Apple Pie and Apple Pie A La Mode ‘Moonshine’ + GIVEAWAY

Apple Pie Moonshine at Warning: This post contains spoilers from Season 1 of Justified. If you haven’t seen that season yet, get on it. Then come on back here. I think it’s fair to say between Timothy Olyphant’s swagger and the non-stop action and one-liners on that show, I was pretty well hooked from the first episode I saw.

Let’s just get this out there right now. The recipe I’m about to share with you is not REAL moonshine. I’m well aware of that. I’ve lived in areas of the country where ‘shining’ was a real thing, and this ain’t it.  But what it is, is smooth, tasty, sweet, and the liquid version of an apple pie that’ll knock you clean on your butt if you don’t exercise a little restraint.

I first heard about Apple Pie while clutching the arm of my husband in terror while Mags Bennett made me wonder if she was going to kill Raylon Givens on ‘Justified’. When Mags offered Raylon a glass of her ‘famous apple pie’ moonshine (the same thing she had done to a man who she had poisoned in a previous episode) I was pretty certain she was going to kill a federal marshal.  That woman scared me to bits and was responsible for five finger tip shaped bruises on my poor hubby’s arm. She has to be among the best Bad Guy Ladies in television history. And her Apple Pie had me more than a little intrigued.

When I saw a mason jar (!!!!I cannot resist the jar!!!) full of Apple Pie Moonshine the night before the last season premiere of Justified at the liquor store, I had to pick it up. Duh! What better way to start a new season? Well, it was sweet, and it was potent, and it tasted like an apple pie. LIQUID APPLE PIE! My husband was more than a little crazy about it. But at $25 a quart, I figured I could do better.

After playing around with the proportions, I managed to create my own version of Mag’s Bennett’s finest. It uses Everclear, the mention of which may have just sent a few of you in a tailspinning flashback to college. By virtue of it’s incredibly high alcohol content (195 proof. Did you even know that’s possible?!?) it is a perennial and potent favourite of the “spend the weekend in a coma” crowd. I’ll admit to a little uneasiness when I bought the bottle and saw all the warning labels on it. I mean honestly, how many times do you deliberately buy a beverage that warns you about not keeping it near heat let alone open flames and has “MAY EXPLODE”, and “DO NOT CONSUME UNLESS DILUTED WITH NON-ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES written on it in big, serious letters?

Apple Pie Moonshine

It is very well diluted here, thankfully, because SCARY, but it is still something you need to sip (not chug) slowly and in limited amounts. And yes, this recipe makes A LOT of Apple Pie Moonshine (or Apple Pie A La Mode Moonshine. Translation: with vanilla bean.) Here’s the good news. Due to the wicked high alcohol content, it doesn’t go bad. You can keep this and sip off of it for ages. OR you can give it as gifts for Christmas or Hannukah. Wrap it up with a pretty ribbon and a warning label and a couple of tiny, teeny, itty bitty glasses, and you have a homemade gift fit for your nearest and dearest OR your best-loved, back-hills bad guy whether it’s a lady or not.

Apple Pie Moonshine 2


Apple Pie and Apple Pie A La Mode
  • ½ gallon apple cider (NOT the pre-spiced variety)
  • ½ gallon unsweetened apple juice
  • 2 cups brown sugar, raw sugar, or sucanat (I use sucanat)
  • 6 cinnamon sticks, plus 8-16 more for the jars
  • ¼ of a whole nutmeg (don't grate this, just use the chunk of nutmeg!)
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 (750ml) bottle Everclear Pure Grain Alcohol (*See Notes)
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 4-8 vanilla beans, cut in half, Optional, but tasty
  • 6-8 quart jars OR 12-16 pint jars or a combination thereof, sterilized, with new 2-piece lids
  1. Bring the apple cider, apple juice, sugar, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg piece, and whole cloves to a boil. Shut the heat off, cover the pot, and let it cool down completely. When it is absolutely cool, stir in the Everclear and vodka.
  2. Pour the Apple Pie Moonshine into the clean jars and add 1 cinnamon stick and ½ of a vanilla bean to each jar whether it's quart or pint sized . If you'd prefer to have it plain vs. a la mode, omit the vanilla bean.
  3. This is best if allowed to mellow for at least a week, and sublime if allowed to mellow for two weeks before serving. Serve at any temperature, but we like it best well chilled or warmed like a toddy.


I am part of a fabulous group of bloggers, let by the illustrious Brandy of Nutmeg Nanny and Audra of The Baker Chick, who have gotten together to spend the week celebrating PIE: my favourite dessert of all time. Pie rocks my casbah. So what am I giving away? Oh my goodness, it’s a treasure trove of pie fabulousness just in time for the upcoming holidays. How does THIS sound?

Pie Week at

There will be FOUR winners! One will take home an OXO Prize pack including a pie server, 1 dough blender with blades, 1 spice jar measuring spoon, 1 silicone pastry brush and 1 stainless steel multi-purpose scraper and chopper. Three will take home a Le Creuset Prize pack including one Le Creuset pie plate and a pie bird.

How do I enter?



For more Pie Inspiration, visit my fellow pie week participants:

Lattice-topped Cranberry Blueberry Pie– The Baker Chick

Amish Peanut Butter Pie– Nutmeg Nanny

Whole Wheat Blueberry Hand Pies– Chocolate and Carrots

Chocolate Cream Pie with Meringue Crust (gluten free)- Dessert for Two

Bourbon Maple Pumpkin Pie– Eats Well with Others

Apple Pear Butter Pie with Gingersnap Crust– Bake or Break

Frosted Slab Apple Pie– Tracey’s Culinary Adventures

Dulce de Leche Apple Hand Pies– Dinners Dishes and Desserts

Chipotle Southwest Mini Turkey Pot-Pies– Country Cleaver

Biscoff Ice Cream Pie– Carla’s Confections

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post, nor did I receive free merchandise for myself. The prize packs are being provided (and shipped) by OXO and Le Creuset.


  1. leslie says

    So, I merrily visited my local liquor store and asked for Everclear…only to be given the side-eye. Evidently it is illegal in my state (Florida) but I can make a short jaunt to the Georgia line and score a bottle. :-)

    • Adam says

      Ps not illegal I bought a bottle of it today also live in Florida….I’d be going to a dif liquor store from now on if I were you!

  2. Francine says

    hello, this recipe sounds amazing and I can’t wait to make it! my only question is, do the cinnamon stick and vanilla bean hang out in the jar forever, or only for a few weeks? thanks!

  3. Keli says

    This is a dumb question, but once you put it in the jars do you have to go through a traditional canning process? Or does it stay ok at room temp on its own?

    • says

      That’s not a dumb question at all! As it is, the alcohol content is so high that you don’t have to can it to keep it at room temp as long as it goes into sterile jars!

  4. Amy S. says

    Oh my goodness! I made this for Christmas presents and received RAVE reviews. My husband informed me that I should always plan on having a supply. Thank you so much for the wonderful recipe!

  5. L M burton says

    We are getting a lot of sediment in it when we cook it and wanted it clear, got any ideas? right now we are straining it.

    • weatherman says

      Just use juice, the cider on the store shelf is just unfiltered apples.
      I also got tired of the gunk in the pot & straining. I looked & never found anyone who had just used juice so… I tried it & it worked & looked great.
      I call mine Apple Cinnamon Crisp. I also use 1500 ml of grain alcohol which is 3 times the proof. The taste & the buzz is still smooth.
      I’m looking for a watermelon recipe if anyone knows of one.

  6. carrie says

    Do u have any idea what the proof is of the apple pie moonshine? I made a batch (delicious!) but don’t know how strong it is


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