Moonshine: distil your own spirits

You must have heard about it in old American movies: Moonshine. But what exactly is it and can you make it yourself? To start by aswering the last question: yes, you can. With a still you can start distilling your own spirits today!

Moonshine is a rather strong spirit, which was illegally distilled and meant to be able to drink alcohol quickly and cheaply. Because it was illegal, it was distilled at night, by moonlight. Hence the name for this drink.

Home-made or shop-bought

Nowadays you can buy Moonshine from the shop. In most cases this is legal. Yet, buying it has a little less charm than distilling it yourself. Following the example of the United States, home-distillation is also gaining popularity in Europe.

To distil this drink a home, you will need a still. You can make a still yourself or you can buy a still at Buying a still is in any case much easier and in some cases cheaper too.

The recipe

There are many different Moonshine recipes, but a good foundation consists of sugar, water, cornmeal, yeast and malt. Mix all these ingredients in a jar, leave them to sit and ferment it. You then heat the mixture and collect the spirit that evaporates in another pot.

You can then add new ingredients to your first mixture and repeat the process one more time. In total, you can heat the drink up to eight times. You will probably need to experiment a little before getting the right flavour.

Making Moonshine inexpensively

The fastest and cheapest way to make your own Moonshine is to use a still from It is important to keep a close eye on the alcohol content, especially if you make your own still. All distilled alcohol you use should be between 50% and 75%.

Buying an alcoholmeter is therefore highly recommended. This way you are assured that your drink will have the correct alcohol percentage.