What Is Moonshine, and Should I Add It to My Bar Cart?

What Is Moonshine, and Should I Add It to My Bar Cart?

I don’t know about you, but for me, the word moonshine evokes images of folks in the American south sipping on something they brewed in their garage.

What I’ve recently discovered, however, is that is not necessarily the case. Well I mean, maybe it is sometimes, but it’s not strictly the case. Turns out you can also get your hands on fancy, flavour-filled examples of moonshine.

Seeing that I have come to realise I know precisely nothing about this booze variety, I thought I’d look a little deeper into it and share my findings with you all. So, let’s get into it.


Okay, so what exactly is moonshine?

The name, according to my readings, is connected to the booze’s history of being produced in secret, late at night. The act was referred to as “moonshining” which is why the alcohol quickly adopted the moniker, too.

It was pretty popular in the States during the prohibition period – unsurprisingly – and the name has kind of stuck since then.

What you may not know, however, is that moonshine is no one particular spirit. It’s any kind of alcohol that’s been distilled down and bottled up. It’s usually quite powerful and isn’t given time to age like many other alcohol types. For that reason, it’s often clear.

What’s this fancy moonshine you speak of?

Aussie booze-maker Cape Byron Distillery has decided to give moonshine a try (they did this in a legit manner, not in a garage) with excess beer.

According to the business, when COVID-19 hit they found themselves with a surplus of Stone & Wood beer kegs with little idea of what to do with them. So, they decided to give moonshine a shot.

The result was a super-limited collection of Pacific Moonshine bottles that they say tastes of “tropical fruits such as fresh pineapple, lychee, passionfruit and mango, along with hints of malt on the nose. The taste is citrusy and dry with a medium to long finish”.

Image supplied

What can I do with this spirit?

We all know there are certain ways people tend to enjoy specific types of alcohol. Whiskey is sipped, gin is mixed, tequila is shotted and Midori is poured down the drain, never to be seen again.

What’s the suggestion for moonshine? The team at Cape Byron Distillery recommends mixing it with soda or pineapple juice for something simple. Or you can try some of these cocktail recipes.

Full Moon Mule

What you’ll need:

  • 30ml of Pacific Moonshine
  • Ginger beer
  • Squeeze a wedge of lime


  1. Pour Pacific Moonshine into a tall glass, top with ginger beer and stir
  2. Garnish with a lime wedge

Moonshine Daiquiri

What you’ll need:

  • 60ml Pacific Moonshine
  • 30ml Lime Juice
  • 15ml Sugar Syrup


  1. Shake with ice and double strain into a Coupette
  2. Garnish with a lime zest

New Moon Mai Tai

What you’ll need:

  • 30ml Pacific Moonshine
  • 30ml Mac. Liqueur
  • 30ml Pineapple Juice
  • 30ml Orange Juice


  1. Shake with ice and strain into an ice-filled glass
  2. Garnish with a cherry & pineapple slice

So, should you add this bad boy to your bar cart?

One thing is for sure – this is going to be a conversation starter. And at 44% alcohol, it’s a booze option that will certainly pack a punch (be sure to drink responsibly, friends). Taste-wise, it sounds like quite a treat but I can’t personally say I’ve ever tried moonshine before. The question is, I suppose, are you game to give it a go?

If you want to taste it for yourself, grab a bottle from the Cape Distillery website for $89.99. It’s also worth noting that Cape Byron Distillery will be donating $6 from every bottle sold to the inGrained Foundation, a not-for-profit also based in the Northern Rivers that supports grassroots environmental and social charities.

While we’ve got you, why not check out this festive recipe for a whiskey cocktail that will impress your mates?

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