The Moscow Mule is a four-ingredient cocktail based on Vodka that traditionally comes in a stylish mug made of copper.
The classic recipe fits any season. The cold mug and fresh lime juice make it a great summer cocktail. The spicy notes of ginger beer also make it a beautiful sip for an autumn or winter day.
It takes four ingredients, some garnish, and a little attention to detail to get this cocktail right:
- Vodka: using quality Vodka here is crucial. It is best to pick a quality Vodka of standard proof (80, 40% ABV) like Belvedere or Absolut. Both are excellent choices for most of our favorite Vodka Cocktails.
- Ginger Beer: It should be chilled, highly carbonated, and spicy. The spice bite has to be strong enough to balance the citrus notes of the lime juice and the Vodka. If you're looking for recommendations, I like Bundaberg, Q Ginger Beer, Fever Tree Ginger Beer, or Fentiman's.
- Lime: Freshly squeezed lime juice is a must. Without that, the drink falls flat and loses its tangy bite and freshness.
- Simple syrup
- Mint sprig & lime wheel for garnish bring extra freshness and herbal notes that complement the ginger beer.
Note: don't confuse Ginger Beer with Ginger Ale - only Ginger beer works in a Moscow Mule recipe.
How to make it
For the perfect Moscow Mule Cocktail, you need crushed ice and the iconic mug - traditionally copper, but now often stainless steel. The drink is neither shaken nor stirred but built in the glass, making it super easy to prepare. Simply follow these easy steps for the best results:
- Step 1: Fill a cold Moscow Mule mug with crushed ice to the rim.
- Step 2: Pour in the syrup, the Vodka, and the fresh lime juice.
- Step 3: Gently stir a few rounds with a bar spoon.
- Step 4: Fill the mug with chilled ginger beer and garnish the drink with a sprig of mint and a lime wheel.
Variations of the Moscow Mule Cocktail
The spicy Moscow Mule recipe also works with all sorts of base spirits other than Vodka. You can use Whiskey, Rum, Mezcal, Gin, or even Absinthe and herbal liqueurs. Some recipes include fruity components or coffee flavors. The options are endless.
For a better overview and inspiration on where you can take the classic Moscow Mule, check out these top Mule Variations (with recipes).
The name suggests the drink perhaps was invented in Moscow, but it wasn't. It's an American creation - one from Hollywood, to be precise. The copper mug was a genius idea of the drink's inventors John Martin and Jack Morgan. Yet, it was the Vodka brand Smirnoff that made it an international icon.
Also, picking the name for the drink was random, with absolutely no meaning other than referring to the Russian base spirit. -And that might even be a mistake because, as it turns out, Vodka might be a Polish invention.
- 2 oz Vodka
- 0.5 oz Lime juice
- 0.25 oz Simple syrup
- 3 oz Bundaberg Ginger Beer
- Mint sprig & lime wheel - (for garnish)
- Fill your Moscow Mule mug with crushed ice, then pour in the syrup, Vodka, and lime juice.2 oz Vodka, 0.5 oz Lime juice, 0.25 oz Simple syrup
- Gently stir the mix with a bar spoon and fill the mug up with Ginger beer.3 oz Bundaberg Ginger Beer
- Garnish the drink with a sprig of mint and a lime wedge or wheel.Mint sprig & lime wheel