Yes, I’m aware a mule is not an ass, but the title was too hard to pass up.
This drink is a classic, year-round win. With it’s mix of vodka, lime and ginger beer, it provides a spicy kick for the frigid months and a cooling feel for the warm ones.
Let’s throw down a quick history lesson for you all. Never cared for history? Consider this: understanding the beginnings of a drink will not only give you a greater appreciation for it, but also allow you to commit it to memory effectively. More importantly, dishing out this knowledge will give you something to talk about as you’re creating this cocktail – remember, you’re pouring an experience, not just a drink, so make it memorable for your guests.
This cocktail was created in the early 1940’s by two guys desperate to sell their products: 1) Jack Morgan, who owned Cock ‘n’ Bull Tavern in Los Angeles and 2) John Martin from the Heublein company, an American producer of alcohol products. Morgan had a surplus of ginger beer, and Heublein was seeking ways to market a company it recently acquired – Smirnoff vodka. As I mentioned above, the primary ingredients in a Moscow Mule are ginger beer and vodka. So, yea – it’s that easy to convince the public that they need to drink more.
- The Mug: We usually don’t list the glassware as an ingredient, but I highly recommend a copper mug for creating the right experience. You can pick one up here or elsewhere, but please – try not to steal one. I’m looking at you, D.C.
- Ginger beer: For those who have never indulged, no, this isn’t actually beer. Think of it as ginger ale on steroids. The one I see at most grocery stores is Reed’s, but it’s a bit weak for this drink in my opinion. One I’ve recently been impressed with is Fever Tree. Their website boasts that their products are used in “7 out of the top 10 restaurants in the world”. While I have no way to verify this, I believe it. You’ll likely have difficulty finding this in stores, but you can pick up a 24 pack on amazon for $30 bucks.
- Lime: A couple of these should do.
- Vodka: Use something decent. My current favorite is Tito’s Vodka.
- Fill the copper mug with ice.
- Add 2 oz vodka.
- Squeeze a lemon wedge into the mug.
- Fill with ginger beer.
- Add a lemon wedge for garnish.
Take a sip. It’s that easy, and that good.
Once you got this down, switch out the vodka or ginger beer to produce some different flavors. Love ginger so much you eat it like an apple? Mix your Moscow Mule with this ginger beer and try taking a sip without coughing. Not a vodka fan? Switch it out for some bourbon and you got yourself a Kentucky Mule.