Apple Pie Moonshine

Apple Pie Moonshine - Inside NanaBread's Head

Sounds good, right? And it is. This was yet another gift from our recent Hoegarden weekend. I had bookmarked a recipe for Apple Pie Moonshine months ago with the hope of trying it some day. When we picked our ‘Lowdown Hoedown’ theme for this year’s shenanigans, it seemed like perfect timing so I fired off an e-mail to my Big Sis with the short & simple message “We should totally make this for Hoegarden!”

One of the many things I love about having four sisters is that we never have to twist arms to get someone to participate in things like this. Big Sis was all in. She agreed to source some vintage jars from Mom’s barn and take on the role of Head Moonshiner. I would act as Chief Brainstormer, equal financial partner and creative director (which put me in charge of packaging & tags).

Somewhere our relatives are nodding and saying “See, Hank… I told you they were hillbillies.”

This recipe made a lot of hooch – 7 quarts in all. Big Sis packaged it into Mason jars and I whipped up some cute tags in honor of our theme. Every good hillbilly knows the only appropriate wrapping for a jar of hooch is a brown paper bag, so we went there because our Momma taught us not to half-ass anything. Here’s how the finished jars turned out.

Apple Pie Moonshine - Packaged - Inside NanaBread's Head

This is not your typical moonshine that doubles as paint stripper. First of all, it’s not nearly as strong as traditional moonshine. Because of the cider and fruit juice, this version is slightly sweet, incredibly smooth and resembles spiked apple cider much more than paint solvent. And it is good. Really, really good.

Big Sis’s “Make Ya’ Holler” Apple Pie Moonshine
1 gallon of spiced apple cider
1 gallon of apple juice
8-10 cinnamon sticks
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 large bottle (750ml) of good vodka*
7 quart-size Mason jars with new lids

In a large stock pot, combine all ingredients EXCEPT for the vodka. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the mixture comes to a boil. Shut off the heat and allow the mixture to cool completely. Once cooled to room temperature, stir in the vodka and ladle it into sterilized canning jars. Drop one of those used cinnamon sticks into each jar, wipe the rim of the jar with a clean damp cloth and top with a sterile canning lid & ring.

Caution: Big Sis says this stuff will knock your head off if you try it right away, and no one wants that. Instead, seal it up and let it sit for 3-4 weeks to mellow. You’ll be glad you did. When we cracked that first quart at Hoegarden, you could sip it straight from the jar it was so smooth. I think Big Sis could have a brilliant future as a moonshiner if she wanted.

Apple Pie Moonshine can be served hot or cold, as a mixer or straight up. Since it was chilly for Hoegarden and Sister #4 built a glorious fire in the fire pit, we chose to add a quart of it to a half-gallon of apple cider and serve it hot like a toddy. And it rocked that toddy. If it had been sweltering, I could picture this stirred into a pitcher of freshly brewed iced tea with fresh sliced apples. Yum.

Apple Pie Moonshine - Finished - Inside NanaBread's Head

Disclosure: Full credit for this recipe goes to Mallory Jane of Hayseed Homemakin’ blog. Mallory Jane makes hers with *everclear* (pure grain alcohol at 190 proof), which can be really expensive and hard to find. We substituted a good quality vodka, which worked really well and significantly lowered the alcohol content (to 80 proof). To see the Hayseed Homemakin’ version, click rat-cheer. Thank you, Mallory Jane, for sharing your recipe and putting the hooch in our hoedown.

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36 Comments

Filed under Food & Recipes, Hoegarden Weekends

36 responses to “Apple Pie Moonshine

  1. I make homemade wine so I love this recipe. Awesome!

    • Our mom made her own wine when we were kids, too. I remember a really big glass jug and lots of balloons. You’ll have to let me know what you think of the Apple Pie Moonshine once you try it. Report back in 3-4 weeks, then? :D

  2. The Baby

    To borrow from the cranberry guys… “Tis Tasty!” It was surprisingly smooth and delicious with the hot cider. I might have to try my jar with tea, which would be a good addition to the next backyard BBQ.

    • ‘Tis very tasty! I was tempted to try another glass when I shot those pictures, but it was 8:30am and I talked myself out of it. Shame on me. It might have killed this bug I’m dragging around.

  3. Nancy

    I have made my own Limoncello, so will definitely have to give this a try! It sounds great!
    This post had me giggling, with your hillbilly references. :)

    • Thanks, Nancy. Glad you enjoyed the post and I hope you enjoy the moonshine, too! When you grow up in Fort Smith, Arkansas and most of your other relatives live in Texas, you get a lot of hillbilly jokes. We didn’t mind, though. We had a LOT more fun than they did. {Revenge is ours!} Care to share that Limoncello recipe?

      • Nancy

        I’m a born and raised Texan, still living in San Antonio. :)
        I’ll dig up the Limoncello recipe and e-mail it to you.

      • Awesome! Hello, San Antonio! I was born in Dallas but spent ages 3-19 in Arkansas. We moved to Houston in 1989, so I may have been gone a while, but I finally made it back where I belong. Thanks for offering to e-mail the limoncello recipe. Appreciate it! -jeanne

      • Got your e-mail & the recipe. Thanks so much. Can’t wait to try it!

  4. Hot or cold this looks fabulous. Love your packaging.

  5. big sis

    Yehaaaaa!! Let’s crack open another jar!! Mixing it with iced tea sounds good, I’ll have to try that when it warms up. :)

  6. Oh mah goodness! You made apple pie moonshine! Although I was really enjoying my mental picture of you sneaking out in the back woods to your hidden copper still and making mash, the store-bought vodka route sounds much more reasonable.

    • Now that I’ve seen Megan’s photo on Twitter of moonshine selling for $25 a jar at her local store, I’m thinking this could be a way to finance The Compound. We just need a small parcel for a still, a small barn for production and reliable transportation to get started. And I know just the guy to make the vodka…

  7. Looks fabulous! Love the packaging and photos. :)

  8. Well, well, well, Ms. Nana Bread. I do say you’ve been holdin out on us! This stuff looks awesome! Perfect for a big gathering and I have some ideas for it’s use this summer! Glad you had a wonderful time at the Hoegarden. Errr….or what you can remember from it apparently! ;- }

  9. The Sister’s Moonshine – sounds like a great title for a book. :) I think it’s so great that you and your sister got together and made some moonshine. How fun was that!?!?! the fun and the outcome sound good to me.

  10. This is such a coincidence! Somebody gave me a swig of their homemade apple pie moonshine last week, and I was wondering how I could get my hands on a recipe. Then…voila! Your blog post! Thank you for this magnificent creation.

  11. Holly

    I did use Everclear and added a dozen Allspice berries and a dozen Cloves which I removed before putting in the mason jars and it was delicious. I love your labels as well – really creative!

    • Ooo… I’ll have to try the allspice and cloves for our next batch. Great idea, Holly! Thanks for sharing it with me, and thanks for the label love. I wanted to go for rustic with the tags & bags. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I appreciate it! -j

  12. Candy

    Love the tags and bags- where did you find the graphics for the tags? Can you share how you made the tags? Thanks

    • Thanks, Candy! I wanted to go retro moonshiner for the gift wrap, so I used standard brown paper lunch sacks and wrinkled them up and flattened them back out by hand. I rolled the edges down to make them look more ‘used’. I found the graphic of the man sitting on the moon in a web image search for ‘old moonshiners’ or the like, then edited the photo using http://www.picmonkey.com (my favorite free picture editing site) to add an aged sepia tone, rough border and text. Once I had the tag the way I wanted it, I cut & pasted it into a Word document (2 columns) and printed it on textured card stock I bought at Hobby Lobby. Instead of cutting the tags out, I tore the edges to make them look more rustic. Then it was just a quick hole punch & ribbon to tie them on. It was easy & inexpensive, since we only made 10 quarts to give to our sisters, nieces, mother, etc. at a family gathering.

  13. George

    How long does it last in the mason jars before it goes bad?

    • I can’t say for sure, George. This is the first time we’ve made it. I can tell you this – I have a jar in the pantry that’s 8 months old, and it tastes even better now than it did when we first made it. We gave it as gifts in quart jars, and so far everyone has finished it off before it had a chance to go bad. It’s just that good!

  14. Pingback: OKMH – The December Issue | Inside NanaBread's Head

  15. Robin Crabel

    Love this. Would you share your tags? We are hosting our 7th Annual Halloween Hayride & the tags would be perfect.

  16. Tammy

    Do you need to hot water bath these after you seal them to keep them fresh?

    • Hello, Tammy!
      I have never given my jars a water bath. I wash and then boil them to sterilize, then wipe the jar rims after filling and use hot, sterile lids to seal. I did some brief research on the internet, and cannot find a reference to using a water bath to seal jars of homemade hooch. As long as your jars & lids are sterile, I think you’re okay. Mom’s theory is that the alcohol would kill any germs that might enter the jar, and I’m okay with that. Happy hooching! -jeanne

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