1. On Ice: Pour your apple pie moonshine over ice cubes in a short glass. This method chills the moonshine, slightly watering it down for a more mellow taste, making the complex flavors more pronounced. It’s a simple yet refreshingly effective approach.
  2. Creative Mixes: Use your apple pie moonshine as a foundation for creative mixed drinks. Combine it with flavors that complement it, like ginger beer, cinnamon syrup, or even a dash of soda for a bubbly variation. Experiment to discover your ideal mix, or set up a moonshine mixing station for guests to concoct their own beverages!
  3. Served Warm or Cold with an Apple Garnish: Offer your moonshine warm to warm the heart on brisk nights, or cold for a cool, invigorating flavor. An apple garnish, whether a slice or a cinnamon-coated apple wedge, not only adds visual appeal but also intensifies the apple pie flavor.

Apple Pie Moonshine Recipe – Quick & Easy

Sip into a slice of autumn with this homemade Apple Pie Moonshine, where every jar is infused with the warm, spicy essence of your favorite fall dessert. Crafted with care and ready to warm your spirits, it's not just a drink but a seasonal celebration in every sip.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Mediterranean
Calories 65 kcal


  • 1 Large Pot Needed for combining and simmering the apple cider, apple juice, sugar, and spices.
  • 1 Wooden Spons Useful for stirring the mixture to help dissolve the sugar and evenly distribute the spices.
  • 2 Measuring Cups and Spoons Essential for accurately measuring the ingredients, including the liquids, sugar, and spices.
  • 1 Thermometer (Optional) Can be helpful to ensure the mixture has cooled sufficiently before adding the alcohol, to preserve its potency.
  • 1 Funnel Makes transferring the moonshine into storage bottles or jars easier and neater.
  • 2 Mason Jars or Glass Bottles For storing the moonshine. Ensure they are clean and have tight-fitting lids to preserve the moonshine and prevent spills.


  • 1 gallon apple cider
  • 1 gallon apple juice
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 whole nutmeg cracked
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1 bottle 750 ml grain alcohol (e.g., Everclear)
  • 1 bottle 750 ml vodka
  • Optional for serving: Apple slices Cinnamon sticks for garnish


  • Combine Cider and Juice: In a large pot, pour in the gallon of apple cider and the gallon of apple juice.
  • Add Sugar and Spices: Stir in the white sugar until fully dissolved. Add the cinnamon sticks, cracked nutmeg, and whole cloves to the mixture.
  • Simmer: Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Do not let it boil. Simmer for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together. Stir occasionally.
  • Cool: After simmering, turn off the heat and allow the mixture to cool completely to room temperature. This step is crucial to avoid evaporating the alcohol in the next steps.
  • Add Alcohol: Once the mixture is cool, stir in the bottle of grain alcohol and the bottle of vodka. It's important that the mixture is cool to preserve the alcohol content.
  • Remove Spices: Take out the cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, and cloves. This prevents the flavors from becoming too overpowering.
  • Bottle: Carefully pour the moonshine into sterile mason jars or bottles. Seal them tightly.
  • Store: Keep the bottles in a cool, dark place to let the flavors continue to meld. The moonshine is drinkable immediately but improves with age.
  • Serve: Serve chilled or over ice, garnished with an apple slice and a cinnamon stick for an extra touch of flavor.


  1. Quality of Ingredients: Use fresh apple cider and apple juice for the best flavor. The quality of these base ingredients significantly impacts the overall taste of the moonshine.
  2. Alcohol Content: Be mindful of the alcohol content of the grain alcohol (like Everclear) and vodka you choose. The proof (alcohol by volume) can vary greatly, affecting the potency of your moonshine.
  3. Simmering: Never bring the mixture to a boil after adding the alcohol, as high heat will cause the alcohol to evaporate. Ensure the mixture is completely cool before incorporating the alcohol.
  4. Infusion Time: The longer the moonshine sits, the more mellow and integrated the flavors become. If you can, let it age for a few weeks or even months in a cool, dark place.
  5. Safety: When handling high-proof alcohol, work in a well-ventilated area away from open flames or heat sources due to its flammability.
  6. Serving Size: This moonshine is potent. Serve it in small amounts, and always be aware of its strength when enjoying.
  7. Storage: Store the moonshine in a cool, dark place. Properly sealed, it can last for several months. Refrigeration is not necessary but can be used if you prefer your moonshine chilled.
  8. Legal Considerations: Be aware of the laws regarding the distillation and possession of high-proof spirits in your area. While making infused spirits like this moonshine is legal in many places, distilling alcohol at home without a permit is illegal in many jurisdictions.
  9. Customization: Feel free to adjust the spices according to your taste. Adding more cinnamon, nutmeg, or cloves can enhance the warmth and complexity of the flavor.
  10. Gifting: Apple Pie Moonshine makes an excellent homemade gift. Consider creative packaging, like mason jars with custom labels, for a personal touch.


Serving: 1fl ozCalories: 65kcalCarbohydrates: 8gSodium: 5mgPotassium: 75mgSugar: 8gVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 10mgIron: 0.1mg
Keyword Apple Pie Moonshine
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By Marria Beklavac Owner
Hey there! I'm Marria Beklavac, a barista by trade and a cook by heart. My culinary journey started at 12, inspired by my grandpa, who first introduced me to the wonders of cooking. His passion sparked mine, leading me to a life where each meal is an adventure. In Terra's Kitchen, I blend my love for coffee with my zeal for cooking to share my culinary exploits with you. This blog is my space to share the joys, discoveries, and lessons from my kitchen to yours. Welcome aboard – let's cook up some magic together!