Hard Cider Homemade Moonshine

Apple Pie Moonshine

So Apple Pie Moonshine – if it hasn’t been on your radar, read on my friend. This is a delish adult beverage that’s going to be fantastic at any fall/winter outing, tailgate or football party or bonfire, or maybe even Thanksgiving or after you rake leaves, or at the cabin, or on that ski or snowmobile trip. You get the idea! Serve it anytime.

Apple Pie Moonshine

Apple Pie Moonshine

Oh, btw, serve your Apple Pie Moonshine shine in good old-fashioned Mason Jars if you have them. Really, it’s only fitting, lol! Of course, decanting it into a glass gallon jug or growler for keeping only adds to the experience! Just sayin’…

About Apple Pie Moonshine:

Don’t let this scare you: Apple Pie Moonshine is made from apple cider, a few whole spices, Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum, and Everclear. Yep, Everclear. Now Everclear and I are not friends. Something to do with a Scorpions concert at Red Rocks when I was a kid.  Everclear if you’re not familiar is a strong grain alcohol, 190 proof and it’s nothing to fool around with.

There’s no danger here because I fiddled and faddled and formulated this Apple Pie Moonshine carefully (and I wish everyone who has a recipe for it would do the same) so your glassful is only going to be about 12 percent alcohol. That means a 6-ounce glass will have very slightly more alcohol content than a beer but will be right along the lines of a mixed cocktail. It’s a fine line. You want enough alcohol to preserve but not so much that it’s gonna knock your socks off.

Now that I think about it, there might still be a little danger because this stuff tastes sooooo good! I mean c’mon. The name alone sings like a Siren’s song. If Apple Pie Moonshine doesn’t make you think of crisp fall nights in a moonlit wood, living just under the radar, I don’t know what would.

And then there’s the Apple Pie part of Apple Pie Moonshine. You know it HAS to be good. That comes from the Spiced Rum along with cinnamon, clove, and allspice. All the fall flavors! Num!

Serving Apple Pie Moonshine:

Serve your Apple Pie Moonshine at room temperature or over ice if you want to. I personally like it slightly warm, maybe from a Slow Cooker, especially if there is a crowd. If warmed on the stove, you’ll want to be careful of the heat. Alcohol is flammable and heat also destroys its potency.

A fun idea is to make little cocktails of the warm Moonshine, maybe in mugs or something along the line of glass which you would use for Irish Coffee. Top with a little whipped cream, a drizzle of caramel sauce, and add a cinnamon stick for a jaunty touch.

Moonshine Hard Apple Cider

Apple Pie Moonshine

Making Apple Pie Moonshine:

There is one important thing to know about Apple Pie Moonshine. When it’s first made, it’s a little rough. Don’t taste it and toss it! It mellows with time. Ideally, mellow it for at least two weeks. Magic happens, and if you can wait it just gets better and better! If you forget about your Apple Pie Moonshine and leave it for a couple of months in the back of a dark cupboard, it’s like !x^^#$@?(****#%!!! good!

This recipe makes just slightly over 2 quarts, about 1/2 gallon. Enough for a bottle for you and one for some other lucky person. Maybe as a gift? And there’s just a smidge extra for sampling. Gotta sample the goods, right? Of course, you can increase the recipe easily.

This recipe is at its best when good apple cider is used. Something fresh from a stand or at least from your grocery store’s produce or refrigerator section. It’s a little more work because those good ciders will usually have particles that will need to be strained, but your moonshine will carry the tart apple flavor the good cider will give it. As far as straining, I love those little particles in my apple cider but they were not attractive in the moonshine. I like to strain AFTER the mellowing process (I think there is more flavor) and before serving.

Just so you know, plain old grocery store aisle apple cider will be more one-dimensional and sweeter. I did not find it as appealing in my taste tests. And I can tell you will very likely regret trying to sub in apple juice for the cider. It will just be too, too sweet and flat.

Use whole spices that can easily be removed from the finished cider. Attempting a shortcut using ground spices will make your cider muddy looking and there’s not a good way to control the flavor. Bonus that whole spices can be kept in a tightly sealed jar in a dark, cool cupboard literally for years and still be good to use and flavorful. See Are my Dried Spices and Herbs still Good?

To make your Apple Pie Moonshine, just heat up a little of the cider and dissolve the sugar, then transfer it to a big pitcher or pot and dump in the remainder of the cider. Then add alcohol and spices. Pour into bottles (glass is best) and store it. If you are using a good cider, you’ll want to strain the bottle before using it. Put it through a strainer lined with a coffee filter for best results. It’s all easy peasy. Easy as pie. Easy as Apple Pie, lol!


Be sure to store your Apple Pie Moonshine in a dark, cool place. As mentioned before, store for at least two weeks before using.

I personally think the longer the better, within reason. I’ve stored it in my cupboard for almost a year and it was fabulous. Opening and using and then closing the moonshine seems to have no effect on it.

Saving Money:

  • I  have never heard of Everclear going on sale. You may wish to shop around for the best pricing.
  • Good apple cider is going to cost more than a plain old grocery store cider and may be seasonal in your area. The good cider is worth it!
  • The best savings is how much better your homemade Apple Pie Moonshine is than store-bought, and how much more inexpensive it is to make as opposed to buying.
Apple Pie Moonshine

Apple Pie Moonshine


Apple Pie Moonshine

  • Author: mollie kirby
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 weeks to mellow
  • Total Time: 24 minute
  • Yield: 2 1/2 quarts 1x
  • Category: Beverage


  • 1/2 gallon (2 quarts) good apple cider, preferably cold, divided
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 long or 4 small sticks of cinnamon
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 allspice berries
  • 1 1/2 cups Everclear, 190 proof
  • 1 cup Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum


In a medium saucepan, add two cups of apple cider, the sugar and spices, and heat over medium heat, stirring now and then until sugar is dissolved.

Remove from heat and pour into a large pitcher. (The pitcher will need to hold more than 1/2 gallon.) Add the remainder of the cider and stir. If the cider is cold, the mixture should be cool by now so add the alcohol, if not wait until it reaches room temperature to add the alcohols.

Pour into containers for storage, preferably glass, adding a piece of cinnamon, a clove and an allspice berry to each. Store for two weeks to mellow the Apple Pie Moonshine, then filter, preferably twice, through a coffee filter. If there is no coffee filter available, try a thin cloth or multiple layers of cheesecloth.

Store at least two weeks in a dark, cool place; keeps indefinitely and just gets better with more time.

Serve slightly warm or chilled over ice.


  • There may be some foamy like substance floating on the top of the pitcher. It can be skimmed off if desired, but it dissolves right back into the cider in a day or so.
  • This batch wasn’t strained initially, but later the sediment was on the bottom and was very unattractive in taste and texture. It took two straining and there was still a minute amount of sediment that settled later.
  • This recipe comes out to a little over 12 percent alcohol, about the same as a Rum & Coke. A serving is 5 ounces.

Keywords: Alcohol, apple cider, Beverages, Captain Morgan, cocktail, everclear, Rum

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I’ll be sharing Apple Pie Moonshine on our very own Throwback Thursday Link Party as well as on Fiesta Friday. The co-hosts are Margy @ La Petite Casserole and Suzanne @ apuginthekitchen. It wouldn’t be Saturday without linking up at Saucy Saturdays blog hop!


This easy Apple Pie Moonshine tastes divine, especially in a Mason Jar! It's carefully formulated with just the right amount of hooch so no worries about it knocking your socks off. Make it a bit ahead - it gets better and better with time! #ApplePieMoonshine

40 thoughts on “Apple Pie Moonshine

    • I’ve never been to Oklahoma, but I love travelling to rural places – maybe because I’m a “talker” and love meeting people from all over! Glad I brought up some good memories!!

  1. Just in time for Thanksgiving Mollie! Sounds like a fun drink around the table after dinner… (with pie as you said!!). Are you cooking for Thanksgiving? Hosting? Hope it’s a great time with your family/friends. xox

    • I remember back in college we used to make a fake Kahlua, so I might have to see if I can modernize that old recipe a bit to use up the rest of that everclear! This is perfect for fall, though.

  2. Ooooh, now I’m thirsty! It has been a while since we had something like this and my husband would really love it if I made some. It would be perfect for Thanksgiving!

  3. Lol… did you figure out the 12% before or after the drink or two? Regardless… it sounds curiously interesting, I’d never heard of this before.

    • Lol – during!! But I checked it twice just to make sure. 🙂 I’m a real lightweight when it comes to drinking and it doesn’t take much – plus combine alcohol and sugar and I’m bouncing off the walls. Funny thing, I’d almost rather cook or bake with booze than drink it!

      • ok…. so I will believe your calculations, haha… I am the same… I’d much rather cook with it than drink it… just the aroma that it gives off when heated is delectable.

  4. Everclear used to be 95% in Iowa, but due to some alcohol poisoning cases, the government made them reduce it to 75.6%.. Not sure if this is the case in any other state, but we can’t get it at full strength. I found this out working in the pharmacy lab where we used Everclear for several compounded products. I’m sure whatever the content, this would be delish!

  5. Sounds tasty. Rum, cinnamon, etc. I’ll need to pick up the all spice berries as I only have ground all spice in the pantry. I wonder how much of my dad’s ‘moonshine’ I have in that small carafe I rescued from their cottage. I could give it a try. 🙂

    PS: My brother thinks there are some LARGE containers in their pole barn. It’s been 6 yrs since my dad passed away. It must be pretty potent by now.

      • It’s been 6 (and 4 years) respectively, since they passed away and sometimes it’s still hard to believe that they’re gone.

        My brother inherited the land and he and his family live there in a house they built. At one time, my dad had plans to start a vineyard and began planting grapes. However, he and my mom were just too old to do the work required. They raised chickens for the eggs and meat and had a small truck farm from which they sold a few vegetables and fruit by the roadside. There’s even a very small greenhouse though I’ve never been inside so I have no idea what they grew in there. The pole barn was put up by my brother and my dad stored some of his things in there.

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