Classic Kentucky Mule Recipe

The Kentucky mule is a fun twist on the classic Moscow mule. Bourbon, ginger beer, and lime juice make up this simple and refreshing cocktail. Grab your copper mug and get mixing!

Kentucky Mule

The rich, smooth flavors of bourbon or whiskey have never tasted so good. Paired with a tangy kick of ginger beer and fresh lime juice, this Kentucky mule is a delicious cocktail you’ll want to share with friends. If you like the classic Moscow mule but want something a little different, substitute the vodka for bourbon, and you have yourself a Kentucky mule.

This cocktail is also served in a copper mug, but you can use anything you have to hand. The addition of the mug just gives the drink an element of class and helps keep your cocktail cooler for longer. If you have a gathering with friends or cozy night by the fire planned, you’ll want to bring this cocktail along.

Why You Will Love This Cocktail Recipe

  • This drink is refreshing, and the heat of the bourbon and ginger make it a great choice for a cool night.
  • Easy to make in single servings or pitchers for a crowd.
  • The Kentucky mule has the familiarity of a Moscow mule, but with a warm and oaky twist.
Kentucky Mule Ingredients
Servings 1
5 minutes


  • A copper mug or glass (preferably chilled)
  • A measuring device
  • A muddler or spoon (to mix the ingredients)
  • A citrus juicer (for extracting lime juice)
  • A straw for serving the cocktail (optional)


  • 1 1/2 oz bourbon or whiskey
  • 3 oz ginger beer
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • optional: several mint leaves
  • crushed ice


  • Fill a copper mug or glass with crushed ice.
  • Combine bourbon or whiskey and lime juice in the mug or glass.
  • Add ginger beer, gently mix the ingredients, and garnish with mint leaves if desired.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 156kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 12mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g

Tips and Tricks

Here’s some tips and tricks I always follow when making this cocktail.

Chill your ingredients: Make sure you’re working with chilled bourbon, ginger beer, and limes fresh out of the fridge.

Get a copper mug: Okay, this isn’t essential by any means and any glass will do. However, I highly recommend you invest in a set of copper mugs. They keep your drink cold and are frankly part of the whole “mule” experience. They’re also super cute.

Use fresh ingredients: When adding your lime juice, you’ll want to squeeze it fresh from a lime yourself. It takes a couple of extra seconds but the effort is worth it.

Be gentle: Do not, by any means, shake this cocktail. A Kentucky mule is meant to be gently stirred so the ginger beer stays carbonated, the ice doesn’t melt too quickly, and everything melds together in the glass.

Kentucky Mule


Can I make a large batch for a party?

Yes, easily. Simply double, triple, quadruple (however many times) the recipe in a large pitcher or punch bowl. Try to add the ginger beer last to preserve the carbonation. Then, you can set out glasses with ice and mint and invite your guests to serve themselves!

What other spirits could I use for this cocktail?

The bourbon is what makes this a Kentucky mule, but if you substitute it for vodka, you’ll have a Moscow mule which is equally delicious. You can also use dark or spiced rum, which will leave you with a similar cocktail to the dark & stormy. Just keep in mind that using different spirits will change the flavors drastically.

Is there a mocktail version of the Kentucky mule?

Of course! You can replace the bourbon or whiskey with a strongly flavored ginger beer, or an zero proof spirit. I would recommend Seedlip, Cut Above, or Ritual.

Kentucky Mule

How to Store a Kentucky Mule

Any leftovers can be kept in the fridge, ideally in an airtight container. You could also seal your glass with a little bit of plastic wrap. Aim to drink your Kentucky mule within 24 hours, as the ice will melt and the ginger beer will loose its fizz over time.

If you’ve saved your leftover Kentucky mule but it’s lost a lot of its flavor or fizz, don’t worry. You can revive it! Simply pour your leftover cocktail over some fresh ice and top it off with some fresh ginger beer.

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