Moscow Mule Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep/Total Time: 5 min.
You do not have to go to a trendy cocktail bar to have a top-notch drink. Start with just three simple ingredients to make this ultra-refreshing cocktail.

Updated: Dec. 06, 2023

Sure, it seems extra fancy in its signature copper mug, but a Moscow mule is 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. Because of the fizzy nature of ginger beer, it’s a stirred (not shaken!) cocktail served over ice.

Are Moscow mules from Russia?

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’s right—the drink isn’t Russian in origin.

Moscow Mule Ingredients

  • Vodka
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Ice
  • Ginger beer


Step 1: Mix ingredients

Fill a cup—preferably a copper mug—with ice. Add vodka, ginger beer and lime juice.
Editor’s Tip: Fresh lime juice is key, so learn how to juice citrus.

Step 2: Stir and garnish

Give it a stir and top with a wedge of lime. That’s it!

Moscow Mule Variations

There are so many ways to spice up this simple drink—and bartenders love to riff on the basic mule recipe. Here are a few easy Moscow mule variations:

  • Kentucky Mule: Swap out the vodka for bourbon and add a spring of mint.
  • Mexican Mule: You guessed it: Use tequila in lieu of vodka. If you want to add some spice, add a slice of jalapeno to garnish.
  • Gin Mule: Try gin instead of vodka and garnish with cucumber slices. This one’s really refreshing.
  • Mule Driver: Just add an ounce of orange juice to your classic mule and garnish with an orange wedge.

Moscow Mule Tips

What are the best ingredients to use?

Because this recipe has so few ingredients, it’s important to use quality spirits and mixers. If you’re not familiar with ginger beer, try go-to brands like Gosling’s or Fever Tree. If you want to branch out, Q Ginger Beer has a hint of chili for extra spice. As for vodka, some of our favorite brands include Absolut Elyx and Ketel One Cucumber-Mint.

What’s with the copper mug?

Folks have been asking about the copper mug since the drink’s inception. At Cock n’ Bull Tavern, the drink was served in mugs that drew attention, causing guests to ask what that nifty drink was (and hopefully order one!).

Thin copper also cools very quickly and is able to retain that cold temperature for longer than a traditional glass cup. Using this artistic barware keeps your cocktail cold—and cool-looking.

Moscow Mule

Prep Time 5 min
Yield 6 servings


  • 4 cups ginger beer, chilled
  • 2/3 cup lime juice
  • 1-1/4 cups vodka
  • Ice cubes
  • Lime slices, optional


  1. Combine the ginger beer, lime juice and vodka in a pitcher. Serve over ice. If desired, serve with lime slices.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 169 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 12mg sodium, 17g carbohydrate (15g sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein.

Here's an old-time cocktail that was popular in the 1940s and '50s. A Moscow Mule is traditionally served in a copper mug with plenty of ice. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Recipe Creator