Why Is Moonshine Called Moonshine?

Moonshine is the term for illegal alcohol or liquor that is manufactured at home. Moonshine is usually made from corn or sugar and has a high alcohol content. It’s a spirit that has been part of American culture for centuries.

But why is it called Moonshine? We’ll take you through the curious history of this illegal beverage, and explain why it has come to be known as “Moonshine”.

Dive in to uncover the answer to this frequently asked question.

Moonshine is an illicitly produced alcoholic beverage, usually consisting of beer, wine or other spirit made from fermented grain, fruits, vegetables or sugar. Originally, it was made mostly in the Appalachian Mountains of the United States, during the 18th century. Moonshine has been used as an intoxicating beverage since then, and has become a symbol of the wild, lawless culture of American folklore.

History of Moonshine

Moonshine was first produced in the Appalachian Mountains of the United States around the 1820s and 1830s. The term was used to describe the clear, illicitly distilled spirits made by farmers and other mountaineers who lived by their own set of rules and regulations.

During this time, the only form of legal alcohol available was beer, wine, and whiskey that was taxed, so moonshine was sold as an alternative to avoid paying the government’s taxes. Moonshine was made from apples, corn, potatoes, and other grains, and it was much more powerful than the legal liquors being sold in stores.

This potent drink was nicknamed “white lightning” due to its clear color and the flash associated with its quick-acting effects. Moonshine had its heyday during the Prohibition era in the United States. With the sale of alcohol made illegal, moonshiners took over the distribution chain, selling the illegally brewed alcohol to customers across the country.

The drink was often made in secret, producing an aura of excitement and danger.

Why is it Called Moonshine?

The name “moonshine” is believed to have origins in a Scottish tradition of making whisky under the light of the moon.

It is an illicit form of whisky production and was often associated with the phrase “run the moonshine. ”This term would eventually be used to refer to other illegal spirits, and eventually to all illicitly produced liquors.

The cooking of the moonshine was usually done at night, under the light of the moon in order to avoid detection by law enforcement. This was known as “running the moonshine” or “working the still”. As a result, the term “moonshine” came to refer to any illegally produced alcohol.


Moonshine has been a part of American culture since the early 1800s. Its production and sale were illegal, and it was sought after by those who wanted to get away from the rules and regulations of society. Moonshine was made in secret and under the light of the moon, hence giving it the name “moonshine. ” It has become a part of the folklore of the United States and remains a popular beverage today. Citation URL: https://www. grubstreet. com/2020/10/why-was-moonshine-called-moonshine. htmlhttps://www. liquor. com/blog/moonshine-history-tradition/

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