If you’ve ever seen someone sipping a cocktail from one of those fancy-looking copper mugs, odds are it’s a Moscow Mule. A classic cocktail with a long history, it’s surprisingly not from Russia but, instead, from the United States, originating in 1940s New York. So what is a Moscow Mule made of? It’s a sublime combination of vodka, lime juice, and ginger beer — and guaranteed to deliver a refreshing kick!
Make sure your limes are at room temperature for the best juicing results.
Make your own cracked ice by placing ice cubes in a clean dish towel, then beating it with a mallet or rolling pin.
Store your cracked ice in a zip-top bag in the freezer for future use.
Pour the vodka, lime juice, and ginger beer directly into a copper mug or highball glass
Add ice and stir until combined
Garnish with a lime wedge and a sprig of mint to serve
What’s in a Moscow Mule
So, what is a Moscow mule made of? Three main ingredients make up this classic cooler; vodka, lime juice and ginger beer. Lime wedges and mint leaves are often used as garnishes to make the drink more refreshing and aromatic. The copper mug makes for a super cool drink but is totally optional.
How to make a Moscow Mule
The recipe for a Moscow mule cocktail is straightforward, which means it’s essential you use good quality ingredients. As vodka is the base of the drink and responsible for so much of the flavour, we recommend using a premium vodka like Skyy Vodka, which will really enrich your cocktail. Finding your preferred ginger beer might take some trial and error—different brands sell versions with varying degrees of sweetness and spice, so you’re bound to find one that tickles your fancy.
Is it important to use a copper mug?
Moscow Mules are traditionally served in copper mugs, and the reason behind this is more than just aesthetic (although they do look fantastic!). Copper is excellent at retaining heat, so it keeps hot drinks hot but also keeps cold drinks chilled for longer. The Moscow Mule is served on the rocks, and a copper mug helps keep it at the perfect chilled temperature as you drink so that every sip is as good as the first. Don’t worry if you don’t have copper mugs, though—a glass tumbler is a great option too. Just make sure to serve the cocktails immediately and before the ice melts.
Which ginger beer to choose?
Repeat after us: Get good quality ginger beer! Do not be tempted by overly-sweet ginger beer pretending to be something it’s not! This is a grown-up drink, and too much sweetness will ruin your Mule. Tastewise you want to up that spice level, so look for a spicier ginger beer with lots of bubbles. You also want a brand that uses real ginger and has no artificial flavours. Trust us, your choice of ginger beer is everything in a Moscow Mule recipe.
Moscow Mule cocktail variations to really impress your guests
- Strawberry Moscow Mule: Fruity and summery, a Strawberry Moscow Mule is perfect for picnics and garden parties. Use a muddler to crush the strawberries to release their juices before following the traditional recipe.
- Mexican Mule: A twist on the classic recipe for Moscow Mules drinks, the Mexican Mule uses tequila instead of vodka for a bolder kick.
- Cranberry Moscow Mule: Put a holiday spin on the Moscow Mule with a tart and zingy cranberry twist. Use a combination of festive fresh cranberries alongside cranberry juice as this will not only look great but adds extra freshness.
How strong is the Moscow Mule?
The strength of a Moscow Mule is similar to a glass of wine, meaning you could enjoy more than one. This recipe uses 120ml ginger beer and comes in at an ABV of 11%. If you use less ginger beer, it’ll become stronger, and if you add more, it will be even lower in alcohol. This recipe’s adaptability makes it the perfect anytime sipper, and you can change the strength depending on the occasion (and your mood).