Ditch the Vodka: The Moscow Mule with a New Kick

moscow mule drink

The Moscow Mule has become one of the trendiest and most important drinks in a bartender’s repertoire, and for good reason. The cool, refreshing taste, combined with the sensations of the copper mug, make it the perfect drink to loosen up a warm summer day. The versatile cocktail is traditionally made with two parts vodka, five parts ginger beer, and a splash of fresh lime juice. As is the case with many popular drinks, different renditions have emerged, many of them arguably superior to the original recipe.

So, break out your copper mugs, find a ginger beer with a nice kick and try out these variations of the Moscow Mule.


The Kentucky Mule

A new staple of Southern tailgates, the Kentucky Mule swaps out the vodka for bourbon. They say stick to your strengths, and this version of the Mule sticks to its Southern roots, embracing the bourbon that is so renowned in the region. The copper mug is a surefire sign that somebody is sipping on a Mule, and that does not change when making it Kentucky style. You are still going to infuse the bourbon base with the same ratios of lime juice and ginger beer that the original calls for. For fans of the darker liquor, this is the twist on the Moscow Mule that will suit you best.


The Mexico Mule

Much like the Kentucky Mule, this rendition of the Moscow Mule gets its name from the region’s native inebriant. Tequila is made from the agave that is prevalent in Mexico, which has been harvested, crafted and aged to create the signature liquor. As it turns out, tequila works quite nicely to mix up a Mule, and puts a refreshing twist on the traditional recipe. As always, the lime juice and high-quality ginger beer are the backbone of the drink, but switch the vodka for some Camareña Family, Casamigos, Avion, or whatever brand you prefer.


The Garden Mule

This jazzed-up version of the Mule calls for vodka, but also works well with gin or tequila. In addition to our friends, ginger beer and lime juice, this interpretation of the Mule requires the addition of some flavor-enhancing accoutrements. Place four cucumber slices, eight blueberries, and six mint leaves in the bottom of your cocktail shaker. Muddle them to release the flavor until they are crushed and juices are extracted. Then throw in a few ice cubes, your two ounces of vodka, and an ounce of lime juice. Shake for about 15 seconds then strain into your trusty copper mug, which you should fill with fresh ice. Garnish the final product with some blueberries and a piece of candied ginger, suspended on a toothpick on the rim of the glass. Toss in a mint leaf and some more berries if you are feeling particularly fruity. This version tastes delicious, and it looks like a work of art.


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  • Bob on

    How about the Dark n Stormy:
    Black rum instead of vodka

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