This fun summertime drink is gaining popularity again. Have you heard of the Moscow Mule? It is a cocktail made with vodka, ginger beer (our favorite is Gosling’s ginger beer), lime juice and is garnished with a wedge of lime. A proper Moscow Mule is served in a copper mug.
The Moscow Mule, or the “Little Moscow” was invented in Manhattan at the Chatham Hotel. Legend has it that three men, Jack Morgan, president of Cock ‘n’ Bull Products, John Martin, president of G.F. Heublein Brothers Inc, and Rudolph Kunett, president of Pierre Smirnoff, were sitting around at the bar and wondered what would happen if they mixed Smirnoff’s vodka with Morgan’s ginger beer and a squeeze of lime. The Moscow Mule was born!
Another story came about in 2007, which mentions that the bartender at Morgan’s bar, Wes Price, wanted to do something with all of the unsalable products in the basement, such as the Smirnoff Vodka and ginger beer. Eric Felten quotes Wes Price in an article that was published in 2007 in The Wall Street Journal:
“I just wanted to clean out the basement,” Price would say of creating the Moscow Mule. “I was trying to get rid of a lot of dead stock.” The first one he mixed he served to the actor Broderick Crawford. “It caught on like wildfire,” Price bragged.”
The Moscow Mule is almost always served in a copper mug, thanks to John Martin. He traveled all over the United States selling his Smirnoff Vodka and popularizing the Moscow Mule. Martin would take two Polaroid pictures of the bartender holding up the copper mug with a bottle of Smirnoff Vodka. He would leave one with the bartender to hang up and the other he collected to show the popularity of the Moscow Mule to other bartenders around the country.
Moscow Mules are gaining popularity again. Most recently they were shown on the Real Housewives of New York City, when Bethenney Frankel served them to friends with her Skinnygirl Vodka.
Here are some of our favorite summertime recipes:
CLASSIC MOSCOW MULE
- 2oz Vodka
- 1 bottle ginger beer
- 1 lime
- 1 sprig of mint (garnish)
- Add vodka to a copper mug with ice.
- Squeeze in a half of a lime
- Top off mug with ginger beer.
- Garnish with a lime slice and mint sprig.
GARDEN MULE COCKTAIL
- 4 slices cucumber
- 16 blueberries
- 6 mint leaves, plus a sprig for garnish
- 2 ounces vodka
- 1 ounce lime juice
- 1/2 cup ginger beer
- 1 piece candied ginger
- Put the cucumber, 8 blueberries and mint leaves in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Muddle until crushed and juicy. Add a handful of ice, vodka and lime. Cover shaker and shake for about 15 seconds, until the shaker develops a nice coat of condensation on the outside.
- Fill a Moscow Mule mug with ice. Strain the liquid from the shaker into the mug. Top with ginger beer and 4 blueberries. Thread 4 more blueberries and a piece of candied ginger onto a toothpick. Garnish with a sprig of mint and the toothpick of berries and ginger.
APPLE CIDER MOSCOW MULES
- 2 ounces ginger-flavored vodka
- 2 ounces apple cider
- Juice of 1 small lime wedge
- Good quality ginger beer to top off (about ½ cup)
- Powdered cinnamon to sprinkle
- Apple slice (garnish)
- Cinnamon stick (garnish)
- In a copper mug, add the vodka, apple cider and lime juice.
- Fill the glass with ice, sprinkle cinnamon over the ice, then top off with ginger beer.
- Stir well and garnish with an apple slice and cinnamon stick.
WATERMELON MOSCOW MULE
- Several chunks of fresh watermelon, cut off the rind (enough to produce 2 shots of juice)
- 1 shot vodka
- ½ shot ginger liqueur (I use Domaine de Canton)
- ½ sm. lime, juiced
- 1 can/bottle ginger beer
- Place watermelon chunks to a blender and blend until watermelon is pureed.*
- Strain over fine mesh strainer into container. Save juice, discard pulp.
- Combine watermelon juice, vodka, ginger liqueur and lime juice in cocktail shaker filled with ice.
- Shake well.
- Strain into tall glass filled with ice.
- Top with ginger beer.
*You can muddle a few chunks of watermelon in the bottom of glass if you prefer not to make watermelon juice.
STRAWBERRY MOSCOW MULE
Strawberry Moscow Mules are fruity and sweet with a little spice from the ginger beer.
yields 2 drinks
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 3 ounces vodka
- 1 bottle ginger beer (9oz)
Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar.
Add strawberries to saucepan. Mash strawberries with a fork and let mixture simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and let cool.
Pour mixture through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl and press on mixture with a rubber spatula to remove all of the liquid.
Add 1/2 cup of the strawberry mixture to a pitcher, along with lime juice and vodka.
Add ginger beer and stir.
Pour into copper mugs with ice.