You’ve probably heard us tell you (perhaps sometimes a little too forcefully) to replace your vodka with Belle Isle Moonshine–but what does that actually mean? When we talk to customers at events or on Instagram, the top question we get is, “What exactly is moonshine?” We’ve met a lot of people who are initially hesitant to try our spirit, as it’s easy to envision a burly, bearded man offering up mason jars full of peach-flavored rocket fuel. Despite its cultural mythology, moonshine is actually just an un-aged corn spirit that’s distilled to a lower alcohol point than vodka or whiskey. While vodka and moonshine end up around the same 40% ABV mark, our spirit requires less added water to cut the alcohol content down. The result? Less burn, more flavor, and a cleaner finish.
Now that you have some base-level ‘shine knowledge, we’ll move on to another big question we get asked: “How do I use this stuff?” While we totally condone getting as creative as possible with your cocktail experiments, the key to creating a delicious moonshine drink is as simple as just replacing your vodka. Whether your go-to drink is a martini or a mule, here are five of our favorite recipes that show just how easy it is to swap ‘shine in your favorite vodka cocktails.
A classic martini is the perfect cocktail to showcase the differences between our spirit and a traditional vodka. Made up of only two or three ingredients, the martini can’t mask vodka’s burn. Our OG Black Label moonshine makes a killer martini, but try subbing 100 Proof for a little extra oomph!
3 oz. Belle Isle Black Label
½ oz. dry vermouth
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with olives, lemon twist, or any other garnish you'd like. Feel free to customize this recipe to make your ideal martini!
It’s no secret that a mule is one of our favorite drinks. Instead of pairing vodka with ginger beer, try your next mule with the sweet heat of our Honey Habanero ‘shine.
½ oz. lime juice
4 oz. ginger beer (non-alcoholic)
Combine all ingredients in a glass over ice, and garnish with a lime wedge
Ditch your old vodka-crans for something a little more elevated. Our bright, bold Blood Orange moonshine is a perfect spirit to revamp that tired Cosmopolitan.
2 oz. Belle Isle Blood Orange
1 oz. cranberry juice
¾ oz. fresh lime juice
Add all ingredients to a mixing tin over ice and shake well. Strain into a chilled coupe or martini glass. Garnish with a lime twist, or a dehydrated blood orange.
Our moonshine is so smooth and flavorful it shines (no pun intended) on its own or with the simple fizz of some soda water. While all of our products are great with soda, we’re partial to this version with Ruby Red Grapefruit.
½ oz. lime juice
4 oz. club soda
Garnish with a lemon wedge
Combine all ingredients in a glass over ice.
What makes your favorite hangover-relieving brunch drink even better? A jolt of sweet heat from our Honey Habanero moonshine, of course.
4 oz. of your favorite Bloody Mary mix (we're partial to Richmond's own Texas Beach)
Add all ingredients to glass with ice, tumble back and forth in mixing tin a few times. Garnish with peppers, olives, lemon, celery, and whatever else strikes your fancy. Add a few extra drops of hot sauce if you're feeling truly spicy!
Want More Cocktail Ideas?
Belle Isle Moonshine is a premium, handcrafted spirit proudly hailing from Richmond, Virginia.
We take the name Belle Isle from a small, 540-acre island located smack dab in the middle of the James River where Civil War soldiers used surplus corn rations to make moonshine in copper kettles.
Belle Isle Moonshine is distilled from 100% organic corn, grown by three family farms and responsibly sourced. Once triple-distilled, we charcoal filter Belle Isle four times over. Then, we cut it with purified water right from the James River. Our infusions are made with 100% real ingredients, never artificial flavors or color. We use real grapefruits sourced from Texas and California, local honey from the Shenandoah Valley, organic habaneros grown an hour away, and freshly roasted coffee beans from the most socially conscious roastery in Richmond, Blanchard's Coffee Roasting Co.
From there, each bottle of Belle Isle Moonshine is filled, corked, labeled, and packed by hand by our Production team, who check each bottle and batch for quality assurance. Since Belle Isle is made in small batches, you can find the batch number handwritten in the bottom right corner of each bottle.
Distilled from good times and 100% organic corn.