Moonshine Madness

moonshine madness 1
With Molasses

Moonshine madness began as a lark in the backwoods of the Ozark Mountains, paying homage to a time-honored tradition. A guy with a friend of a friend of a guy known to practice the age old craft agreed to share his expertise – and his product.

The trip began at a meet-up point where I was invited to join them. Blindfolded for the ride, it took between 20-30 minutes to arrive at their secret location. Once there, I couldn’t tell it apart from anywhere in the Ozarks with its scrub cedars, pines and rocky outcroppings.

It didn’t take long to set things up, transferring the mash to the still and lighting the propane heater. We pasted the joints and waited for the juice to flow. The shine was directed into jars by a raccoon bone and we discarded the heads, reserving the crystal clear hearts. The process was fast, efficient and from the large bubbles when shaken, pretty strong proof. When the pot cooled, the spent mash was discarded and pot washed in the creek waters.

I was ferried back to civilization with a jar of mountain dew in my hands.

Hmmm, Whaaa – Real Moonshine Madness

Then I awoke, my lucid dream still vividly there, and I hurried to write before it faded from memory.

My friend Phil Brandon, owner and master distiller of Rocktown Distillery makes a great corn whiskey. He calls it Arkansas Lightning and at 110 proof it packs a wallop, but is smooth as silk. It makes the perfect base for my cocktail and here’s how I make it.

moonshine madness 2
With Corn Syrup

Moonshine Madness

A Genuine Moonshine Cocktail Worth Doing Time For!

  • Author: TJ


  • 2 oz Arkansas Lightning -or- genuine corn and sugar squeezin’s
  • 1/4 oz corn syrup
  • 1/4 oz molasses
  • 3 dashes sassafras and sorghum bitters
  • Club soda
  • Home-made bourbon/vanilla soaked cherries – garnish


  1. Combine the moonshine, corn syrup, molasses and bitters in a shaker and dry shake without ice until everything is combined
  2. Add ice and shake until chilled
  3. Place cubed ice in a canning jar, but leave room
  4. Strain the cocktail mix into the jar and top with 1-1/2 – 2 ounces of club soda
  5. Garnish with one or more cherries


Don’t forget to dry shake first, because if you add ice to raw molasses it will turn into a brick!