Yes, they go down easy, but they’re also easy to make at home. A standard Moscow Mule has a perfectly balanced mixture of vodka, ginger beer and fresh lime with a garnish of a lime wedge or mint. Because of the fizzy nature of ginger beer, it’s a stirred cocktail served over ice.
Our Moscow Mule Recipe
Using the ratio measuring method, you can easily make just one or two mules (or a great big batch).
- 1 part vodka
- ¼ part fresh lime juice (get it the easy way with this trick)
- 3 parts ginger beer
Step 1: Pour the vodka into a vessel (traditionally a copper mug) and top with fresh lime juice.
Step 2: Throw a juiced lime slice into the drink for extra flavor. Cover with ice.
Step 3: Add ginger beer and give the whole drink a few good stirs. Cheers!
Using the Best Vodka & Ginger Beer
Restaurant lore has it that Moscow Mules were originally created to use excess Smirnoff vodka and homemade ginger beer at Cock n’ Bull tavern in Los Angeles. That means, if you’re interested in creating a truly authentic Mule, you’ll have to concoct your own ginger beer.
If you’re not into DIY soda, try yours with Q Ginger Beer and Tito’s Handmade Vodka. Tito’s has a smooth finish without a high price point and Q adds real chile pepper to the ginger beer for an extra hit of spice. For a less spicy cocktail, Fever Tree and Gosling’s ginger beers are popular options.
Moscow Mules are considered a “skinny” cocktail if you use ginger beer low in sugar. Here are 20+ more cocktails that won’t pack on the calories.
What’s with the Copper Mug?
While the copper mug does benefit the drink in some ways, it’s been tied to the mule since its inception at the Cock n’ Bull, mostly, for marketing purposes. Its iconic color and noticeable difference from other bar glasses was intended to get patrons to ask, “What’s the drink in that glass?”
The plan seems to have worked! Thin copper also cools very quickly and is able to retain that cold temperature for longer than a classic glass cup. Using this traditional barware keeps your cocktail cold—and cool-looking. Grab a set and these other barware classics for a well-stocked bar at home.
Twists on the Classic Mule
There are so many ways to spice up this simple drink—and bartenders love to riff on the basic mule recipe.
- The Kentucky Mule is on many bar menus. It subs out bourbon for the vodka and adds a garnish of fresh mint. (Here’s how to store fresh herbs the right way!)
- A Mexican Mule uses a similar substitution—tequila for vodka—and can feature a garnish of sliced jalapeño or a touch of muddled jalapeño in the copper mug.
The variations are endless—muddle fresh fruit or use a flavored vodka in your own concoction. Don’t forget the garnish and you’ll have your own house special.
Once you’re a master of the Moscow Mule, try your bartending skills on these festive cocktails.
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