Cranberry Moonshine

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5 from 1 vote
This delicious Cranberry Moonshine is great holiday cocktail to serve or make as gifts.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 35 minutes

Cranberry Moonshine is a tart, refreshing cocktail that can be drank by itself or used as a mixer for so many different cocktails. It is fun to make and a great gift to give.

A mason jar filled with cranberry moonshine and decorated with twine.

This crafting of cranberry moonshine recipe is very easy.  Just be sure to factor in that you need to let it sit for a few weeks before you drink it.  It needs time to mellow out and become one with the cranberries.  Patience, friends.  It’s worth the wait.  I promise. You will start a new tradition by serving this drink with it’s iconic holiday flavors during the height of cranberry season.

A word of warning…use caution when drinking this cocktail.  It is extremely potent.  It’s best to start with a small glass and sip it slowly.  It can hit you pretty hard.

For more details on making flavored moonshine, check out our Flavored Moonshine Ultimate Guide.


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What We Love About This Flavored Moonshine Recipe

Before you come at me, this is not the traditional moonshine made from a still. This recipe is a much simpler and easier cocktail moonshine. If you’ve ever wondered how to make moonshine,check out how to make moonshine here – the old fashioned way, using a still.

  • Quick Prep It takes only a few minutes to prepare and about an hour to cook.
  • Rest: Will take 8 weeks to mellow and blend.
  • Adaptable: Can make it so many different versions.
  • Makes A Great Handmade Gift: Mason Jars of Moonshine make a wonderful Christmas gift for the holiday season, Wedding Favor or party gift if they enjoy an adult beverage.

Ingredient Notes for Cranberry Spice Moonshine

  • 64 ounce bottle Cranberry Juice : Cranberry Juice Cocktail is what I use, regular cranberry juice can also be used, whatever you prefer.
  • 64oz bottle Apple Cider: Apple juice can be used if you can not find cider but the cider really adds somethings so try and get this if you can.
  • Fresh Cranberries: 1 lb rinsed, you can use frozen if you can not find fresh. There is no need to chop cranberries.
  • Sugar: I use two cup sugar but you can adjust to your taste.
  • Cinnamon Sticks: This adds a really great spicy undertone for flavoring moonshine,
  • Whole Nutmeg Seeds: smashed. Replace with ground nutmeg if needed.
  •  Whole Cloves: 1 teaspoon. Spices truly enhance this festive drink.
  •  750 ml bottle Grain Alcohol: I used 190 proof Everclear grain alcohol.
Pitcher of cranberry juice with scattered cranberries

Equipment Needed to Make Cranberry Flavor Moonshine

  • Stock pot: Any good size pot will do.
  • Canning jars: Large Mason jar are handy and great for gift giving however you can use any bottles for moonshine as long as they have a tigle seal.
  • Funnel
  • Cheese cloth: This is for straining the moonshine. If you do not mind some bits, a fine-wire mesh strainer can be used.

How to Make Flavored Moonshine

These are the basic steps for making the flavors of moonshine. Please refer to the recipe card below for more detailed instructions and nutrition information.

Cranberries cooking in a pot

STEP 1: COOK THE CRANBERRIES

First, in a large pot, bring juice, cranberries, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon sticks and cloves to a boil until the sugar dissolves, stir simple syrup and then reduce heat and simmer until all of the berries have popped. Next, remove the cranberry syrup mixture from stove and pour mixture through a sieve lined with cheesecloth into another large pot. Reserve 20 or so of the burst cranberries and the cinnamon sticks..

STEP 2: COOL

Allow to cool to room temperature then combine cranberry juice mixture with the bottle everclear grain alcohol.**CAUTION: Do not add alcohol near a flame or heat source. It is highly flammable. Add 2-3 burst cranberries and a cinnamon stick to each clean jar or sealable container.

STEP 3: BOTTLE

Finally, ladle moonshine into clean mason jars, leaving a 1/2 inch head.Place lids on jars and allow to sit in a cool, dry place for 1 month before enjoying. If you want for December for Christmas, make in October or early November.

There are always so many questions about this flavoured moonshine. Before leaving a question below, please check out the guide. Here you will find a few tips and helpful suggestions for making Flavored Moonshine Ultimate Guide.

HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE AHEAD OF TIME

I usually make several batches at one time. But it really must be made in advance.  The hardest part is finding the grain alcohol.  I use an entire bottle of 190 proof Everclear for each batch.190 proof grain alcohol can be hard to find.  Some states don’t sell it.  If you can’t find it, you can easily use a lower proof (151 proof grain alcohol is much easier to find) vodka or moonshine purchased from a liquor store.

This stuff is VERY potent, but oh, so good! Remember to let it sit and mellow, though.   If you try this moonshine too soon, it’s like drinking rocket fuel.  Plus the cranberry infusion will really have the chance to blend together.

HOW TO STORE THIS RECIPE

The DIY moonshine can sit out in a cool dry place. There is no need to refrigerate.

WHAT CAN I MAKE WITH THESE FLAVORED MOONSHINES?

The possibilities are truly endless, however I have a guide that will teach you even more flavored moonshines and offer you some great cocktail suggestions.

cranberry flavored moonshine in a glass with ice and cranberries

Frequently Asked Questions

CAN DIFFERENT ALCOHOL BE USED?

Really you can use anything that you wish. However, if you use a different alcohol such as cranberry vodka or tequila or triple sec, you will not have to wait before serving.

CAN I SUBSTITUTE FROZEN CRANBERRIES?

Of course, frozen cranberries can be substituted for fresh cranberries in this flavored moonshine recipe.,

CAN THIS RECIPE BE DOUBLED OR HALVED?

Indeed, I usually make at least a double batch so that I have some for parties or hostess gifts.

DO I HAVE TO CAN THIS RECIPE?

No, there is no need to can this recipe. Just make sure that your jars and lids are completely clean. Of course you must make sure that the lids are applied tightly.

BOTTLE TYPES?

The bottle of moonshine can be made with a festive twist by putting into a glass moonshine jug or growler bottle or festive large glass jar or half-pint jars if you like.

Expert Tips for Making This Recipe

  • Use a very large stock pot to make this Moonshine cocktail recipe.  Sometimes I even divide the ingredients between my two largest stock pots.
  • You can use any size canning jars that you have to store this cranberry moonshine.  You aren’t going to do the entire canning process.  Just fill the jars and make sure they are tightly sealed.
  • When you make Everclear Moonshine recipes, make sure you store the jars in a cool, dark place to mellow out for a few weeks before enjoying them.
  • There may be some sediment from the cinnamon stick in the jar – simple strain it through cheesecloth.
  • Mixers: A great wine, a squeeze of lime with some ice combine with ginger ale or sprite make a perfect sweet punch with incredible flavor for a holiday party. Pineapple or orange juice mixed with a few oz cranberry moonshine in a large pitcher with some lime juice and some fresh raspberries or cherry make a sharable holiday cocktail.
  • Make sure you enjoy this cocktail responsibly.
  • Instant Pot: Make Instant Pot Cranberry Moonshine by using the pot on saute instead of using a stock pot. Follow the same directions as in the recipe card.

What to Serve with Cranberry Moonshine

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5 from 1 vote

Cranberry Moonshine

Yield: 6 quarts
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
This delicious Cranberry Moonshine is great holiday cocktail to serve or make as gifts.
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Ingredients

  • 64 oz bottle cranberry juice, 1 bottle
  • 64 oz bottle apple cider, 1 bottle
  • 1 pound fresh cranberries, rinsed
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 – 7 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 whole nutmeg seeds, smashed
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 750 ml bottle grain alcohol, 1 bottle, I used 190 proof Everclear

Instructions

  • In a large pot, bring juice, cranberries, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon sticks and cloves to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer until all of the cranberries have popped.
  • Remove from stove and pour mixture through a sieve lined with cheesecloth into another large pot.
  • Reserve 20 or so of the burst cranberries and the cinnamon sticks.
  • Allow mixture to cool to room temperature then add the grain alcohol.
  • **CAUTION: Do not add alcohol near a flame or heat source. It is highly flammable. Make sure mixture is completely cooled before adding alcohol.
  • Add 2-3 burst cranberries and a cinnamon stick to each mason jar.
  • Ladle moonshine into clean mason jars, leaving a 1/2 inch head.
  • Place lids on jars and allow to sit in a cool, dry place for 1 month before enjoying.
  • Please enjoy responsibly.

Expert Tips

  • Use a very large stock pot to make this Moonshine cocktail recipe.  Sometimes I even divide the ingredients between my two largest stock pots.
  • You can use any size canning jars that you have to store this cranberry moonshine.  You aren’t going to do the entire canning process.  Just fill the jars and make sure they are tightly sealed.
  • When you make Everclear Moonshine recipes, make sure you store the jars in a cool, dark place to mellow out for a few weeks before enjoying them.
  • There may be some sediment from the cinnamon stick in the jar – simple strain it through cheesecloth.
  • Mixers: A great wine, a squeeze of lime with some ice combine with ginger ale or sprite make a perfect sweet punch with incredible flavor for a holiday party. Pineapple or orange juice mixed with a few oz cranberry moonshine in a large pitcher with some lime juice and some fresh raspberries or cherry make a sharable holiday cocktail.
  • Make sure you enjoy this cocktail responsibly.
  • Instant Pot: Make Instant Pot Cranberry Moonshine by using the pot on saute instead of using a stock pot. Follow the same directions as in the recipe card.

Estimated Nutritional Information

Calories: 881kcal | Carbohydrates: 153g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 23mg | Potassium: 639mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 136g | Vitamin A: 208IU | Vitamin C: 42mg | Calcium: 133mg | Iron: 2mg
The nutritional information provided are estimates. To learn more about how I calculate this information go to www.itisakeeper.com/about-its-a-keeper/privacy-disclosure-policies/
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Course: Beverages and Cocktails
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cocktail, cranberry, moonshine

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34 thoughts on “Cranberry Moonshine”

  1. If we used unpasteurized real apple cider in this recipe, do we need to run this through a cheese clothe to filter it again before serving it?

    Reply
  2. Hey Christina-
    I have now made your apple pie, pumpkin and cranberry moonshine. Love them all!! Great gifts as well. Any idea about maybe a gingerbread moonshine for the holidays?

    Reply
    • Honestly I have never tried it so I could not say if it would work or not, it is worth a try to see if it is something you would enjoy. Good Luck.

      Reply
  3. Christina, we made 3 batches and ran out of the right sized jars for future distribution and ended up canning in 8 oz and 64 oz jars. Do we need to reheat the liquid before putting in new jars? Or are we better to leave them alone? We made both your cranberry and apple pie moonshine and are so very excited to try them in a few weeks. Thank you!

    Reply
  4. I just made this and I’m
    so excited, I don’t know if I can wait a month to try it, Lol! The only thing is I followed the recipe exactly and only got 5 quarts instead of 6 or 7. I’ll keep you posted once the month is up on the taste and how potent it is! I used 151 Everclear!

    Reply

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