What is Moonshine? Midnight Moon Explains All

Written by 'Courtney Doss' on October 22, 2021 / Moonshine

Moonshine has tons of different definitions, and Midnight Moon goes through them all. Moonshine can be defined by its history, illegality, ingredients and more.

What is moonshine? You are certainly not the first to ask this question, so Midnight Moon decided to go all-in on answering. You’ll get the cold, hard facts as well as the point of view of a true moonshiner.

‘Shine has a crime-ridden past that has led to its popularity and acceptance today. Whether you want to know about its legality, ingredients or its authenticity, Midnight Moon has all the answers you need before you sip some ‘shine.

For more fun facts about ‘shine, see our answers to the top 20 moonshine questions.

Moonshine Bust - Robert Glen Johnson.

Moonshine’s Illegal Past

Moonshine’s history is one for the books, and its tumultuous past gave way to a spirit everyone has heard about. The product of tax evasion, moonshine became a risky yet effective way to circumvent revenuers, or tax collectors, monetize corn in a different way and enjoy a strong spirit.

In this sense, moonshine is a spirit made under the light of the moon whose identity is clear: illegality. Since ‘shine got its start in the American South, many southerners believe ‘shine is only real if it’s illegally produced. It’s not just the liquor itself that is important to its identity, but the moonshiners and bootleggers who took the risks to provide untaxed alcohol to Americans. Moonshine’s legacy is completely wrapped in its legality.

Is moonshine illegal today? The short answer is yes and no. It depends who’s making it and where. While there are still moonshiner descendants continuing their family legacy, making homemade moonshine can be a dangerous process. That’s why the federal and state governments require permits for companies to produce ‘shine legally.

Midnight Moon Moonshine - 100% Corn

Moonshine Ingredients

Another way to define ‘shine is its ingredients and how it’s made. Corn is the traditional ‘shine base, though some moonshiners use fruit and water to supplement the fermentation process if corn is unavailable.

However, “real” moonshine is 100% corn, just like how Midnight Moon makes it. And yes, the quality of the corn matters, because the smooth, sweet taste really shines through in a batch made with the right corn.

In this light, moonshine is real ‘shine because it is made with 100% corn mash. Some may call it “white lightning” or even “white whiskey” because its ingredients and distillation process are so similar to whiskey. Again, the main difference here is that whiskey is made legally (and taxed), whereas authentic moonshine is made literally and figuratively under the light of the moon.

Junior Johnson - Midnight Moon Moonshine

Is Midnight Moon Moonshine Really Moonshine? (Spoiler Alert: Yes)

Midnight Moon legally makes moonshine, but does that disqualify us from producing “real” ‘shine? No, because we have a secret ingredient: Junior Johnson.

Yes, we obtained the necessary permits to produce moonshine legally under federal law, but that was only so we could share Junior Johnson’s recipe with the rest of the country. Junior Johnson came from a long line of famous moonshiners and was a notorious bootlegger himself.

Junior Johnson shared his centuries-old moonshine recipe with us and toured the U.S. promoting Midnight Moon as the real deal. His stamp of approval of our ‘shine is worth more than its weight in gold. Just because we produce ‘shine in a legal facility does not mean our roots aren’t from moonshine’s illegal past. Everything about our ‘shine is the same as it was in Junior Johnson’s prime – we just get to share it with more people.


Secondly, Midnight Moon moonshine is 100% corn. We spend tons of extra time and effort ensuring the best corn goes into our mash so you can sip the best ‘shine around. We know it’s not real ‘shine if it’s not 100% corn, so rest assured you’re getting authentic ‘shine when you buy Midnight Moon.

Midnight Moon Moonshine Recipes - Junior's Bloody Mary
Midnight Moon

How to Buy Midnight Moon Moonshine Online

Don’t believe we’re the real deal? Times are changing, which means you can buy moonshine online and get it delivered to you bootlegging-style. Just kidding, the Drizly delivery guy will drive safely in order to get the ‘shine to your door, but in record time. Just imagine it’s Junior Johnson pulling “Bootleg U-Turns” and skirting the police while you wait.

No matter how it ends up in your hands, Midnight Moon moonshine is hard to beat. So, give it a shot. Between our 100 proof and 80 proof ‘shine, in addition to our many other moonshine flavors (apple pie moonshine recipes, anyone?), you have you and your friends’ taste buds covered. Last optional step is dressing up your ‘shine with some of our favorite moonshine recipes – you’ll be drooling, trust us.

At the end of the day, Midnight Moon ‘shine is authentic, delicious and accessible – it’s so real, it should be illegal. Between Junior Johnson’s legacy and our pure ingredients, you’ve found your new favorite ‘shine. Time to grab it, sip it, share it.