Discover the secret behind the perfect Moscow Mule, a refreshing cocktail that blends vodka, lime, and ginger beer in perfect harmony!
Drinking the fizzy blend of vodka and ginger beer out of a cool, copper mug started in the 1940s in Los Angeles. Some cocktail legends say it was the brainchild of three friends who were dabbling with different ways to drink vodka. But its popularity grew when one of these geniuses, a liquor distributor, traveled around the country, taking pictures of bartenders serving the drink in a specialty copper mug—or so the story goes.
Whether you like the story of its beginnings or the refreshing kick of the lime and ginger beer, the Moscow mule is a glorious, picture-worthy drink. It’s a perfect companion for any cheese or charcuterie board. But even on its own, a Moscow mule is sure to make your happy hour even happier!
The Moscow Mule offers a crisp and sharp alternative to the sweeter bourbon based Kentucky Mule or the tropical Dark’n Stormy.
Why You Will Love This Cocktail Recipe
Moscow mules are refreshing on hot summer days—but they’re also a wonderful holiday or winter drink, thanks to the slight spice of the ginger beer. They are also surprisingly easy to make, with only three key ingredients. You’ll love winding down from work with this little number, and you’ll feel good about offering it to friends for a pre-dinner cocktail.
- A copper mug
- A jigger
- A citrus juicer
- A bar spoon
- Knife and cutting board
- 2 oz. of vodka
- 1/2 oz. of freshly squeezed lime juice
- 4 oz. of ginger beer
- Ice cubes
- Lime slice as garnish
- Fresh mint leaves for garnish optional
- Add ice cubes to a copper mug
- Pour vodka into the glass.
- Add lime juice, freshly squeezed.
- Fill the glass with ginger beer and carefully stir to combine.
- Embellish your drink with a slice of lime and, if you’d like, fresh mint leaves.
Tips & Tricks For a Perfect Moscow Mule
- Choosing higher-quality ingredients will make a better drink. I recommend a smooth, quality brand like Tito’s, a relatively affordable vodka made in Austin, Texas. The same is true with the ginger beer. A premium brand will offer a more robust zing.
- Bottled lime juice simply doesn’t compare to the zest and tang of using fresh limes. It’s a small effort with a big payoff.
- The Moscow mule relies on the balance of lime, vodka, and ginger beer. Feel free to play with the recipe for the taste you like best, but try to let each element shine.
The Moscow Mule is traditionally served in a copper mug. Not only does the mug give off a hip-and-now vibe, but copper, which is an excellent conductor, helps keep the drink cool. If you don’t have a copper mug, use a tall, glass tumbler.
While this is a matter of personal preference, classic, high-quality brands like Absolut, Smirnoff, Tito’s, or Grey Goose are often favored because they’re smooth, clean, and blend well with the ginger and lime.
They both have ginger in the name and as a main ingredient, but these two beverages are definitely not the same. Ginger beer is spicier than ginger ale, which tends to be light and sweet. If you want a classic Moscow mule, stick with the ginger beer.
Moscow Mule Variations Worth Trying
While the tried and true Moscow Mule holds a special spot in our hearts, here are a few popular variations:
- Kentucky Mule: With a hearty bourbon standing in for vodka, this southern-style mule adds a bit of warmth.
- Mexican Mule: Swap out the vodka for quality tequila for a vibrant, Latin twist.
- Gin-Gin Mule: This variation replaces vodka with gin, offering a botanical facet to the cocktail’s profile.
- Low-Carb Moscow Mule: Opting for a health-oriented stance? Replace the sugary ginger beer with diet ginger beer and up the lime for a guilt-free version.
- Moscow Mule Mocktail: Hold the vodka and double down on the lime and ginger flavors, then top off with soda water for a non-alcoholic refreshment.
How to Store
This is one drink that needs to be made just before drinking, as the ginger beer can go flat if you mix it beforehand. But you can still prep early: just measure out the vodka and lime juice, pour into your copper mugs, and chill them in the fridge.
This mix of vodka and lime will also keep in your fridge for a day or two. Again, don’t add the ginger beer — it’ll lose its fizz, making the whole drink taste flat.