How to Make Sugar Shine (Sugar Moonshine)

If you're looking to create a sweet and versatile spirit, sugar shine, also known as sugar moonshine, is a delightful choice. This homemade concoction offers a smooth and slightly sweet profile, making it an excellent base for various cocktails. As always, be mindful of legal regulations surrounding distillation, and prioritize safety throughout the process. Now, let's dive into the steps of crafting your own sugar shine.

Ingredients and Equipment:


  • Granulated Sugar: 8 lbs
  • Water: 5 gallons
  • Yeast: 1 packet (choose a suitable yeast strain for fermentation)
  • **Optional: Flavorings (e.g., fruits, spices) for Infusion


  • Large Fermentation Vessel with Airlock
  • Distillation Apparatus
  • Thermometer
  • Heat Source (e.g., Stovetop, Electric Heater)
  • Collection Vessel
  • Glass Bottles with Sealable Lids


1. Prepare the Fermentation Vessel:

  1. Ensure that the fermentation vessel is thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.
  2. If you plan to add flavorings, consider placing them in the vessel.

2. Create Sugar Wash:

  1. In a large pot, dissolve 8 lbs of granulated sugar in 5 gallons of water over medium heat. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  2. Allow the sugar wash to cool to room temperature.

3. Pitch the Yeast:

  1. Follow the instructions on the yeast packet for activation.
  2. Once activated, add the yeast to the cooled sugar wash.
  3. Seal the fermentation vessel with an airlock.

4. Fermentation:

  1. Place the fermentation vessel in a cool, dark location.
  2. Allow the sugar wash to ferment for around 7-14 days or until fermentation activity subsides.
  3. If you added flavorings, let them infuse during fermentation.

5. Distillation Process:

  1. Set up the distillation apparatus according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  2. Begin the distillation process, heating the fermented sugar wash gently.

6. Collecting the Distillate:

  1. As the mixture heats, alcohol vapors will rise and condense back into liquid form.
  2. Collect the distilled liquid in a separate vessel. Discard the initial "heads" and final "tails," keeping the desirable "heart" fraction.

7. Multiple Distillations (Optional):

  1. For a purer spirit, consider performing multiple distillations, discarding impurities in each round.

8. Quality Check:

  1. Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature during distillation, aiming for a steady and controlled process.

9. Bottling and Storage:

  1. Carefully transfer the sugar shine into glass bottles with sealable lids.
  2. Store the bottles in a cool, dark place for additional maturation.


  1. Yeast Selection:

    • Choose a yeast strain that complements the desired flavor profile of your sugar shine.
  2. Flavor Infusions:

    • Experiment with flavorings such as fruits, spices, or herbs to add complexity to your sugar shine.
  3. Temperature Control:

    • Maintain precise temperature control during distillation to avoid excessive impurities.
  4. Patience is a Virtue:

    • Allow the sugar shine to age for a short period after distillation to mellow flavors and enhance smoothness.
  5. Safety First:

    • Adhere to safety guidelines during the distillation process and ensure compliance with local regulations.

Crafting sugar shine is an art that combines simplicity with the potential for creative flavor experimentation. As you enjoy the results of your homemade sugar moonshine, may each sip be a celebration of the craftsmanship that went into its creation. Cheers to the alchemy of distillation and the joy of crafting your own spirited elixirs!

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