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Moonshine is a drink rich in American history. Are you looking for answers to questions such as what is moonshine? Where did it come from? What is it made from? Well, if so, you’re in the right place! Let’s dive into the world of moonshine together.

What Is Moonshine Whiskey?

The name ‘Moonshine’ comes from the fact that historically, this spirit was usually produced at night time, under the light of the moon. The darkness provided a way to create this drink secretly, out of sight of the police and other legal officials. This is because the traditional ‘Moonshine’ was illegal. 

Moonshine first came to the United States in the late 1700s, bought over by Scottish and Irish immigrants. However, in 1791 a whiskey tax was imposed on the American people. This made it illegal to produce moonshine that was not taxed. Thus, moonshine production went underground, as people wanted to carry on making and drinking the drink, but did not want to have to pay the taxes.

This drink rose to popularity between 1920-1933, during the time of prohibition. During this period the production, distribution, and sale of all alcohol was illegal. Therefore, many people ended up using DIY makeshift methods of producing alcohol. Moonshine was traditionally produced inside of a homemade still, and bottled in a mason jar. Moonshine tended to be distilled in ramshackle homemade settings, away from visitors, for example deep in the woods or mountains. 

What Kind of Alcohol is in Moonshine?

Most of those with expertise in the field of spirit distillation agree that moonshine is a kind of homemade, unaged whiskey. It may aesthetically appear different from whiskey, as whiskey is usually dark in color, whereas moonshine tends to be clear. However, the ingredients used to create moonshine liquor, as well as the distillation process, are akin to whiskey. 

It tended to be largely produced by farmers, who would make it using whatever crops they had in excess. Therefore, moonshine was mostly made from corn, but could also be made using other grains left lying around. So, typically moonshine is made through a process in which corn is fermented and distilled, with a wide-ranging ABV, from 40% all the way up to a powerful 80%. 

Due to the DIY, ramshackle nature of the production, the resultant moonshine liquor was often highly potent. It was made by farmers or other people that did not have much prior distillation experience or knowledge. The Moonshine made was often dangerously and unpredictably strong, ranging largely from batch to batch, with no reliable way of testing the ABV. 

Yet, these days things are different, and many trusted alcohol brands produce their own versions of Moonshine. In this modern-day, there are much stricter production laws, so you can be sure that your Moonshine will be of a safe ABV to drink, and made by those with lots of experience. Thus, you can trust that your delicious Moonshine is safe, allowing you to sit back and enjoy it!

What Does Moonshine Taste Like?

The taste of Moonshine will vary massively, depending on where you are sourcing your moonshine liquor. The more homemade, ramshackle products with a higher ABV percentage will have strong rubbing alcohol flavors. The more refined moonshines will have more of a sweet flavor, and you may be able to taste sweet hints from the corn, or some even claim to taste notes of vanilla.

These days, with many popular brands producing their own versions of moonshine, there are many different moonshine flavors available. Some of the popular flavors out there include fruity-infused editions, such as blackberry, blueberry, strawberry, or lemon-infused. These moonshine varieties are great for Spring/Summertime sipping! You can also try honey or cinnamon-flavored moonshines, which are belly-warming and just perfect for Autumnal/Winter time drinks.

If you want to order moonshine online, make sure to check out our CWSpirits website. Here we have a great selection of different moonshine flavors, so you’re sure to find the moonshine for you. Plus, when you buy moonshine online with us, you can check out our wide range of affordable products, and get delivery straight to your door!

How Is Moonshine Different From Other Whiskeys?

Technically, the difference historically has always been that moonshine is a whiskey that has not been taxed. It is produced illegally by people wanting to avoid paying the 1791 whiskey tax. Thus, moonshine was produced at night time, away from the prying eyes of the law, whereas whiskey would be produced following strict regulations and under controlled settings.

They do both have largely the same production process, although there are some variations. For example, moonshine is unaged, whereas whiskey tends to be aged. Back when moonshine was being made illegally, it would have been very difficult to store and age moonshine in the classic Oak barrels that whiskey is stored in. Thus, moonshine was clear in color, and often more similar tasting to vodka than whiskey. It had that rubbing alcohol flavor - strong and burning the back of the throat. 

Also, historically, if the people producing moonshine were not properly informed or trained, they would miss out on a vital part of the production procedure - the removal of methanol. If methanol was not removed, then the drinker could go blind. This can make moonshine a dangerous beverage indeed!

However, these days commercial moonshine production is legal, and therefore the name ‘Moonshine’ adopted by brands is more of a fun nod to American history. So the present-day moonshine is a very different product from the moonshine of the past. In this way, modern moonshine and modern whiskey are not so different after all. 

What Is The Proper Way To Drink Moonshine? 

Traditionally, moonshine would have been drunk neat, straight out of a mason jar. Moonshine was a rough-and-ready drink, enjoyed straight. This drink was not for the faint of heart!

However, of course, these days there is no ‘proper’ way to drink, just finding out which way of consuming moonshine works best for you! So, if sipping it neat feels a bit much for you, go for it and try making a moonshine cocktail. How about a moonshine mixed with iced tea and lemonade, garnished with fresh mint? Or with soda water, a dash of elderflower cordial, and a generous squeeze of fresh lime for a super refreshing long drink?

Top Brands To Try 

Are you wondering where to buy moonshine online? When searching for moonshine for sale, try and order moonshine online from our CWSpirits store. We have a fabulous range of affordable products, so you will be able to buy moonshine online that is perfect for you. We have so many different moonshine flavors.

Sip Shine Berry Sweet Tea is a perfect way to enjoy moonshine and is a great moonshine brand. This pre-mixed, ready-to-drink cocktail is bursting at the seams with tart yet sweet raspberry flavors. It also tastes like sweet tea and is a nod to your grandma’s homemade iced tea. A delicious and comforting drink! This juicy berry mix is oh-so-convenient and ready to drink straight away. Great for your summertime camping trips! 

Sip Shine Arnold Shine takes its inspiration from the legendary Arnold Palmer drink, a delicious mix of tea and lemonade. Looking for moonshine for sale that is both tasty and easy? Then you’ve come to the right place! This moonshine mix has all the fabulous flavors of iced tea, lemonade, and moonshine. This can be drunk straight away, but we recommend pouring it over ice and adding an extra dash of fresh lemon juice and some freshly crushed mint, for a refreshing beverage that will keep you coming back for more. Feeling extra boozy? You could even add an extra shot of whiskey to take your cocktail to the next level!

Sip Shine Raspberry Shineade is a great moonshine brand! This lip-smacking mix of sweet lemonade, and tart, crisp raspberries is utterly moreish. This flavor combination is juicy, refreshing, and totally delicious. If you’re in a rush and on the go, then this is the perfect drink for you! Already mixed together, this great moonshine product can be enjoyed immediately. Or, you can blend it with ice, for a great boozy slush. Decorate with wheels of orange and a cocktail umbrella for total holiday vibes!

Frequently Asked Question's

Is Moonshine The Same As Whiskey?

Moonshine is basically the same as whiskey, the primary difference is just that moonshine is untaxed, whereas whiskey is taxed. Therefore, historically moonshine was always illegal, as it was dodging the 1791 whiskey tax law. Whiskey, on the other hand, is produced legally, production companies pay taxes, and everything is above board. Also, the color of moonshine tends to be clear, whereas whiskey tends to be darker. Finally, moonshine is unaged, whereas whiskey is aged in oak barrels, giving it a slightly different flavor, that has more Oak notes present.

Is Moonshine Pure Alcohol?

No, moonshine is not 100% alcohol. Typically, moonshine would range between 40-80% ABV. Often the ABV was unknown, as moonshine was being produced by farmers or other groups of people that had little knowledge of distillation procedures, and therefore were producing unstable liquor products. These days, however, the brands that call themselves ‘moonshine’ are using the name as a nod to the historical American beverage, but are in fact actually legally producing moonshine, and are therefore much more trusted and stable sources of liquor.

What’s The Best Flavor of Moonshine?

We recommend the Sip Shine Arnold Shine moonshine drink, as this drink is as juicy and refreshing as your grandma’s lemon iced tea, but has the boozy adult fun element of being made with moonshine! The zesty citrus lemon tang and the sweetness of tea go oh-so-well together, and make for an easily drinkable and delicious beverage.

Can I Mix Moonshine With Soda?

Yes, you absolutely can! In fact, moonshine and soda make a delicious drink! If you’re feeling extra fruity, add some slices of cucumber, sprigs of fresh mint, and a dash of mint cordial with lots of ice. This will help make an uber-refreshing long drink that allows you to sip moonshine all day long, without getting dehydrated.

You could also enjoy your moonshine on the rocks with just a dash of soda, to allow the moonshine flavors to really shine through, and avoid diluting your moonshine experience.

Does Flavored Moonshine Have Sugar?

Depending on the brand and the recipe, but yes alot of flavored moonshines will have sugar in, to add sweetness and flavor to the recipe. However, if you want to try making your own sugar-free version, try adding a handful of berries to a bottle of moonshine, and leaving the flavors to infuse over a few months then strain. The moonshine will absorb the flavor, and leave you with a fabulous and healthy moonshine drink!

So there we are - a thorough exploration into the world of moonshine. If you want to know where to buy moonshine, or more about moonshine, head over to our CWSpirits for a great range of products and flavors. We’ve got you covered!