The Best Strawberry Moonshine Recipe (Tested)

Image of diy distilling how to make strawberry moonshine the best step by step guide

Nothing screams summer quite like a strawberry moonshine. It’s sweet and bursts with the flavor of fresh berries. In this post, I’ll share two recipes you can get started with right away: infused and distilled versions. Both techniques create a well-rounded, tasty spirit.

Why Listen To Us? Our team of writers have more than 16 years of distilling experience between them. We've written These Books, designed the perfect Hobby Still, and have helped over 100+ amature distillers through our Ask The Expert portal. 

What I Love About Strawberry Moonshine? 

The juicy flavor of ripe strawberries combined with the kick of a good moonshine is something I can’t help but rave about! It’s the perfect blend of fruity, vibrant goodness and a bit of a boozy punch, making it the perfect refresher after a long summer’s day.

What Does It Taste Like?

Strawberry moonshine is a merge between fresh homemade strawberry jam and freshly picked berries with a pleasant hint of tartness. And a kick (of course!)

What Strawberries Work Best?

Fresh, ripe berries are the ideal choice. Look for plump, juicy berries for the best flavor and color infusion. They tend to have a more vibrant and intense flavor, which, when making infused versions, imparts beautifully into the neutral spirit.

Strawberry Moonshine Recipe Variations 

Infused strawberry moonshine 

Infusing strawberries in a high-ABV spirit is the easiest way to start enjoying your drink within a week. You can either mash the berries and steep them in the spirit or create a strawberry syrup, which you then add to the moonshine. The mixture is left to blend, resulting in a smooth and fruity spirit.

Distilled Strawberry moonshine

If you’re looking for a more authentic and traditional moonshine experience, distilled strawberry moonshine is the way to go. This method involves running a fermented wash through the still to extract the flavors from the strawberries and create a refined and potent spirit.

Infused Vs. Distilled-Which Is Best?

Distilled moonshine is best! It heightens the fruit’s flavor compounds, creating a bolder and more concentrated flavor profile. 

How To Make Easy Strawberry Moonshine (No Distillation) 

  • 2 cups strawberries, washed, stems removed and quartered (if using frozen, make sure they thaw completely)
  • 1 cup water 
  • 3 cups Everclear 
  • 1 cup white sugar 

Equipment 

  • Medium pot 
  • Spoon 
  • 2 Glass jars
  • Cheesecloth or fine-mesh sieve

Time 

It’ll take about 30 minutes to an hour to prepare the syrup and an additional hour or two for it to cool. 

Instructions 

  1. Pour the berries, water, and sugar into the pot. 
  2. Let the mixture boil on medium heat. Stir continuously until the syrup thickens. 
  3. Coarsely mash the strawberries.
  4. Remove from the heat and transfer to a glass bowl. Let it cool completely. 
  5. Pour the alcohol into the glass jar and dilute it to your preferred ABV/Proof.
  6. Add the syrup and cover with an airtight lid. 
  7. Shake well and let it sit for 2 weeks.
  8. Strain into a clean glass jar and seal tightly. Or enjoy it right away! 

How To Make Authentic Distilled Strawberry Moonshine 

What defines brandy/schnapps? 

Both brandy and schnapps are similar in that they’re produced by distilling a fermented fruit wash, but there are some nuances to these spirits. Brandy is diluted to 35-60% ABV/70-120 proof and aged in oak barrels

Schnapps is generally unaged, sweetened, and flavored with peppermint, peach, or any flavor of your choice. It has a relatively lower alcohol content–15-25% ABV/30-50 proof, and because of its sweet nature, it’s often used in cocktails. 

Ingredients 

  • 20 lbs/9 kg strawberries
  • 3 lbs/1 kg white sugar 
  • 1 packet yeast
  • Pectic enzyme

Equipment 

  • Chopping board 
  • Sterilized knife
  • Cheesecloth 
  • Large fermenter 
  • Food processor stick or paint mixer
  • Oak cubes (optional)

Time 

It will take about 2 hours to wash and quarter the strawberries., and another 4-12 hours (including waiting for the enzyme to break down the fruit) to prepare the mash. 

Instructions 

  1. Cut the tops off of the strawberries and discard them. 
  2. Halve the strawberries and add them to the fermenter. Pour enough water to cover the fruit. 
  3. Add the enzyme according to the packaging instructions and crush the strawberries with the food processor.
  4. Let it sit for 4-12 hours.
  5. Take a gravity reading, and, if necessary, add sugar to bring it up to 1.065. 
  6. Stir well and pitch your yeast. Cover with the lid and attach the airlock. 
  7. Let it ferment at 70°F (21°C) for 7-17 days.
  8. Siphon or strain into a clean bucket.
  9. Run your still. First, perform a stripping run
  10. Perform a spirit run and make cuts.

How Long Does Strawberry Moonshine Last?

Strawberry moonshine, when stored properly–in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight, can last indefinitely. 

Tips And Tricks 

Use fresh strawberries 

Use fresh strawberries to enhance the taste and add a satisfyingly sweet and tangy complexity to the final product.

Use a good quality yeast 

A good quality yeast will help you achieve a higher alcohol yield and produce a smoother-tasting spirit. Select one that’ll complement the flavors you’re looking to achieve. 

Clarify your wash before distilling 

Clarifying reduces the potential of any scorched substances during distillation. Even when distilling a sugar wash, best to clarify it because the yeast sediments can burn.

Always perform a stripping run!

Stripping runs help remove unwanted compounds from your products. Another reason we recommend you perform a stripping run is to:

  • Produce a flavorful, smooth alcohol.
  • Reduce the distillation time when you do a stripping run.

Final Thoughts 

Crafting your own strawberry moonshine is an enjoyable experience. You can create an infusion, which, when leftover time, comes alive with the sweetness of berries. You can also opt for a more refined, yet bold, distilled moonshine. Both versions are incredibly shelf stable, allowing you to have a bottle on hand when the need arises. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How do you ferment strawberries for moonshine?

1. Cut the tops off of the strawberries and discard them. 
2. Halve the strawberries and add them to the fermenter. Pour enough water to cover the fruit. 
3. Add the enzyme according to the packaging instructions and crush the strawberries with the food processor.
4. Let it sit for 4-12 hours.
5. Take a gravity reading, and, if necessary, add sugar to bring it up to 1.065. 
6. Stir well and pitch your yeast. Cover with the lid and attach the airlock. 
7. Let it ferment at 70°F (21°C) for 7-17 days. 

Q. Can you use frozen strawberries? 

You can use frozen strawberries to make strawberry moonshine. When using the frozen version, thaw them completely before using. 

Q. How long can strawberries stay soaking for?

Strawberries can stay soaking for 1-2 weeks. If you’re aiming for a more potent flavor, you can soak them for a month.

Q. What alcohol is best to soak strawberries in?

Everclear (neutral) is a popular choice because it has high alcohol content, which helps to extract the flavors of the strawberries.

Q. How strong is strawberry moonshine?

Infused strawberry moonshine ranges from 20% to 30% ABV, while the distilled version has around 40% to 60% ABV.

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