MoonShot Cocktail Recipe

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MoonShot Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 16, 2024


The MoonShot cocktail is a modern twist on classic ingredients, designed for the adventurous drinker with a penchant for the unique. Its origins are a bit mysterious, much like the dark side of the moon, but it's believed to have been concocted by a creative bartender who wanted to combine the brininess of Clamato with the botanicals of gin.

  • The cocktail quickly gained popularity among those who appreciate bold flavors.
  • It's often enjoyed during late-night gatherings, where its name serves as a nod to the night sky.
  • The MoonShot is a favorite among patrons who are not afraid to experiment with unconventional pairings.

How MoonShot Tastes?

The MoonShot cocktail offers a savory and slightly spicy taste profile, with the botanical notes of gin cutting through the rich tomato base. The dash of Tabasco adds a kick that lingers on the palate, making it a robust and invigorating drink.

Interesting facts about MoonShot

  • The MoonShot is sometimes referred to as a 'briny martini' due to its unique combination of gin and Clamato.
  • It's a versatile cocktail that can be enjoyed year-round, but it's particularly popular during the colder months.
  • The name 'MoonShot' not only refers to the celestial theme but also to the boldness of the drink, much like the ambitious space missions it's named after.


  • Gin: 2 oz(60ml)
  • Clamato tomato cocktail: 3 oz(90ml)
  • Tabasco sauce: 1 dash
  • Ice cubes: As needed

A few good options for MoonShot are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose


The gin brings a botanical punch to the MoonShot, acting as the backbone of the cocktail. Its herbal notes aim to harmonize with the tomato in Clamato. Neglecting our friend gin would leave the cocktail unbalanced, lacking the needed kick. An alternative could be vodka for a more neutral spirit, which would make the cocktail less complex.

Emma Rose

Clamato Tomato Cocktail

The Clamato adds a umami depth to the drink, with a tomato tang and a hint of seafood intrigue. Without it, we'd just have a boozy tabasco bath – not the same party. If you switch it with plain tomato juice, the cocktail gets less briny, less interesting.

Alex Green

Tabasco Sauce

Just one dash provides a fiery jolt of excitement, turning our MoonShot into a cosmic adventure. It adds heat without overwhelming the gin or Clamato. Removing it would be like turning off the stars at night – uneventful. But watch out – overdoing it might send someone into orbit.

Mary Mitkina

Ice Cubes

The ice cubes are the unsung heroes, chilling the cocktail to perfection and allowing flavors to meld smoothly. No ice means no chill, and that's just a no-go for a refreshing cocktail. Using crushed ice can result in a quicker dilution, thus a milder taste.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make MoonShot Drink

  1. Fill a mixing glass with ice cubes.
  2. Pour 2 oz of gin over the ice.
  3. Add 3 oz of Clamato Tomato Cocktail.
  4. Dash in the Tabasco sauce to taste.
  5. Stir the mixture gently until well chilled.
  6. Strain the concoction into a chilled rocks glass.
  7. Serve immediately and enjoy the lunar libation.

Pro Tips

  • For an extra layer of flavor, rim the glass with a mixture of salt and chili powder before straining the cocktail into it.
  • Use freshly cracked ice to ensure a crisp, cold drink without over dilution.
  • If you're a fan of garnishes, a celery stick or a skewered shrimp can complement the briny notes of the cocktail.

Perfect Pairings


  • Oysters on the half shell: The briny taste of oysters paired with the salty and slightly spicy kick of the MoonShot will prime your palate for more.
  • Celery Sticks with Blue Cheese Dip: Crunchy, fresh celery sticks with creamy blue cheese dip help balance the cocktail's spice and tang.
  • Fried Calamari: The light batter and gentle flavor of calamari complement the bold flavors in the MoonShot without overpowering them.

Main Course

  • Grilled Shrimp Tacos: The iodine component in shrimp and the overall seafood flavor harmonizes with the Clamato base of the MoonShot.
  • Burgers: A classic juicy burger can handle the strong personality of this drink, matching its intensity bite for bite.


  • Aged Cheddar: The sharpness of the cheese finds a friend in the boldness of the gin and the spice of the Tabasco.

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What you could change in MoonShot

  • Gin: If you prefer a less botanical gin, try using a New American style gin for a smoother taste.
  • Clamato Tomato Cocktail: Tomato juice mixed with a pinch of sea salt can be used as a substitute, though it will lack the clam essence.
  • Tabasco Sauce: Any hot sauce can be used, but the flavor profile may vary.

Explore all drinks starting with M here

And of course - twists🍹

Spicy MoonRise

  • Switch Gin to Tequila
  • Add a splash of Lime Juice
  • Garnish with a Jalapeño slice The Tequila adds a rustic edge while lime juice contributes some brightness. A jalapeño garnish introduces a fresh zing and the cocktail gets more vivacious, perfect for anyone looking to spice up their night.

Lunar Eclipse

  • Replace Clamato with Bloody Mary mix
  • Add Celery Salt Rim
  • Garnish with a Pickle Spear Opting for a Bloody Mary mix increases the complexity with added spices and thickness. A salty crest on the rim enhances each sip, and a pickle garnish provides an extra layer of piquant goodness.

Cosmic Caress

  • Substitute Tabasco Sauce with Sriracha
  • Add a hint of Wasabi
  • Use Cucumber-infused Gin With Sriracha, expect a smoother heat with a touch of sweetness. A dab of wasabi heats things up distinctly. Cucumber-infused gin cools down the encounter, offering a soothing yet spacy sip.

In case you forgot basics how to make MoonShot

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

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Frequently Asked Questions on MoonShot

Can I make the MoonShot cocktail ahead of time?

The MoonShot cocktail is best served fresh to maintain the integrity of its flavors, but you can pre-mix the gin and Clamato in a pitcher and add ice, Tabasco, and garnish just before serving.

What is Clamato and where can I find it?

Clamato is a commercial drink made of reconstituted tomato juice concentrate flavored with spices and clam broth. It is readily available in most grocery stores in the beverage or cocktail mixer aisle.

Is there a specific type of gin you would recommend for the MoonShot cocktail?

While the choice of gin can be a personal preference, a London Dry Gin will typically complement the savory notes of the MoonShot cocktail with its herbal and juniper characteristics.

Is the MoonShot suitable for vegetarians?

Because Clamato contains clam broth, the traditional MoonShot recipe isn't suitable for vegetarians. However, a vegetarian can substitute plain tomato juice and increase the spices for a similar taste.

What is the origin of the name 'MoonShot'?

The name 'MoonShot' reflects the cocktail's uniqueness and bold flavor profile, perhaps inspired by the audacity and adventurous spirit of space exploration.

Can the MoonShot serve as a brunch cocktail?

Absolutely! The savory qualities of the MoonShot cocktail make it a great choice for brunch, similar to a Bloody Mary.

How can I adjust the spiciness of the MoonShot cocktail?

To adjust the spiciness, simply increase or decrease the amount of Tabasco sauce to suit your personal taste preference.

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