Drink Like a Bootlegger With 5 Mouthwatering Moonshine Cocktails

Shine on, you crazy diamond. 

Moonshine is more than just the perfect homegrown hooch to enjoy while wearing bib overalls and jamming out to “Dueling Banjos” from Deliverance. Back in the day, this famously raw corn liquor was transported by wily Southern bootleggers who souped up their cars to outrun police, inspiring a little sport called NASCAR. But while illegal moonshine is still being made, mass-produced jars are taking it from backwoods stills into craft cocktail bars.

Bartenders are using brands like Ole Smoky, Stillhouse, Midnight Moon, and Firefly to make some seriously strong drinks. Josh Kopel, owner of Preux & Proper in Los Angeles, serves more than thirty moonshines that clock in anywhere from 80 to 100 proof. “My great grandfather was a bootlegger in Lafayette, Louisiana, and I wanted to continue the tradition,” Kopel says. “And let’s get real: It’s definitely the most direct route between sobriety and drunkenness.”

As for moonshine cocktails, “It mixes like vodka, and there’s just a little hint of corn,” Kopel says.”It’s a very accessible price point, and for the most part, they’re all good.” Judge for yourself by mixing up these five moonshine drinks, made with whatever brands you can get your hands on. 

Low Hanging Fruit  (pictured above)


1 oz. blackberry moonshine

½ oz. Frangelico

1 oz. pear brandy

Fresh blackberries


Combine moonshine, Frangelico and pear brandy Into ice filled cocktail shaker. 

Shake well. Strain into small cocktail glass. Garnish with blackberries.

Lemon Smash


4 lemon wedges

Pinch of mint

3/4 oz. simple syrup

2 oz. lemon drop moonshine


Lemon peel


Muddle lemon wedges and mint in a mixer. Add  simple syrup and moonshine to the mixer and shake. Pour muddled mixture into an Old Fashioned glass filled with ice. Stir then pack the top with ice until it creates a dome.

Drunken Watermelon


1 oz. lime juice

1.5 oz. simple syrup

2.5 oz. watermelon moonshine

Lime wheel


In a mixing tin filled with ice, shake the lime juice, simple syrup, and watermelon moonshine. Shake and strain over ice an ice packed old fashioned glass. Garnish with lime wheel.

Category 6 Hurricane 


1 oz. pineapple juice

1 oz. orange juice

1 oz. lime juice

½ oz. passionfruit monin syrup

2 oz. strawberry moonshine


Bacardi Oakheart


Add pineapple juice, orange juice, lime juice, passionfruit monin, and strawberry moonshine to a tin filled with ice. Shake and strain into an ice packed Belgian goblet. Float the Grenadine and Bacardi Oakheart on top.

Lincoln County Citrus


1 ½ oz. moonshine

½ oz. Cointreau

½ oz. fresh lemon juice

¼ oz. simple syrup

1 lime peel


Combine all ingredients in shaker with ice. Shake vigorously. Strain Into Tulip glass. Garnish with lemon peel.