Moonshine: The Secret to Killer Cocktails

As far as fall cocktails go, we've found the perfect potion to satisfy on a chilly autumn night. Try these simple recipes yourself, and share on social media with the hashtag, #chsgritsips.

Working as a writer has its perks. Charleston Grit gets many offers to cover events, receives books in the mail, and is occasionally sent some free booze. So when the great folks over at Freedom Moonshine sent us some fall cocktail recipes and samples, I decided I would try my hand at some down-home bartending. And, since one should never drink alone, I asked my favorite foodie friend, Charlotte Park of Salt and Preppy, to help me craft the cocktails and write a blog documenting our finds.


White lightening, mountain dew, hooch, whatever you want to call the stuff, modern-day Moonshine has come a long way since it risked blinding Appalachian imbibers in the 1800s. High in alcohol percentage, the distilled spirit (usually rum or whisky) has become not only legal, but truly drinkable. While some may prefer to sip it straight from the mason jar, those of us who cringe at the thought can avoid the embarrassing facial expressions and enjoy the popular potion in less potent form. Now available in a variety of festive flavors from apple pie to red cherry, Moonshine makes an excellent base for creating some killer cocktails. We got down to business with some serious shine taste-testing and discovered four delicious drinks sure to warm you up this fall:


Golden Delicious:

1 oz. Apple Pie Moonshine

1 oz. Lemon Juice

6 oz. Ginger Beer

An extremely drinkable concoction, this cocktail is a great autumn refresher perfect for a breezy night hanging out on the porch. 


Poinsettia Moonshine:

1 oz. Red Cherry Moonshine

6 oz. Cranberry Juice

Sage leaf for garnish


Fruity, light, and easy to make, this drink would be perfect for holiday parties or nights by the fire.


Smashing Pumpkin:

1 oz. White Moonshine

1 oz. Simple Syrup

1 tbsp. Pumpkin Puree

6 oz. Pumpkin Beer

Cinnamon & Nutmeg for garnish


Though we were somewhat skeptical at first, this ended up being one of our favorites. The white moonshine is certainly the strongest of the batch, giving this drink a stout kick that perfectly compliments the full-bodied pumpkin flavor.


Moonshine Hot Chocolate:

1 oz. Firecracker Moonshine

6 oz. Hot Milk or Almond Milk

1 packet Hot Chocolate


This chocolate cocktail has a flavor reminiscent of a Mexican hot chocolate or chili-infused chocolate bar, ideal for chilly nights.



We found that each drink was easy to make and the ingredients were inexpensive. Try them out at home and send us your pictures via Instagram or Twitter (@charlestongrit) using the hashtag #chsgritsips.