Matthew Kelly / Supercall

Entertaining
9 New Ways to Make a Moscow Mule

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Like Sours or Fizzes, Bucks are one of the oldest drink categories in cocktail history. Also known as Mules, the best known drink of this breed is the iconic copper-mugged Moscow Mule. Made with vodka, fresh lime and a topper of spritzy ginger beer, the Moscow Mule is only one of many classic Bucks. There’s the Dark ‘N’ Stormy, Bourbon Buck, the Ginger Rogers (aka a Gin Buck)—the list goes on, and now it goes on even longer. Ripe for variation, the Mule is a perfect platform for modern interpretations. The only rule: Don’t mess with the ginger beer.

Here, nine great new ways to make a Moscow Mule, from a smoky mezcal version to a rummy, tropical take. There’s a Mule out there for everyone.

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This extra spicy take on a Moscow Mule has enough heat to singe your eyebrows. Made with mezcal instead of vodka, it is smoky, earthy and deliciously herbaceous. Its sweat-inducing heat comes from a combination of piquant green chile liqueur Ancho-Reyes Verde and a topper of extra spicy ginger beer (we like Reed’s). Just be careful not to breathe in too deeply as you drink it—those spicy bubbles go right up your nose.

The Essentials

Mezcal
Ancho Reyes Verde
Ginger Beer
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The only way this Moscow Mule could get any classier is if it was served with a side of caviar. Inspired by the Twentieth Century cocktail, one of the most underrated classic cocktails of all time, this Mule variation mixes the traditional vodka with dry vermouth, fresh lemon juice and white creme de cacao, a decadent chocolate liqueur. While it may sound like a strange combination, chocolate, lemon and ginger are surprisingly incredible together. This luxe drink will soon become your new favorite nightcap.

The Essentials

Vodka
white crème de cacao
Ginger Beer
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If a Moscow Mule donned an Aloha shirt and went on an island vacation, it would be this drink. Made with cucumber-infused vodka and grassy, funky rhum agricole, this spritzy cooler is delightfully vegetal with an almost savory edge. With orange liqueur and orgeat (an almond-milk syrup) for sweetness and depth, it has the heart of a Mai Tai and the soul of a Mule. For an extra fiery punch, use ultra-gingery Bermuda ginger beer Barritt’s as the topper.

The Essentials

Rhum
Orgeat
Ginger Beer
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This darkly fruity cocktail combines the spicy, ginger-fueled effervescence of a Moscow Mule with the zing of a classic, red wine Sangria. In place of the traditional vodka, this Mule variation is spiked with maraschino liqueur, crème de mûre (blackberry liqueur) and, of course, red wine. Opt for jammy, big reds like Merlot or Zinfandel. No matter what season you serve this Mule, you’re guaranteed to win.

The Essentials

Red WIne
Maraschino
Ginger Beer
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This neon-hued take on the Moscow Mule ditches the clean, Russian minimalism of the original for flavors more common south of the border. Created at Stones Throw in Houston, Texas, El Guapo combines piquant ginger beer with a vibrant—in both flavor and color—prickly pear syrup and tequila (the syrup can easily be bought online). The perfect refresher, this lively Highball is destined to be your new cure-all for the summer swelter.

The Essentials

Tequila
Pear Syrup
Ginger beer
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Created by Rick Zouad, at Sushi Seki in New York, this take on the Mule uses myoga, a Japanese ginger, and sudachi, a Japanese citrus, to liven up the classic. Brightly acidic, refreshing and vibrantly spicy, this cocktail is an excellent companion to a variety of foods—especially anything fish-centric like sushi.

The Essentials

vodka
Sudachi juice
Ginger Beer
Matthew Kelly / Supercall
If you’ve ever had a Jungle Bird, you know how amazing Campari tastes mixed with pineapple and dark rum. For the Jungle Mule, we combined the bittersweet goodness of the tropical classic with the effervescent spiciness of a Moscow Mule. Swapping the rum for vodka, the cocktail becomes lighter, more bitter, and downright tropical.

The Essentials

Vodka
Campari
Ginger beer
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At Stoke in Charlotte, North Carolina, the Moscow Mules are served with moonshine instead of vodka. It gives the drink more depth, a subtle corn sweetness and an extra boozy kick (the drink’s potency will sneak up on you if you’re not careful). If you’re a fan of whiskey, but want your Mule to retain the light, freshness of vodka, this take on the classic will satisfy that itch.

The Essentials

moonshine
Fresh Grapefruit Juice
Ginger Beer
Matthew Kelly / Supercall
For those that like their cocktails sweeter, this dessert-tail makes the Moscow Mule taste like a summer pie. Made with bourbon, a homemade blueberry syrup (the fresher the blueberries the better), lemon and ginger beer. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a boozy float and you’ll have the perfect nitecap.

The Essentials

Bourbon
Blueberry Syrup
Ginger Beer

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