What are moonshine pickles? Plus how to make it

Looking for a new way to decorate your Bloody Mary? Pickled moonshine may be the winner.

Have you ever wished that the taste of pickles was more noticeable? It’s time to give the boot (leg) to the usual dill ale pickles and welcome to the wonderful world of moonshine pickles.

What are moonshine pickles?

These fermented pickles are just what they sound like – dill pickles packed into moonshine. They are loaded with dill pickle flavor and packaged with high resistance.

Not only does it make a great garnish for a Bloody Mary, but it can also add a little something extra to your favorite burger or sandwich. The pickle-flavored dill moonshine also makes for a sharp pickle shot (which is usually a shot of liquor followed by a shot of brine).

Where to buy Moonshine Pickles

  • Old Moonshine Smoky Pickles: These 40-degree pickles are a bestseller at Ole Smokey, a distillery located in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
  • Spicy moonshine pickles and smoky old smoky: This 40-proof offering from Ole Smokey takes their standard moonshine pickles and adds hot peppers to the mix. Not for the faint hearted!
  • Midnight dill pickles: Midnight Moon, which is made by Piedmont Distillers in North Carolina, is based on a moonshine recipe for race car driver Junior Johnson’s family. These wet pickles are blanched at 60 degrees.

How to make pickled moonshine

Pickled ingredients for moonshine on a marble surfaceSusan Bronson, Taste of Home


  • 6 to 8 pickled cucumbers (also called kirby, baby or salad cucumbers)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander (cumin) seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of dill seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of whole mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon whole pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and mashed
  • 2 to 4 small sprigs fresh dill, thick stems removed
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 750 ml jar of moonshine


  • 2 pint glass jars (or 1 liter jar)


Step 1: Clean the jars

Although you wouldn’t be canning these pickles and rather store them in the refrigerator, it’s important to clean out the jars first. You can choose to wash in hot soapy water, run them through a dishwasher cycle or boil them in water for 10 minutes.

Step two: prepare the cucumbers

Wash and dry the cucumber. Use a sharp knife to cut off the flower end of each cucumber. (The flower end is the end with a jagged spot instead of an indentation.) Then chop the pickles into vertical spears. sit aside.

Step Three: Add the herbs and spices to the jars

Herbs and spices in a glass jarSusan Bronson, Taste of Home

Add 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, 1/2 teaspoon dill seeds, 1/2 teaspoon whole mustard seeds, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, a crushed garlic clove, and a few sprigs of fresh dill to each pint jar. If you want to add a little more heat, add 1/8 teaspoon of red pepper flakes.

Step 3: Fill the jars with cucumbers

Add the crushed cucumbers to the jars, trimming the ends as necessary to fit.

Step 4: Top with moonshine

Pickled moonshine in a glass jar

Susan Bronson, Taste of Home

Add enough moonshine to each jar to completely cover the cucumbers. Cover and store in the refrigerator, shaking once daily for seven days. Then have fun!

Tips for making pickled moonshine

Pickled moonshine in a glass jar on a white topSusan Bronson, Taste of Home

  • Use the freshest cucumbers you can find. It should be firm to the touch.
  • Don’t skip trimming the tip of the flower. This finish contains an enzyme that softens pickles over time.
  • For a purer dill flavor, avoid eating the garlic clove.
  • Want to make pickled moonshine but don’t have all the extra ingredients on hand? Try making a simpler mix of dill pickle and color. Just filter the pickle jar and replace the pickle with moonshine. (If you’re reusing pickle jars, be sure to mark on the label that it’s made with moonshine!) Give it a few days in the refrigerator for the flavors to meld before digging in.

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