Have you ever wished that your pickles tasted a little boozier? It’s time to give your regular ole dill pickles the boot(leg) and welcome the wonderful world of moonshine pickles.

What Are Moonshine Pickles?

These boozy pickles are just what they sound like—dill pickles bottled in moonshine. They are loaded with dill pickle flavor and pack a high-proof punch.

They not only make a great garnish for a Bloody Mary, but they can also add a little something extra to your favorite burger or sandwich. The dill pickle-flavored moonshine also makes for an edgier pickleback shot (which is typically a shot of liquor followed by a shot of pickle brine).

Where to Buy Moonshine Pickles

Old Smokey Moonshine Pickles: These 40-proof moonshine pickles are a bestseller at Ole Smokey, a distillery based in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
Old Smokey Hot & Spicy Moonshine Pickles: This 40-proof offering from Ole Smokey takes their standard moonshine pickles and adds hot peppers to the mix. Not for the fainthearted!
Midnight Moon Dill Pickles: Midnight Moon, made by Piedmont Distillers in North Carolina, is based on race car driver Junior Johnson’s family moonshine recipe. These moonshine pickles are jarred at 60-proof.

How to Make Moonshine Pickles


6 to 8 pickling cucumbers (also called Kirby, mini or salad cucumbers)
1 teaspoon coriander (cumin) seeds
1 teaspoon dill seeds
1 teaspoon whole mustard seeds
1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
2 to 4 small sprigs of fresh dill, thick stems removed
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
750-mL jar of moonshine


2 glass pint jars (or 1-quart jar)


Step 1: Clean the jars

Although you will not be canning these pickles and instead storing them in the refrigerator, it is important to clean your jars first. You can opt to wash in hot soapy water, run them through a dishwasher cycle or boil them in water for 10 minutes.

Step 2: Prep the cucumbers

Wash and dry the cucumbers. Use a sharp knife to slice off the blossom end of each cucumber. (The blossom end is the end with a rough spot rather than an indention.) Then slice the pickles into vertical spears. Set aside.

Step 3: Add the herbs and spices to the jars

To each pint jar, add 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, 1/2 teaspoon dill seeds, 1/2 teaspoon whole mustard seeds, 1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns, a smashed garlic clove, and a few fresh dill sprigs. If you’d like to add a tiny bit of heat, add 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes.

Step 3: Pack the jars with cucumbers

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

Step 4: Top with moonshine

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

Tips for Making Moonshine Pickles

Use the freshest cucumbers you can find. They should be firm to the touch.
Do not skip trimming off the blossom end. This end contains an enzyme that will soften the pickles over time.
For a purer dill flavor, skip the garlic clove.
Want to make moonshine pickles but don’t have all the extra ingredients on hand? Try making the even simpler combination of prepared dill pickles and moonshine. Just drain the pickle jar and replace the pickle brine with moonshine. (If you reuse the pickle jar, be sure to mark on the label that they’re made with moonshine!) Give it a couple of days in the refrigerator to let the flavors meld before digging in.

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