How to Make Cherry Vanilla Moonshine

Imagine sipping on a sweet, rich drink that combines the tartness of cherries with the smooth, creamy flavor of vanilla.

That’s exactly what you get with cherry vanilla moonshine—a delightful concoction that’s perfect for summer gatherings or cozy winter nights. Ready to whip up this delicious treat?

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.
  • Fresh or frozen cherries: These will add a natural sweetness and a beautiful red hue.
  • Vanilla beans or vanilla extract: For that warm, aromatic touch.
  • Sugar or simple syrup: To sweeten things up.
  • Water: For making simple syrup.

Necessary Equipment

Got your ingredients? Great!

Now, let’s check off the equipment list:

  • Large saucepan: For cooking your simple syrup and cherries.
  • 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 the solid bits before serving.
  • Knife and cutting board: For preparing the cherries.

Preparation Steps

Step 1: Preparing the Cherries

First things first, let’s get those cherries ready. If you’re using fresh cherries, wash them thoroughly, then pit and slice them.

If you’re using frozen cherries, just let them thaw a bit. Think of it like prepping for a cherry pie—except this one comes with a boozy twist!

Step 2: Making the Simple Syrup

Next up, 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 foundation of a sweet, sticky potion that will serve as the base for our moonshine. This syrup will be the backbone of your moonshine, providing a smooth, sweet base.

Combining and Infusing

Step 3: Mixing Ingredients in a Saucepan

Now for the fun part—bringing all the flavors together! Add the sliced cherries and vanilla beans (or a splash of vanilla extract) to the simple syrup in the saucepan. Stir well to combine.

This mixture will be simmering away, allowing the cherries and vanilla to infuse their flavors into the sweet syrup. It’s like creating a comforting cherry-vanilla 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 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 give it a good stir. The alcohol will extract even more flavor from the cherries and vanilla, creating a rich, complex moonshine.

Bottling and Storing

Step 6: Transferring to Jars

Now that your cherry vanilla 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 a bit of cherry-vanilla goodness!

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 cherry vanilla moonshine. Open a jar and take a small sip. How’s the flavor? If it’s not sweet enough or needs a bit more vanilla kick, feel free to adjust by adding more sugar or vanilla. 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 the cherry pieces and vanilla beans 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 fruity twist!

Serving Suggestions

Creative Cocktails

Now that you’ve got your cherry vanilla 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:

  • Cherry Vanilla Martini: Shake your moonshine with vodka and a splash of cranberry juice. Serve in a chilled martini glass with a cherry garnish.
  • Cherry Vanilla Soda: Mix your moonshine with club soda and a squeeze of lime. Serve over ice with a cherry garnish.
  • Vanilla Cherry Punch: Combine your moonshine with pineapple juice and a splash of grenadine. Serve over ice with a slice of pineapple.

Presentation Tips

When serving your moonshine at parties or gatherings, presentation is key. Consider using elegant glasses to match the sophisticated, fruity nature of your moonshine. Add some fun garnishes like cherry slices or a sprinkle of vanilla sugar around the rim. 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 cherry vanilla moonshine is a fun and creative way to bring some sweet and fruity 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 cherry and vanilla flavors, and start creating your own delightful moonshine today! Cheers!

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