What Percent Alcohol is Moonshine? (2023 Updated)

Last Updated on August 22, 2023 by Lydia Martin

Have you ever been curious about the alcohol proof of your homemade moonshine? Is it strong enough for you to enjoy it with your friends, or do you think your moonshine needs a bit more kick and power?

Well, you’re in luck because our team of experts did comprehensive research to unravel what percent alcohol is moonshine. 

Moonshine: An Overview

Homemade Moonshine

Moonshine is an alcoholic beverage created in secret to escape high taxes or the outright prohibition on alcoholic beverages. The phrase “moonshine” originates in the United Kingdom, where it was first used as a verb to describe any late-night task or activity. 

Because illegal whiskey still operators had to operate out of sight of law enforcement, these backwoods brewers came to be known as moonshiners. Thus the name became theirs uniquely.

How Strong is Moonshine?

How Strong is Moonshine?

The average alcohol by volume (ABV) of moonshine is 40%, although it can range from 60% to 80%. Because unskilled hands frequently manufacture moonshine, its alcohol concentration can vary widely and possibly reach dangerous levels. 

Alcohol’s freezing point, how it affects you when you drink it, and other factors are all affected by its alcohol level.

Brand Size Alcohol By Volume Level
Sugarlands Silver Cloud Tennessee Sour Mash Moonshine 750  ml 50% 
Sugarlands Jim Tom Hedrick’s Unaged Rye 750  ml  50% 
Sugarlands Appalachian Apple Pie Moonshine 750  ml 50% 
Ole Smoky Blue Flame Moonshine 750  ml  64% 
Saint Luna Charcoal Filtered Moonshine 750  ml 50% 
Copperfish Cornish Moonshine 70  ml  40% 
Ole Smoky White Lightnin’ Moonshine 750  ml  50% 
Ole Smoky Apple Pie Moonshine 750  ml  20% 
Sugarlands Root Beer Moonshine 750  ml 35% 
Ole Smoky Peach Moonshine 750  ml  20%

Can Moonshine Be Dangerous?

Ole Smoky Moonshine

Moonshine can be hazardous on two levels: during the distillation process and when consumed. What does the label “XXX” on a moonshine jug mean?

During the distillation process, alcohol fumes are created, which are extremely flammable [1]. The flammable fumes are one of the main reasons why moonshine stills are usually found outside, despite making them more visible to law authorities. If you’re trapped inside, the risk of vaporous explosions is too large. 

Methanol’s hazardous potential is undetected at first taste. It will merely make individuals drunker. However, methanol may be exceedingly harmful to a person’s health once it has been metabolized. It just takes ten milliliters (ml) of methanol to permanently damage the optic nerve and result in partial, if not full, blindness.

Also Read: Difference Between Moonshine & Vodka


Can homemade moonshine kill you?

Yes, homemade moonshine can kill you if you consume too much. But, can moonshine go bad? Since moonshine is not distilled properly, it contains pure alcohol, which is very toxic. Moonshine containing high quantities of methanol can cause blindness or even death [2].

Is moonshine stronger than other alcohol?

Yes, moonshine is stronger than other alcohol if it is made appropriately. Because it hasn’t been aged, it is just extremely powerful alcohol with a very strong flavor or “kick.” It’s generally quite strong, up to 150 proof (about 75 percent alcohol). What do you think is the difference between moonshine and whiskey?

How much alcohol is in a shot of moonshine?

Usually, 1.5 ounces or a “shot” of distilled spirits or liquor contains 80-proof or 40% alcohol by volume. However, it depends on the variety. But, is moonshine legal in Texas or not?

Can you drink moonshine straight?

Yes, you can drink moonshine straight. Moonshine is usually consumed straight from the jar. It’s also available in shot. Some alcohol experts recommend drinking it by shots or mixing it with cocktails. But, what does moonshine taste like?

Final Thoughts

The moonshine’s alcohol by volume (ABV) is 40%, although it may range from 60% to 80% ABV. The distillation process determines the alcohol concentration of a spirit. 

Because unskilled hands often make moonshine, its alcohol level may vary widely and possibly reach a threatening level. We hope that we answered about what percent of alcohol is moonshine. 


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Lydia Martin

Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds! Contact at [email protected] or learn more about us here.

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