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Moscow mule is an iconic cocktail, and you have to be smart when choosing the perfect ingredients to create it. One of its main components is vodka, and it plays a crucial role in making this drink.
To make things easier for you, we’ve laid out the best vodkas for Moscow Mule and other alcoholic drinks that also make a great mule. We picked all the items on the list based on several factors, such as quality, price, and availability.
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Our Top Picks
Well-Balanced Flavor - Smirnoff Vodka
Most Tasty - Absolut Elyx Vodka
Strongest Taste - Prairie Organic Vodka
1. Smirnoff Vodka
Smirnoff is basically where the drink Moscow Mule started, and it is considered the original vodka to be used in this drink. There are Smirnoff flavored vodkas, but the one that’s mostly used is the classic N. 21. It is usually 80 proof with 40% alcohol content. Its flavor is more on the firm side that lingers, making you taste the vodka in the Mule without overpowering the other components.
Most people highly recommend and use Tito’s Vodka as their go-to whenever they make a Moscow Mule. It is made in Austin, Texas, and is certified gluten-free. It is one of the best-selling vodkas in the world and is known for its philanthropic work.
Being a versatile vodka, it also went well with many cocktails because of its smooth texture with a hint of sweetness and tanginess and finished off with a bitter aftertaste. Tito’s is 80 proof with 40% alcohol content, and it ensures to provide high quality every time for a very reasonable price, making it very convenient for cocktail lovers.
3. Absolut Elyx Vodka
You may have heard of Absolut vodka, but the Absolut Elyx is a whole new level. Every drop is a luxurious blend of winter wheat from Southern Sweden, crafted in a vintage copper column since 1921. It catches the attention of many because of its beautiful exterior design. Of course, the taste isn’t far off. It gives a pleasant, clean taste of macadamia nuts and freshly baked bread that offers the Moscow Mule a more balanced flavor. It has 42.3% alcohol content and is 84.6 proof.
This super-premium vodka comes at a reasonable price, given its quality and status. It’s also a match for the Moscow Mule, typically served in a copper mug since this vodka is distilled in a manually operated copper column still.
Hangar 1 vodka is made near San Francisco in an old aircraft hangar, hence its name. Unlike other vodkas crafted in column stills, Hangar 1 is made in tiny Holstein pot stills, giving its unique flavor. The people behind Hangar 1 wanted to create something different in the hopes that they will stand out. They added it with glycerin and vanilla with a blend of grapes and wheat, resulting in a slightly sweet but still robust taste and aroma. Its consistency is quite thick with a plump and round flavor with hints of floral scent. It is 80 proof with 40% ABV.
If you like your Moscow Mule on the sweeter side, this is the vodka to use, and it also comes with different flavors but if you want to experience the pure vodka taste, use the straight one.
5. Luksusowa Vodka
In the vodka world of wheat, Luksusowa uses good ol' potatoes. The name itself is Polish for “luxury,” so it already hints out that this is a good one. Because potatoes are used, the vodka is quite creamy and flavorsome. It undergoes a triple distillation process followed by charcoal filtration. It is slightly sweet and smooth on the mouth and gives a mild, crisp bite on the tongue.
You can experience a bit of minerality on the palate, but when mixed, it doesn’t overpower the other components, so the ginger beer and lime juice have their fair share of the spotlight as they should.
It is also 80 proof with 40% alcohol content. It is an excellent pair with citrus fruits such as lemon and lime. Despite being luxurious, it comes at a surprisingly affordable price, making it an obvious and easy choice for making Moscow mules.
6. Prairie Organic Vodka
If you want to experience a burst of flavors when drinking vodka, the perfect choice would be Prairie Organic vodka from Minnesota, USA. This one is made from corn, not wheat, nor potatoes, but it offers so much more. It is unique because the yellow corn is organically grown in family farms in a GMO-free and gluten-free condition, absolutely free from harmful chemicals. Besides the vodka taste, you will also get hints of pear and melon with a smooth and peppery finish. It is 80 proof and has 37.5% ABV in Europe and 40% ABV in the US,
Because it is a fruity and creamy vodka, it complements the ginger beer and lime juice for the Moscow mule. Another awesome thing about Prairie Organic is that they donate 1% of their sales to the Spirit of Change Fund to support farmers who go the organic way, so they are dedicated to bringing high-quality and healthy products.
Types of Drinks That Go Well With Moscow Mule
We know that one of the main components of a Moscow mule is vodka. But, did you know that some other drinks or beverages also make an excellent mule? Of course, a slight alteration wouldn’t make them a “Moscow” mule anymore, but they’re still mules and are rather good.
Bourbon is an American whiskey. Because it has a different flavor profile, it provides a new perspective on the drink. This alcohol rose when people started to swap vodka with a liquor that’s famous in their region. Kentucky Mule is made with bourbon.
Black rum takes a longer aging process in a charred wooden barrel, giving the rum a smoky flavor and a different character to the Moscow Mule. Dark N Stormy is an example of a Moscow Mule made with black rum.
All those gin lovers out there, you can enjoy this neat twist on a classic. Gin is known to have a bitter and biting taste, and to add that with the ginger beer and lime gives a surprisingly splendid and contrasting flavor. Gin Mule is the right combination of gin and ginger beer.
When you hear Mexico or Mexican, does “tequila” pop in your head? Mexican Mule is made with tequila. It is excellent to serve at your next party so your friends and family can enjoy this fantastic drink with your alcohol.
You might think this is an unusual name for a cocktail, but it is a person’s name. Mamie Taylor was an opera singer in the 1900s who requested this drink and then was made by a Rochester, New York bartender.
It is made with scotch, which adds a satisfying smoky taste from the malt that goes well with the ginger’s flavor. It’s not a direct variation of a mule, but it shares some similarities. The Scottish Mule is made with scotch whiskey.
The Texas mule is quite similar to the Kentucky mule, and both places are located in the South. It is commonly made with Jack Daniel’s
Of course, the Irish also boast their whiskey, making this Irish version of the mule. Irish whiskey is said to be light, fruity, and smoother than American whiskeys, so it also contributes to making the mule great.
This one is made with absinthe, which is an anise-flavored spirit made from flowers and herbs. It has the flavor of black licorice with a bit of herbal aroma, which complements the taste of ginger beer. Altogether, the Bohemian mule tastes like a delightful minty and refreshing drink.
In the world of food and drink, the French will always be a contender. Have a go at Paris Mule, the French version of the mule made with cognac, a very classic and famous French brandy.
Caribbean Mule is made with gold rum and is slightly related to the Dark ‘n Stormy. It comes with a sweet and flavorful taste and toasted oak aroma that blends well with the ginger beer and lime.
The Brazilian mule is made with cachaca, a spirit made from fermented sugarcane. One brand of the cachaca is Veev. Cachaca is the most popular distilled alcoholic beverage in Brazil. It is usually drunk as a base for cocktails, but it can be drunk on its own since it is sweet.
If you want to know what Jamaican rum tastes like, sure, you can drink it straight or make this wonderful concoction of Jamaican mule. Jamaican rum is made with molasses, and people still find difficulty in describing its taste. Still, it has notes of banana, caramel, coconut, and vanilla, but we’ll leave you to your judgment once you taste it.
Best Ginger Beers for Moscow Mule
A Moscow mule is not complete without ginger beer. Fair warning, though, there is a significant number of them out there. Check out our best ginger beer buying guide to spare you from the confusion of which one to use.
If you want the traditional way, you can follow our homemade ginger beer guide instead. It is excellent for your health, and you also get the fun experience of making it.
Picking out the right vodka is essential in creating a delicious Moscow mule in a copper mug. But you can always be adventurous and try out other spirits on the list, especially those with different flavors. You can even create your signature mule with countless of the best vodkas on the market; your only limit is your imagination.
What is your go-to Moscow mule mixer, and why? Let us know in the comment section.