Almost everyone knows the Moscow Mule. The vodka-based cocktail is one of the most popular and influential drinks in the world. And this refreshing mix of tangy lime and spicy ginger beer paved the way for many Mule cocktails just like the Mezcal Mule.
Some of these variations even turned into modern classics themself, for instance, the Gin-Gin Mule or Glasgow Mule. Others are less popular and mostly gained regional fame, like the Aussie Mule.
Ingredients of a Mezcal Mule
This Mezcal Mule cocktail does a little more than merely replace the base spirit.
It sticks to the base template of spirit base, ginger beer, and lime juice, but it also adds some additional ingredients. Fresh and subtle notes of cucumber come in as well as sweet and sour passionfruit pulp.
To balance the intensely smoky taste of Mezcal and to help it blend with the other ingredients, you need a dash of agave nectar. That also brings some sweetness and emphasizes the agave notes from the Mezcal.
In his original recipe, Jim Meehan used passion fruit puree. However, I prefer the sour taste and freshness of fresh passion fruit pulp.
Thus, our Mezcal Mule recipe requires:
- Agave nectar
- Fresh lime juice
- Passion fruit pulp
- Ginger beer
What I like most about this cocktail is the complexity. There's really a lot going on: it's sweet, sour, smoky, fresh, and tangy, with the typical taste of ginger beer in the background.
Typically, a Mule cocktail is dominated by ginger beer. However, the smoky taste of Mezcal challenges the ginger beer quite a bit. For some, this is a no-go. To others -and to me- it makes the cocktail super attractive.
How to garnish a Mezcal Mule
A classic Mule cocktail is garnished with mint, and you could do the same with the Mezcal Mule, too. However, the complexity of taste and the different flavors combined in this cocktail offer a lot more possibilities. You can garnish it with cucumber slices, fresh passionfruit pulp, or candied ginger.
Which Mezcal in a Mezcal Mule
The choice of Mezcal depends on personal preferences as the level of smokiness varies depending on the product and the brand.
If you're new to Mezcal and like smoky flavors in alcoholic drinks, I recommend Montelobos Espadin Mezcal. It's a great entry-level pick, top value for money, and serious smoky notes without being overpowering.
If you prefer less smoke in your drinks, try Alipús San Luis Del Rio. This Mezcal is much milder and also a perfect fit in a Mezcal Mule. If you want to experiment, you can find inspiration in our Mezcal recommendations.
How to make this drink
As the Mezcal Mule is a lot more complex, not only in taste but also in the number of ingredients, the preparation slightly differs from a traditional Mule.
- Step 1: In a first step, the cucumber slices, agave nectar, and passion fruit pulp are gently muddled in the bottom of a cocktail shaker.
- Step 2: Then add lime juice, Mezcal, and ice cubes before shaking the drink thoroughly.
- Step 3: Strain the drink into an ice-filled copper mug and top with chilled and bubbly ginger beer.
- Step 4: The last step is adding garnish to the drink. I recommend using either cucumber or fresh passionfruit and -if you like- a piece of candied ginger.
Origin of the Mezcal Mule
Many Mule cocktail riffs swap the base spirit. This fact that this concept is so common makes it impossible to tell who created the first Mezcal-based twist on the classic template.
Our recipe, though, is based on a creation from Jim Meehan, a famous bartender and a pioneer in the craft cocktail movement. Meehan created his version of a Mezcal Mule when he worked for the famed NYC bar PDT.
His cocktail is one of my favorite riffs on a Mule cocktail. The addition of Mezcal and passion fruit add multiple layers of flavors to an already complex drink without making it confusing.
- 1 Jigger
- 1.5 oz Mezcal
- 0.75 oz Lime juice
- 0.5 oz Passion fruit pulp
- 1 bsp Agave nectar
- 3 slices Cucumber
- 4 oz Ginger beer
- Cucumber slices (for garnish)
- Passion fruit pulp (for garnish)
- Candied ginger (for garnish)
- Put three cucumber slices, agave nectar, and fresh passion fruit pulp into a cocktail shaker and start muddling.
- Then add freshly squeezed lime juice, Mezcal, and plenty of ice. Shake until the drink is well-chilled.
- Strain the cocktail into a copper mug filled with ice and top up with ginger beer.
- Garnish your Mezcal Mule as you prefer.
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