Cranberry Moonshine

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This Cranberry Moonshine beckons you to take a sip and experience the forbidden thrill that comes with each drop. Brace yourself for a taste explosion unlike anything you’ve ever encountered before.

A mason jar of cranberry moonshine with twine.


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This homemade Cranberry Moonshine recipe is a delightful concoction that beautifully balances the tartness of cranberries with a touch of sweetness. In just a few simple steps, you’ll craft a flavorful moonshine that’s perfect for sipping, gifting, or sharing at festive gatherings.

If you’re looking for more moonshine recipes, try these Apple Pie Moonshine and Best Peach Moonshine. And for a more comprehensive explanation of flavored moonshine, check out Ultimate Moonshine Guide.

A close up on the finished drink made with cranberries.

Why We Love Flavored Moonshine Recipes- No Moonshine Jug Needed

This recipe embodies everything we’re loving about crafting flavored moonshine recipes at home. From its simplicity and versatility to the joy of gifting it to loved ones during special occasions, this cranberry-infused creation holds a special place in our hearts. perfect for winter parties.

  • Easy to Prep: This cranberry moonshine recipe requires minimal effort and just a handful of ingredients, making it a perfect choice for both beginners and seasoned mixologists. Use as a base in your favorite cocktails. This is not the old fashioned kind in a moonshine jug.
  • Makes a Great Christmas Gift: With the holiday season around the corner, homemade moonshine makes a thoughtful and deliciously tasty gift. You can even get creative with personalized labels and packaging and a pretty ribbon. So much more fun than cookies.
  • Great Mixer: Grab a cup and mix the moonshine with whatever you like. It’s best for people who do not like their alcoholic drinks too strong, it will dilute the taste.. It is lovely with lemon lime soda, juice or any liquid you enjoy. Pop in the refrigerator to serve cold.

Ingredient Notes for Cranberry Moonshine Cocktail

Apple cider, cranberries and sugar for the drink.
  • Cranberry Juice: This recipe requires straight cranberry juice, it is tart and sweet to combine with the rest of the drink.
  • Apple Cider: Pour in the apple cider which adds a touch of sweetness and complexity to the moonshine, complementing the tart cranberry. That and the two cups sugar provide sweetness.
  • Fresh Cranberries: Fresh cranberries add texture and a burst of flavor to each jar. They’re a must for that authentic cranberry experience.
  • Use Everclear Grain Alcohol: For the spirited kick, we stir in a 750 ml bottle of grain alcohol, preferably 190 proof Everclear.

See the recipe card below for a complete list of the ingredients with measurements.

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Variations and Substitutions for this Everclear Drink and Instant Pot Directions

Unleash your creativity and tailor your cranberry moonshine to suit your taste.

  • Mix up the Spices: If you want to customize your cranberry moonshine, you can experiment with different spices to create unique flavor profiles.
  • Instant Pot: Easily make this moonshine in an instant pot by adding on the ingredients and letting it cook on saute.
  • Garnish: Use a lemon wedge, wine wedge or freeze some cranberries for your beverage.

How to Make Cranberry Flavored Moonshine

These are the basic steps for making Cranberry Flavored Moonshine. Refer to the full, printable recipe card below for detailed instructions and nutrition information.

Cooking the cranberries for the drink.

Step 1: Cook Cranberries

First, in a large pot, boil the cranberry juice, fresh cranberries, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon sticks, and cloves. Next, simmer until the cranberries burst, infusing the mixture with their rich flavor.

Step 2: Strain and Let Cool

After simmering, use a mesh strainer and strain the mixture through a sieve lined with cheesecloth into another pot. Then discard the cranberries. Next allow it to cool to room temperature before moving on to the next step.

Step 3: Add Liquor and Assemble Large Mason Jars

Finally after you let it cool, carefully add the grain alcohol. Take caution, as alcohol is highly flammable. Add a few burst cranberries and a cinnamon stick to each mason jar before ladling in the moonshine. Leave a 1/2-inch headspace.

Assembled drinks.

Recipe FAQs for this Cranberry Spice Moonshine

Grain alcohol, such as Everclear, is commonly used for making moonshine due to its high proof and neutral flavor. However, feel free to use vodka to make this drink.

Yes, it’s essential to seal the mason jars to preserve the moonshine’s quality and safety.

The primary ingredients for moonshine include alcohol, water, and flavorings. In this cranberry moonshine recipe, cranberry juice, fresh cranberries, and spices provide the flavor.

To mellow out and develop its full flavor, moonshine should be stored in a cool, dark place for at least a few weeks before enjoying it.


Expert Tips for Making This Recipe

Unlock the secrets to crafting the perfect cranberry moonshine with our expert tips. These invaluable insights and techniques will ensure your moonshine-making journey is smooth, enjoyable, and filled with outstanding results.

  • Don’t Forget to Strain: Straining the mixture ensures a smooth and clear moonshine without any unwanted bits. Do ot put the lids on too tight.
  • Mixers: Cranberry moonshine pairs wonderfully with various mixers like ginger ale, sprite, or fruit juices. Get creative and make a memorable holiday punch.
  • Enjoy Responsibly: Remember to consume moonshine in moderation. It’s potent, so savor it responsibly.
  • No Canner Needed: While it’s common for moonshine to be canned, this recipe does not require be canned in a canner.
  • Party: It’s also wonderful for parties. Grab a large pitcher or other container and some ice cubes and mix the ingredients together with your favorite mixers and place in the fridge for around 30 minutes.

What to Serve with Cranberry Moonshine

Cranberry Moonshine with twine around the jar.
4.93 from 42 votes

Cranberry Moonshine

Yield: 6 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
A festive twist on a favorite, this cranberry moonshine is one of my favorite cocktails.
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⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️Did you try this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review below!


  • 64 ounces Cranberry juice, 1 bottle
  • 64 ounces 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
  • 25 ounces Grain alcohol, 1 bottle, 190 proof Everclear


  • 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: 301kcal | Carbohydrates: 77g | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 64mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 70g | Vitamin A: 45IU | Vitamin C: 10.5mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 0.2mg
The nutritional information provided are estimates. To learn more about how I calculate this information go to
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Course: Beverages and Cocktails
Cuisine: American

40 thoughts on “Cranberry Moonshine”

  1. I made this and put it in the fridge overnight as I didn’t jar it right away. It turned into a jelly like liquid – not totally jello like but very very thick.
    How can I correct this?
    Maybe make another batch and mix it??

  2. 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?

  3. 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?

    • 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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!


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