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6 must-try moonshine cocktails

White whiskey, mash, mountain dew—whatever you want to call it, moonshine is popping up again. Here's where to find six (totally legal) moonshine cocktails.

By Erin Kuschner

In the ebb and flow of trends, it's always true that what's old is new again, whether that means street style suddenly incorporating jean vests or funk creeping into every song on the radio. Same goes for cocktail bars in LA. The latest ingredient to pop up in bars throughout the city is moonshine, which gained popularity in the 19th century and now has the reputation of being something your mustached friend keeps in a recycled jar on top of his fridge. Don't worry, though—we're not suggesting you drink it straight. The cocktails below use moonshine in a way our Appalachian relatives could never have dreamed—and we're pretty excited about it. Shine on!

Order these 6 moonshine cocktails

Contraband at Gracias Madre
Photograph: Courtesy Gracias Madre

Contraband at Gracias Madre

Restaurants Mexican West Hollywood

Gracias Madre's beverage director, Jason Eisner, is known for coming up with some of LA's most inventive cocktails, and this particular concoction is no exception. The Contraband is made from housemade moonshine gin, Mexican fernet and Italian sweet vermouth, with a smooth finish that leaves you wondering if they had it this good in the 1800s. $20

Drunk Watermelon at Preux & Proper
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Drunken Watermelon at Preux & Proper

Restaurants Cajun Downtown Historic Core

One of the latest Big Easy-inspired restaurants to make its way to LA is Preux & Proper, a Downtown restaurant and bar serving authentic New Orleans food, along with a few moonshine cocktails that pair well with their bomb shrimp beignets. The Drunken Watermelon uses Stillhouse watermelon moonshine, lime juice and simple syrup—essentially, summer in a glass. $12

Apple pie moonshine at Basin 141
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Midnight Mule at Basin 141

Bars Gastropubs Glendale

Basin 141 may best be known for their well-curated craft beer menu and tap takeovers, but their specialty cocktails are worth a trip to Montrose, too—like the Midnight Mule, made with Midnight Moon apple pie moonshine. Combined with ginger liqueur, bitters, simple syrup and Tito's Handmade Vodka, the libation is as satisfying as a slice of apple pie. $10

Devil's Moon at Next Door Lounge
Photograph: Courtesy Next Door Lounge

Devil's Moon at Next Door Lounge

Bars Lounges Hollywood

You know Next Door Lounge as Hollywood's go-to spot for when you want to dress up as a flapper, listen to live jazz and generally relive the Roaring Twenties. They complete the vibe with retro cocktails, including the Devil's Moon, made with moonshine, mango nectar, lime juice and simple syrup. A hit of chipotle finishes off the drink for an extra kick. $14

Cereal Milk Punch at Bigfoot Lodge
Photograph: Danielle Bernabe

Cereal Milk Punch at Bigfoot Lodge

Bars Lounges Atwater Village

It's like Bigfoot Lodge got into our heads and figured out our ideal hangover cravings. Stop by the Atwater Village "Walk of Shame" on Sundays starting at 11am for '90s cartoons, cereal and this drink: the Cereal Milk Punch, made with Cocoa Puffs-infused milk, Ole Smokey Moonshine, cinnamon and nutmeg. We'll see you there. $12

Moonshine margarita, Southern Peach, Category 6 and Louisiana Le
Photograph: Tatiana Mikhailenko

Moonshine slushies at Five0Four

Restaurants Creole Hollywood

Five0Four comes from the same team behind Preux & Proper, so it's only natural that there'd be shine here, too. At this Hollywood spot, though, the moonshine cocktails also come in slushie form, ranging from a margarita made with pineapple moonshine to a Louisiana lemonade made with blueberry moonshine. Oh, and did we mention the moonshine hot wings? Yowza. Prices vary


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