Marisa Chafetz / Supercall

Entertaining
Moscow Mules with a Springtime Twist

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The Moscow Mule is beloved for its sweet-spicy flavor, attractive copper mug and insane, stunt-like mutations. While the classic is damn near perfect the way it is, we like to play around with the original recipe to find fun new ways of drinking the vodka cocktail—or eating it (here’s looking at you, Moscow Mule Jello Shots). And that urge to put a spin on the gingery drink gets stronger and stronger as the seasons change. Lucky for us, we’re not alone in our spritzy ambitions.

With the big thaw on the horizon, the brown root vegetables at farmers market stalls are joined by leafy greens, bright berries and blooming flowers. All that fresh produce inspired three bartenders—and one chef—to use springtime flavors in their unique twists on the darling Mule. Whip up one of these variations, and get your fix of liquid sunshine.

Marisa Chafetz / Supercall
The original Moscow Mule isn’t so strong that it’ll knock you off your feet. But if you’re looking for an all-day sipper that won’t get you too tipsy, this Italian twist on the classic is your new day drinking go-to. You might not think of amaro as being particularly light or springy, but when mixed in just the right way, the bitter liqueurs can be used to create a gorgeous garden-ready cocktail. "Both Dimmi and Amaro Montenegro have subtle floral notes that, when combined, create a really beautiful complex aroma without being perfume," says David Kravitz, beverage director of The Smith in NYC. "The lemon brightens the whole drink and balances the heat of our fresh, house-made ginger beer." Get to know the flavors of these two amari, then experiment with your own combinations to create your own signature twist on the drink. However you mix it, be sure to use a high-quality ginger beer for the best possible version of the cocktail.

The Essentials

Dimmi Liquore di Milano
Amaro Montenegro
ginger beer
Marisa Chafetz / Supercall
This spritzy, sparkling punch has everything we look for in a refreshing, warm-weather sipper: a little booze, a splash of bright lemon juice, and lots of fresh fruits and herbs. But as a Moscow Mule variation, you might notice it’s missing one very important ingredient—ginger beer. According to the drink’s creator, the strongly spicy mixer just isn’t necessary in this case. “When I look at ginger beer, I see two things: a sharp acidity from the ginger and the effervescence from carbonation,” says Chris Caldwell, beverage manager at La Cantera Resort & Spa. “I knew that Champagne mimicked those two components, so that’s why I replaced ginger beer with Moet Ice.” If you find ginger beer to be overpowering, this easy-drinking “Mule” punch is the perfect thing to whip up for your next garden party or poolside soiree. The recipe serves four to five, so feel free to double (or even triple) it if you’re expecting more than a few guests.

The Essentials

vodka
Pimm's
champagne
Marisa Chafetz / Supercall
Fresh fruit is the star of this refreshing Mule, which uses mezcal and Midori in place of the usual vodka. For Jose Velasquez, executive chef at the Monterey Tides hotel, it’s a sunny reminder of home. "This Berry Mezcal Mule was inspired by my Mexican roots, growing up in the agave fields, visiting the state of Oaxaca where they make the best mezcal, and living in the beautiful central coast of our great state of California—where fresh, colorful, sweet and juicy berries are in abundance during spring,” he says. Oaxaca and California collide in the recipe, with a smoky, fruity flavor that gets a touch of heat from homemade jalapeño-infused simple syrup. And don’t think we forgot about the Midori—don’t worry, the neon green liqueur is there for a reason. “The Midori goes well with the smokiness of the mezcal and adds fruitiness, which reflects spring,” Velasquez says. This Mule’s beautiful looks are only rivaled by it’s fresh flavor, so be sure to buy the most in-season berries possible when making it at home.

The Essentials

Midori
mezcal
ginger beer
Marisa Chafetz / Supercall
This sunny, Cali-inspired Mule “provides a Los Angeles experience with a refreshing vibe,” says bartender Kyle Moloney of Terranea hotel in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. Whiskey and maraschino liqueur replace the vodka in his take on the classic, giving it a deeper, rounder flavor—perfect for Moscow Mule skeptics who need a solid gateway to the cocktail. Sweet pineapple juice gives it a tropical tinge, and ginger beer adds the signature spice that makes this cocktail an absolute flavor bomb. Always use fresh pineapple juice if possible, but the canned stuff will work in a pinch. If you can’t find marigolds, garnish with whatever edible flower you see fit.

The Essentials

whiskey
Pineapple juice
ginger beer

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