The best thing about some cocktails, in my opinion at least, is that they can have their ingredients substituted by certain other ingredients (just look at the classic Caipirinha and Caipiroska cocktails). We all have our favourite cocktails, and for some, we all have our favourite ways of preparing them. For example, I like a little extra lime in my Cuba Libre’s, I just love the taste.
This is the same with the Moscow Mule; at least in principle…
The classic recipe, of 1 part vodka to 4 parts ginger beer, with a splash of lime is one many people will look at and think ‘that’s extremely easy’. And it is. Whilst one of the easiest cocktails to both remember and make; the Moscow Mule is also one of the best tasting. The lime juice, when fresh cuts right through the ‘paint stripper’ taste you get from a lot of the poorer quality vodkas, whilst complementing the higher quality ones (not to mention its crisp, refreshing taste). The ginger beer/ale (which ever you prefer – I myself prefer the more flavoursome ginger ale).
Classic Moscow Mule Recipe
120ml Ginger Beer/Ale
5ml Freshly squeezed Lime Juice
Top tip: The higher the quality of the vodka, the better this drink will taste. I find Green Mark is the perfect balance when it comes to ‘quality vs. price’. Ginger Ale is the more flavoursome of the two ginger carbonated mixers. The beer is a flavoured soda, whereas the ale is actually made from Ginger directly.
The best thing about this cocktail is, as previously stated, its versatility when the ingredients are changed out. For a more Caribbean flavour you can substitute half of the vodka for spiced rum, or even add in a splash of gin to give it a more English feel. It’s all about your tastes.
A couple of ideas to get you all started would be:
Citrus: Changing up the citrus flavour in this drink means you can replace the distinct limey flavour with a more bitter lemon flavour, and in some cases even grapefruit and orange flavours. Granted you have to be careful not to increase the fruit juice content too much, so as not to unbalance the drink, but get it right and you have a slight twist on a classic.
A rather good recipe, as well as some others I’ve picked up along the way can be found here in the following section:
Moscow Mule, Valencian Twist
120ml Ginger Beer
45ml Green Mark Vodka
5ml Freshly Squeezed Orange juice
2-5 dashes angostura orange bitters (to taste)
Top Tip: Garnish with an orange twist, and if your skill is up to it, flame the zest of the twist too.
A Great Moscow Mule Pitcher
100ml Lime Juice
750ml Ginger Beer
Top Tip: Serve over ice and throw in some Lime wheels to make the jug/pitcher look a little colourful.
A slightly bitter version
3 dashes Angostura bitters
50ml green mark vodka
25ml fresh lime juice
Top up Ginger beer
Top tip: when adding the bitters, make sure it mixes well with the vodka and lime before topping up. Otherwise this drink does not balance well. 3 dashes is the average for this drink, but depending on your taste you can have as little as 1 dash, or as many as 5 before this drink is unbalanced; add the bitters to your own tastes.
The Interurban Kentucky Mule
45ml Kentucky Bourbon
5ml freshly squeezed lime juice
Top up ginger beer
Top Tip: Kentucky bourbon is the only American whisky you should be using in this variation, but if you cannot get a hold of one, then Canadian will suffice. Jack Daniels is just not on the same level.
This version is a Portland (as in Portland, USA) favourite. They folks there swear by these and the bourbon is cleverly disguised within the first sip.
Mezcal Mule/Mexican Mule
45ml Mezcal/Gold Tequila
15ml Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
Top up with Ginger Beer
The Mezcal Mule (obviously using Mezcal not Tequila) is a house cocktail from the ‘Central’ Bar in Southwest Portland. The Mexican Mule however has a more ‘full on’ Mexican vibe to it.
Either way you’ll enjoy these refreshing cocktails, especially If you love tequila/mescal.
Did you know? – All Tequila’s are a type of Mezcal but not all Mezcal is a type of Tequila.
For 3 other Portland moscow mule variations check out this site: