Classic Moscow Mule Cocktail Recipe

A Moscow mule with an extra kick of fresh ginger is a refreshing cocktail that can lift you up on a hot summer day or provide a warming spiciness in the cold. Multi-faceted yet deceptively simple, this cocktail has been a favorite since the 1940s and is still a crowd-pleaser today.

According to Ksenia Prints of At the Immigrant's Table, the story of the Moscow mule is an American tale of immigration, entrepreneurship, and achieving one's dream. The cocktail was invented in the 1940s by Russian immigrant Sophie Berezinski and business owners John Martin and Jack Morgan as a marketing effort to sell their respective products: copper mugs, Smirnoff vodka, and ginger beer. As you may have guessed, the cocktail features vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice and is served in a copper mug. The libation quickly became popular and remains a staple in bars today.

The combination of vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice creates a tangy and slightly spicy flavor that is perfect for any occasion. So, let's mix up a classic Moscow mule with an extra ginger twist that will have you feeling refreshed and satisfied.

Gather the ingredients for a classic Moscow mule

Besides the base ingredients of vodka, ginger beer (you could even make your own), and lime juice, this Moscow mule also includes ice cubes, fresh ginger for an extra kick, and lime wedges and fresh mint sprigs for garnish.

Mix up the cocktail

Making a Moscow mule is easy. First, grab a copper mug and pour in the vodka. Next, add a few ice cubes to the mug to chill the drink. Next, squeeze in the lime juice and top the drink with ginger beer — that's it.

The ingredients are few but important. Vodka provides the alcoholic base for the cocktail, the lime juice adds a tangy flavor, and the ginger beer gives the drink its signature spicy kick. The real hero, however, is the copper mug: This signature vessel provides the drink with its frosty appearance, keeping it cool and fresh while enabling you to hold onto the handle rather than warming up the mug with your hands. It's the real secret behind the mule, and we suggest you stick to it!

Grate in the ginger

If you want to take your classic Moscow mule to the next level, add some fresh ginger to the mix. Use a Microplane to grate just a touch of ginger directly into the copper mug, then stir. This step kicks up the spice a few notches, giving the drink more fragrance and character.

Garnish and serve your classic Moscow mule

Once your Moscow mule is mixed and ready to go, it's time to add some finishing touches. Garnish the rim of glass with slices of fresh ginger and lime wedges, then add a sprig of fresh mint to the drink. The garnishes not only add aroma but also make for a beautiful presentation.

Now that you've mastered the art of making a classic Moscow mule, it's time to enjoy your creation. Perfect for any occasion, from winter parties to warm summer evenings, this cocktail is best enjoyed immediately before it loses its fizz and chill. Feel free to serve your tingle-inducing mule with a side of salty snacks, such as popcorn or our spiced nuts recipe, to balance out the spicy flavors of the cocktail. You could even pair it with a light salad or grilled chicken dish for a sophisticated dinner.

Classic Moscow Mule Cocktail Recipe
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If your favorite part about a Moscow mule is the zingy ginger beer, you'll love this classic cocktail recipe with an extra ginger kick.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Moscow mule with mint
Total time: 5 minutes
  • 1 ½ fluid ounces vodka
  • Ice cubes, as needed
  • ½ fluid ounce lime juice
  • ½ cup ginger beer
  • 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, plus more for garnish
  • Lime wedges, for garnish
  • Fresh mint sprig, for garnish
  1. Pour the vodka into a copper mug, followed by the ice cubes, and stir to chill.
  2. Add the lime juice and top with ginger beer.
  3. Grate as much ginger as desired into the mug, and stir to combine.
  4. Garnish the glass with slices of ginger, lime wedges, and fresh mint. Serve immediately.
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