Beverages, Recipes

Best Moscow Mule (Classic Cocktail Recipe)

The Moscow Mule is a beloved classic! It’s easy to make and even better to drink. 

Snappy, bubbly, and citrusy, it’s one vivacious libation. It perks you up in the cold and cools you off in the summer.

Ice Cold Moscow Mule in a Copper Mug Garnished With Lemon Slice

The fizzy ginger beer, warming vodka, and a twist of lime are delightfully refreshing. If all that wasn’t alluring enough, just look at the signature copper mug! 

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The presentation of this drink is almost as good as the taste. You’ll love sipping on this time-honored cocktail.

It’s Moscow mule time!

Classic Moscow Mule 

Crafted in the 1940s, this classic cocktail is one invigorating libation. 

It blends the warmth of vodka with the spicy kick of ginger beer. It’s balanced with fresh lime juice served up in a glistening copper mug.

Fizzy, punchy, and refreshing, it’s undeniably thirst-quenching. 

It’s also one of my personal favorites. The refreshing snap of booze-infused ginger beer is absolutely tantalizing.

And it’s about as easy as cocktails come. All you need are three ingredients: vodka, ginger beer, and lime. 

There are no special tools required, either. 

You make the drink directly in the cup. It helps preserve all the tongue-tickling bubbles and eliminates all the fuss.

Cold Moscow Mule on a Copper Mug

Ingredients 

The key to creating a Moscow Mule is choosing quality ingredients. After all, nobody wants a subpar cocktail!

Here’s a list of everything you need:

  • Vodka – Choose a quality brand that’s within your price range. Remember, quality vodka equals a quality cocktail. You don’t need a top-shelf bottle. But avoid the cheap stuff that tastes like rubbing alcohol.
  • Lime juice – Only fresh squeezed will do. It’s far superior to bottled lime juice, trust me.
  • Ginger beer – Ginger beer is bubbly, sweet, and lightly spiced. But don’t skimp on the quality! It can make or break the drink. So go with a tasty option like Cock’n Bull, Bundabergs, or Fever-tree.
  • Ice – Pack your mug with pebble ice to keep it frosty. Jumbo cocktail ice cubes are also slow to melt. But really, any type of ice will do.
  • Lime wedges – A wedge or a wheel is a must for a garnish.

How to Make a Moscow Mule

Ditch those cocktail shakers and fancy bartending tools. You don’t need them to make a Moscow Mule. 

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Instead, you need a copper mug or cocktail glass. Follow these easy steps:

  1. Prep your cup. Fill a copper mug or cocktail glass with ice. 
  1. Pour the cocktail. Pour the vodka and lime juice into your cup. Top it off with ginger beer. Stir it gently.
  1. Garnish. Garnish it with a lime wheel or a wedge. Sip and enjoy!
Refreshing and Boozy Moscow Mule

Moscow Mule History 

The history of the Moscow Mule is a little fuzzy. One source claims a Manhattan bartender invented it after ordering too much ginger beer. 

Another story says John Martin and Jack Morgan are the original creators.

Supposedly, Smirnoff seller John Martin needed to sell some vodka. Meanwhile, Hollywood’s Cock’n’Bull pub owner Jack Morgan was in a bind. 

He ordered far too much ginger beer and needed to move his product. So they combined the two, and the Moscow Mule was born. 

Alas, a third story says Cock’n’Bull’s head bartender, Wes Price, is the real creator.

Despite who’s right, we know two things. The Moscow Mule was born circa 1941. And it’s downright delicious!

Why Are Moscow Mules Served in Copper Mugs? 

So why the copper mugs? It’s the first question everyone asks. 

The short answer is it makes the drink colder. Copper is a great conductor. When you add cold or hot liquid, it will take on that same temperature.

It’s also aesthetically pleasing. When someone at a bar is holding one, you immediately have to ask, “What’s that?”

Which brings me to my next point. Some say it was also a marketing scheme. 

In 1941, a Russian immigrant named Sophie Berezinski walked into the Cock’n’Bull pub in Hollywood. She was trying to sell, you guessed it, copper mugs! 

After meeting with owners Jack Morgan and John Martin, they came up with a plan. They would serve the Moscow Mules in the mugs. The rest is history. 

Icy Moscow Mule on a Copper Mug

Tips for the Best Cocktail 

Follow these helpful tips to craft the best Moscow mule:

  • Go for a quality brand of vodka. High-quality vodka will have the best taste. I like Tito’s, Grey Goose, or Absolut because they have clean and smooth flavors.
  • Choose your ginger beer wisely. The flavor of ginger beer will vary by brand. Choose a quality brand with a flavor profile that suits your taste. 
  • Fresh lime juice is best. Always use freshly squeezed lime juice for cocktails. I promise it makes all the difference.
  • Chill your copper mug or cocktail glass. Traditionally, Moscow Mules are served in fun copper mugs. But they taste just as good in a regular glass. Either way, this drink is best served very cold. So, pop the glasses in the freezer for 5-10 minutes before making them.

Variations

Do you love the Moscow mule? Then you’re in luck! There are tons of variations of this classic cocktail

Here are a few you need to try:

  • Kentucky Mule. Replace the vodka with bourbon.
  • Mexican Mule. Use tequila instead of vodka.
  • Dark and Stormy. Swap out the vodka for rum. 
  • London mule. Ditch the vodka and use gin.
  • Jamaican mule. Use dark or spiced rum instead of vodka.
Moscow Mule