How to Make Candy Cane Moonshine

Imagine sipping on a drink that perfectly captures the cool, sweet, and festive flavors of candy canes, but with a delightful boozy twist.

That’s what you get with candy cane moonshine—a minty, sweet concoction that’s perfect for holiday gatherings and celebrations.

Ready to make your own? Let’s dive in! And remember, always enjoy your moonshine responsibly and follow your local laws.

Ingredients and Equipment

List of Ingredients

Before we get started, let’s make sure you have everything you need.

Here’s your shopping list:

  • High-proof alcohol: Everclear or vodka is your best bet. They’ll give your moonshine the kick it needs.
  • Candy canes: Crushed to infuse that minty flavor.
  • Sugar: To sweeten things up.
  • Water: For making the simple syrup.
  • Peppermint extract: For an extra burst of minty flavor.
  • Vanilla extract (optional): Adds a hint of sweetness and complexity.

Necessary Equipment

Got your ingredients? Great!

Now, let’s check off the equipment list:

  • Large saucepan: For cooking your simple syrup and mixing ingredients.
  • Mason jars or glass containers: These will be your moonshine’s home while it infuses.
  • Funnel: To make pouring easy and mess-free.
  • Measuring cups and spoons: Precision is key!
  • Strainer: To remove any solid bits before serving.
  • Whisk: To mix everything smoothly.
  • Knife and cutting board: For crushing the candy canes.

Preparation Steps

Step 1: Crushing the Candy Canes

First things first, let’s get those candy canes ready. Crush the candy canes into smaller pieces.

You can use a rolling pin or a food processor to get the job done. Think of it as prepping for a sweet, minty explosion!

Step 2: Making the Simple Syrup

Next, we need to make the simple syrup. In a large saucepan, combine equal parts sugar and water.

Heat the mixture gently over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar is fully dissolved. It’s like making the base for a sweet, sticky potion that will serve as the backbone of our moonshine.

Combining and Infusing

Step 3: Mixing Ingredients in a Saucepan

Now for the fun part—bringing all the flavors together! Add the crushed candy canes to the simple syrup in the saucepan.

Stir well to combine and watch as the candy canes start to melt into the syrup. This mixture will be simmering away, creating a sweet and minty brew that’s bound to delight your taste buds.

Step 4: Simmering the Mixture

Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat. Let it cook for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

This step is crucial for melding all those wonderful flavors together. Think of it as slow-cooking a delicious candy stew—the longer it simmers, the better it gets.

Step 5: Cooling and Adding Alcohol

Once your mixture has simmered to perfection, remove it from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.

This is important because you don’t want to add alcohol to a hot mixture (unless you’re aiming for a kitchen science experiment!). When it’s cool, pour in your high-proof alcohol and add the peppermint extract.

Give it a good stir. The alcohol will infuse with all those delicious flavors, creating a rich, minty moonshine.

Bottling and Storing

Step 6: Transferring to Jars

Now that your candy cane moonshine mixture is ready, it’s time to transfer it to mason jars. Using a funnel, carefully pour the mixture into each jar.

Make sure to leave a bit of space at the top to allow for any expansion during storage. It’s like bottling up Christmas cheer!

Step 7: Sealing and Shaking

Once your jars are filled, seal them tightly with their lids. Give each jar a good shake to make sure everything is well-mixed.

It’s like shaking up a snow globe—everything swirls around, creating a beautiful blend of flavors.

Step 8: Infusion Period

Now comes the hard part: waiting. Let your jars sit for at least one week. Store them in a cool, dark place and give them a shake every few days.

This infusion period allows all the flavors to meld together into a harmonious blend. Think of it like letting a fine wine age—the longer it sits, the better it gets.

Final Touches and Serving

Step 9: Tasting and Adjusting

The wait is finally over! It’s time to taste your candy cane moonshine. Open a jar and take a small sip.

How’s the flavor? If it’s not sweet enough or needs a bit more minty goodness, feel free to adjust by adding more sugar or peppermint extract. Think of it like tweaking a recipe—you want to get it just right.

Step 10: Straining

If you prefer a smooth drink without any solid bits, strain your moonshine using a fine mesh strainer. Pour the liquid into a clean container, leaving any undissolved candy cane pieces behind.

This step is optional but can make your moonshine look and taste smoother. It’s like straining tea leaves for a cleaner brew.

Step 11: Bottling and Storing

Once you’re happy with the flavor and consistency, it’s time to bottle your moonshine. Transfer the liquid into clean, airtight bottles.

Label them if you’re feeling fancy—this can be especially fun if you’re planning to give some away as gifts. Store your bottles in a cool, dark place to keep the flavors fresh.

And remember, the longer it sits, the better it gets. It’s like aging fine wine but with a delicious candy cane twist!

Serving Suggestions

Creative Cocktails

Now that you’ve got your candy cane moonshine ready, let’s talk about how to serve it. You can enjoy it straight, on the rocks, or mix it into some fabulous cocktails.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Candy Cane Martini: Shake your moonshine with vodka and a splash of white chocolate liqueur. Serve in a chilled martini glass with a crushed candy cane rim.
  • Peppermint Hot Chocolate: Add a shot of your moonshine to a mug of hot chocolate for a warm, boozy treat. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of crushed candy canes.
  • Candy Cane Mule: Mix your moonshine with ginger beer and a splash of lime juice. Serve over ice with a mint sprig garnish.

Presentation Tips

When serving your moonshine at parties or gatherings, presentation is key. Consider using festive glasses to match the minty, sweet spirit of your moonshine.

Add some fun garnishes like a candy cane stirrer or a sprinkle of edible glitter. If you’re gifting the moonshine, decorate the bottles with ribbons or custom labels.

Think of it like setting the stage for a delightful experience—you want everything to look as good as it tastes!


To wrap things up, making candy cane moonshine is a fun and creative way to bring some sweet and festive flavors into your life.

From choosing your favorite ingredients to experimenting with different cocktails, the possibilities are endless.

Remember to always enjoy your creations responsibly and stay within the legal guidelines for alcohol production in your area.

Happy brewing, and cheers to your delicious creations!

So, what are you waiting for? Gather your supplies, pick your favorite candy cane flavors, and start creating your own delightful moonshine today! Cheers!

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