sip in style: the moscow mule cocktail

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the moscow mule is an amazing drink with an unusual name. which, by the way, has little to do with moscow or mules. or maybe it does! the name may have come from its kick, much like a stubborn mule. but why moscow? that could be to mark the birthplace of vodka, which is present in the drink.

regardless of the naming riddle, there’s no doubt about the deliciousness of this cocktail. and if that’s what you’re keen on recreating in the comfort of your home – you’ve landed in the right spot. we’re excited to share the moscow mule recipe that’s super simple.

what is moscow mule cocktail?

before getting to the moscow mule cocktail recipe let’s acquaint you with the drink. this american gem, created in the 1940s, is made of vodka, lime juice and ginger beer. this is when vodka was not popular with the americans.

the popularity of vodka in the us seems like ancient history but it's more recent than one might imagine. back in the day, a russian named rudolph kunett made vodka (smirnoff brand) in connecticut but was barely scraping by and by 1939, he was almost broke and desperate. so, he sold smirnoff to john martin of g.f. heublein & bros. well…that didn’t do anything to improve the popularity of the drink.

the turning point was the moscow mule cocktail – the drink that saved the smirnoff brand and vodka from being forgotten long before james bond sipped his first vodka martini on-screen. the drink became immensely popular and the copper mug it was served in, added to its charm.

step-by-step moscow mule recipe

creating a moscow mule cocktail recipe is a breeze – just mix vodka, ginger beer and fresh lime juice. no fancy tools needed! let’s learn the art of making this drink with this moscow mule recipe that stays true to its refreshing essence and simplicity.


Total Servings:-



Preparation Time:-

5 Minutes


Cooking Times:-

0 minutes


Nutritional Value:-

155 calories, 0g fat, 12g carbs, 0g protein


Recipe Category:-






  • copper mugs
  • jigger
  • stirring rod


  • 100 ml vodka
  • 240 ml ginger beer
  • 30 ml lime
  • lime wheel (garnish)
  • ice cubes

notes on ingredients:

  • vodka: the right vodka can enhance the overall taste of your moscow mule cocktail, but you don't need the fanciest bottle on the shelf, just the one you like. if you’re not sure, here’re some that you can choose from – 78 degrees distillery, underground spirits, seacliff vodka and manly spirits.
  • ginger beer: it may not seem so, but a good ginger beer is crucial for your moscow mule cocktail recipe. it can improve the taste of your cocktail, so, always go for those known for quality. you must choose a ginger beer with a spicy kick like the bundaberg ginger beer. remember – the quality of ginger beer is more important than that of vodka, which can be any of your preferred ones.
  • lime: fresh lime juice is key for that vibrant citrusy flavour. don't skimp on this – it makes a noticeable difference.

note on copper mug:

moscow mule cocktails are best served chilled in copper mugs, not because copper makes the drink colder, but due to its amazing conductivity. thanks to its conductivity, the drink feels colder as it spreads the chill across the mug.

however, it’s not mandatory to use copper mugs and you can always swap them with those made of any other metal (for similar chilled vibes) or even a regular cocktail glass.

if you prefer the traditional style, grab the copper mugs that are food-safe – they skip the copper on the inside to prevent any leaching that could make your drink acidic and affect your health.


gather your tools: for this moscow mule cocktail recipe, you'll need two mugs, a jigger for measuring and a stirring rod or spoon.

fill the mugs with ice: drop a generous amount of ice into each mug (they can be copper mugs, as used traditionally, or any other.

pour the vodka: measure out your chosen vodka using the jigger and carefully pour an equal amount into each mug.

squeeze the lime: cut a fresh lime and squeeze the juice into a separate container, ensuring no seeds make their way into your moscow mule cocktail. you'll need about 30 ml of lime juice for two servings – distribute it evenly between the two mugs.

top with ginger beer: now, for the star of the drink. pour the ginger beer over the vodka and lime juice in each mug.

give it a stir: grab your stirring rod or spoon and gently mix the cocktail. this ensures all the flavours blend nicely.

garnish with lime: for that finishing touch, take a lime wheel/wedge and place it on the rim of each mug.

variations and flavour twists

enjoy the uncomplicated pleasures of moscow mule recipe variations! they're super simple and take just a few minutes to make at home.

  • you can infuse a summery vibe into your moscow mule cocktail with the grilled pineapple version. this tantalising combination of spicy and sweet promises the perfect summer sip, transporting you to cocktail bliss.
  • for a berry burst, why not toss in some fresh raspberries and craft a raspberry moscow mule? the addition of these juicy berries creates an outstanding flavour profile of the iconic cocktail, and you can experience a whole new level of refreshment.
  • alternatively, you can infuse the bold flavours of plump and fresh blackberries in the mix and create the blackberry moscow mule – another amazing variation of the classic.
  • if you're up for more excitement, consider a cucumber moscow mule. this refreshing twist combines crisp cucumber with the classic ingredients, creating a cool and invigorating drink.
  • you can even swap the standard vodka with a flavoured one like apple cinnamon vodka or completely replace it with whisky, rum, gin or tequila. each one creates a nice flavour in the cocktail.

these moscow mule variations invite you to experiment with diverse flavours, turning a simple cocktail into multiple of drinks.

serving tips and etiquette

our guide on moscow mule cocktails isn't complete without these serving tips and etiquette. it’s all about amping up the fun and joy of your drink. so here goes:

  • chuck the cocktail in a chilled copper mug, if you can, as it makes a lot of difference to the way you experience the cocktail. the metal’s excellent conductivity enhances the refreshing chill of the cocktail.
  • when pouring, leave a bit of room at the top. this allows the ginger beer to fizz and mingle with the other flavours.
  • spruce up the presentation a bit by tossing in a lime wedge or placing it on the rim. it's a little touch that adds some citrusy flavour to every sip.
  • moscow mule is a versatile drink, so you can always get creative and craft its variations for your guests. don’t feel confined to just the classic version.


created in the 1940s, the moscow mule cocktail has not just stood the test of time but has grown in popularity over the years. its creators likely never imagined that an impromptu mix of vodka, ginger beer and lime in a copper mug would become a global sensation.

this sensational drink can be enjoyed in its classic form or as any of the vast variations. whichever style you prefer, this cocktail seamlessly transitions from laid-back gatherings to upscale parties. what’s even better? making this iconic drink is remarkably easy, requiring minimal effort.

here's to the moscow mule cocktail recipe – a journey from los angeles inception to worldwide cocktail sensation.  

faqs on mule cocktail

q. what is the typical alcohol content in a moscow mule?

a. the alcoholic strength of the drink is comparable to a glass of wine, as the alcohol content in it is around 10-15% abv (alcohol by volume). the main contributors to this percentage are the vodka and ginger beer. it's a moderately strong cocktail that remains refreshing, making it a popular choice for various occasions.

q. can i enjoy a moscow mule without alcohol?

a. you can enjoy a moscow mule without alcohol by preparing a non-alcoholic version. to make that, replace the vodka with club soda and go for non-alcoholic ginger beer. this alcohol-free version retains the classic flavours – zesty lime and spicy ginger, ensuring a refreshing experience without the alcoholic kick.

q. can i make a batch of mule cocktails for a party? can do that effortlessly – to make a batch of moscow mule cocktails for a party, mix together vodka and lime juice in a large container and refrigerate it. when serving, mix in the ginger beer and pour over ice in individual glasses. then garnish with lime wedges. it's an easy cocktail option for parties.

q. are there any special traditions associated with moscow mule cocktail?

a. moscow mule has a unique tradition – though not rooted in history, it’s cool and fun. the drink is usually served in a special copper mug because it makes the drink feel colder. additionally, the mug adds a touch of visual delight and improves the overall presentation of the cocktail.


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