Make Homemade Moonshine – The Authentic Bootleggers Recipe!

Make Homemade Moonshine - The Authentic Bootleggers Recipe!

Make Homemade Moonshine

Before we discuss how to Make Homemade Moonshine, I want to talk about the LAW. Moonshine is illegal to distill anywhere inside the United States without a distiller’s license. These laws are strictly enforced by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives of the US Department of Justice.

The fines can be astronomically high and the penalties are extremely severe! For those of you outside the United States, check your local laws on distilling liquor. Because it is illegal to make Moonshine, the content on this site is for information purposes only!

LawI am in no way telling you to make moonshine. If you choose to do so, you are doing it at your own risk and breaking the law! Now that we got the legal stuff out of the way. I’m going to give you a history lesson before I get into how moonshine is made.

*For more information on US distller laws, visit the Food and Drug Administration at

The Real History Of Moonshine

Appalachian Moonshiners
“Appalachian Moonshiners”

White lightning, white liquor, white whiskey, corn liquor, homebrew, mountain dew, hooch and the most recognizable name of them all “Moonshine” are terms that describe distilled high proof liquor. In the old days, moonshine was usually made illegally.

Nowadays, you can go to your local liquor store and pick up a bottle. There are lots of Moonshine distilleries, making it easy for people all around the world to get their hands on this unique American spirit. However, there are people that still make moonshine illegally today.

It Is Believed …

Moonshine… the term “Moonshine” comes from another term “Moonrakers”. This is an early English term for smugglers and illegal distillers from the Appalachian Mountains. They did all their smuggling and distilling at night to avoid being detected by the local authorities.

Moonshine found it’s way to the Appalachian Mountains in the late 17th century to the early 1800’s. Immigrants from Northern Ireland brought their own recipe with them to the Appalachians. This same recipe is what is known today as Moonshine.

A Need For Speed!

From MoonshineTo Finish Line

All you NASCAR fans can thank good ole Moonshine for the birth of your favorite sport. Running moonshine started long before the automobile came along. They used to run moonshine on horseback or horse drawn wagon. As the 20th century dawned, a new form of transportation changed everything!

Junior Johnson
“Junior Johnson”

In the early days, automobiles weren’t very fast. Bootleggers/Moonshine runners were always modifying their cars to make them faster. Law enforcement would do the same and the cycle continued. NASCAR legend, early pioneer and bootlegger “Junior Johnson” had this to say about his bootlegging experience …

It gave me so much advantage over other people that had to train and learn how to drive.


*For more information on the history of moonshine you can visit

“Popcorn’s” Appalachian Moonshine Recipe

I decided to give you the best Moonshine recipe there is. This recipe is from a legendary Moonshiner/Bootlegger named Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton. He was known to make the best moonshine around! Some of you may have seen him on Discovery Channel’s “Moonshiners”.

Popcorn Sutton
Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton

He is perhaps, the greatest moonshiner ever! Popcorn was from Maggie Valley, North Carolina. He lived his whole life in the rural parts of Maggie Valley and Cocke County, Tennessee. Here is his own personal recipe that made him a living legend!

*Special Note: This moonshine recipe has been passed down from generation to generation to Popcorn. He comes from a long line of moonshiners. Popcorn once said …

Jesus Turned The Water Into Wine, I Turned It Into Likker

-Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton

In honor of Popcorn’s memory, please take some time and watch Popcorn’s documentary below. Grab some popcorn and a jug of shine and enjoy!

This Is The Last Dam Run of Likker I’ll Ever Make (Full Movie)

Popcorn’s Moonshine Recipe

Popcorn’s Secret Ingredients:

  1. You are going to need 25 pounds of white cornmeal. Make sure you have enough cornmeal to fill half your barrel or whatever you are using.
  2. The next thing you need is 50 pounds of sugar. Your mixture needs 1 pound of sugar for each gallon of water per total volume.
  3. And the last thing you need is 1 gallon of malt. You can use rye, corn, barley or a combination of any of the 3.

Popcorn’s Directions:

  1. Pour boiling water onto the white cornmeal. Allow the cornmeal to cool to room temperature. It should be cool to the touch.
  2. The next thing you’re going to do is add malt and sugar. Make sure you completely mix the contents well and let it sit for 1 day.
  3. The next day it should be bubbling on top. That’s exactly what should be happening. Stir the mixture one more time and let it sit for another 2 days.
  4. All the bubbling should have stopped after a couple of days. Once the bubbling stops, the mash is then ready to be distilled. You can use a bucket or a siphon to move your wash to the still.

Those of you that may be familiar with making moonshine may have noticed in step 3, Popcorn does not add any yeast. Popcorn says any kind of combination of rye, barley or corn is what makes it all work. What he’s actually doing is fermenting the wild yeast already inside the mash.

This is Popcorn’s alternative to using distillers yeast. That’s pretty much it! I haven’t gotten into the distilling process here in this article. I just wanted to touch on moonshine recipes and how it’s made. Distilling is the last part of the process.

*It’s important to note that you should use a 40 gallon HDPE plastic barrel or 40 gallon pot for fermenting. The size of the pot will vary with the size of your mash that you’re making.

Learn How To Distill …

Moonshine StillClick on the red button below now. You will learn about a book that will teach you how to distill liquor with easy step-by-step illustrated instructions.

You will learn how to make your very own copper moonshine still. Plus, there’s even more moonshine recipes and survival tips too! Watch the short “OFFICIAL” Lost Ways video below.

Check out what this AMAZING BOOK is all about! Making homemade moonshine is just 1 chapter out of many in The Lost Ways Book!

*Special Note: You can watch the whole Lost Ways “OFFICIAL” video by clicking the red button below NOW!

The Lost Ways Book – How Our Ancestors Survived Without Power!

The Lost Ways BookGet more moonshine tips and tricks inside The Lost Ways Book! Now you know how moonshine is made. Let me know what you think or share your own moonshine recipe with us!

*If you have any questions feel free to email me by clicking HERE Contact Jack or leave your comments and questions below. Thank you! 🙂

Jack Taylor Signature 2



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14 thoughts on “Make Homemade Moonshine – The Authentic Bootleggers Recipe!

  1. Hello Jack,

    I found your website quite interesting. I never came across a site like this. Thanks for sharing the history of moonshine as well as Popcorn’s recipe for moonshine. Keep up the good work that you are doing! Your website was very informative. I think it would be cool to include home made wine on your site as well.

    1. Hi Nicole,

      I’m really glad that you like the website and found the information useful. In the near future, I will be adding an article on how to make beer.

      I will take your advice and start researching how to make wine. Check back on the site in the next few weeks. I should have an article on wine making coming soon.

      Thanks for your comment on the site and great idea for some upcoming articles.


  2. I don’t personally drink any alcoholic beverages myself. However, I do like to look up how different alcohols are made and how they affect different people and thier nervous systems. To tell you the truth, the more I read about it, the less I want to get into drinking alcohol. lol. This is a really interesting history on moonshine, though. Thanks for the awesome article.

    1. Hello Caleb,

      I don’t drink that much myself, I don’t really care for it. That’s funny, because I live in the middle of the Appalachian Mountains, also known as Moonshine country. Since you don’t drink, I’m sure you never tried moonshine. It will definitely make you howl like that white wolf in the image above.

      To me, it smells exactly like rubbing alcohol. It tastes just as horrible as I would imagine rubbing alcohol to taste. I’ve been told, if you put it in the freezer it will go down smoother. Yeah right! There are different flavor syrups you can add to moonshine to make it tastier.

      Flavored syrups such as apple pie, blueberry and peach take that harsh taste out of it. You can buy a bottle of apple pie moonshine already mixed at some local liquor stores. Don’t let the old timers see you drinking shine with syrup in it! lol. I’m really glad you liked the article Caleb. Thanks for your great input as well.


  3. Hi Jack,

    You have a very good website. The content about the authentic moonshine bootleggers recipe was very informative. The disclaimer warning telling people that it is against the law to produce moonshine is very good. I really like how you added the images to the article. Your site looks great in my view. I do not think the site needs any improvement. Your site looks expertly done!


    1. Hi James,

      I’m really glad that you liked my article on moonshine. Even more important to me, is you found the information informative and you enjoyed your time on my website.

      User experience and great content are my #1 goals. I am always looking to improve user experience. Thank you for a great comment and your input.


  4. Hey Jack nice post,

    I live in New Zealand and we had proabition here in the 1800’s and we have a set of hills called the Hokonui Hills and were renowned for their moonshine.

    1. Hi Mark,

      I heard your Moonshine was as close to the Moonshine in the Appalachian’s as you can get. I will definitely be doing a post on the Hokunui Hills.

      That sounds like a lot of interesting history. I can’t wait to do some research on it. Thank you Mark! I hope things are going well for all in New Zealand.

      Thanks for the lesson on the Hokunui Hills Moonshine!


      1. Jack you are welcome.

        Many interesting stories from today’s era. There is even a mission on Gore, the next town from Clinton, (ring any bells lol) Thai had a moonshine museum.

        1. Hi Mark,

          Thanks again for the Moonshine history lesson. I didn’t know Thai had a moonshine museum. I’m going to have to visit New Zealand and try out some of your world famous moonshine someday.

          All the best Mark!


          1. Jack, if I wanted to use peaches, would it be in place of the 25lb of white cornmeal? Would I still add the same amount of sugar? And would I need 25lbs of peaches? I assume I’d still need 1 gallon of malt? And lastly, do the peaches have enough sugar breakdown that i won’t have to add yeast?

            Appreciate your time!

          2. Hey Randal,

            I have never made moonshine with peaches so I’m not sure how to answer your questions. However, I did do a little bit of research and found a peach moonshine recipe for you.

            Just so you know, it is illegal to make moonshine so the link I’m giving you is for educational purposes only. I’m sure you already knew that but I still have to mention it.

            Let’s get back to that peach moonshine recipe which sounds so delicious. I read through the whole recipe and all of your questions are answered. This is a complete step-by-step recipe.

            This is the best peach moonshine recipe I could find so I hope this helps you out. Thank you for stopping by and asking some great questions about how to make peach moonshine.

            Click here for the peach moonshine recipe:

            Please come back and let me know how this recipe works out! Thanks again for visiting with us today Randal!

            Best wishes,


  5. Loved your article, actually, one of the best I’ve read. I don’t know if I over looked it but when reading about the amount of water and sugar and corn meal, what I didn’t read was ” how big of a pot you would need to run this amount “. my mistake if I over looked it, great article.

    1. Hello Richard,

      That’s a great question about the size of the pot. I’m sorry that I forgot to mention that. I will update the article as soon as I’m done responding to your question.

      You should use a 40 gallon pot or you can use a 40 gallon HDPE plastic barrel for fermenting. Once again, I’m sorry for leaving out that critical piece of information.

      Thank you for pointing that out Richard. I’m glad that you like the article and I really appreciate the positive feedback. It’s really important to our success.

      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts Richard. I wish you all the best and have a great day!


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