Minnesota Moscow Mule
A Moscow Mule perfected by a Minnesota bartender. A few sweet surprises make this East-meets-West cocktail-in-a-copper-cup extra special!
Despite my extensive personal training in the area of mixology (aka Bartending School at a local community college), this particular recipe is a gift from my dear friend Josh. Josh is married to my best friend Jessi who has shared many recipes with me over the years including this cake, this pasta, and this soup. Jessi and Josh live in Minnesota (my 3rd home, first being LA, second being Milwaukee), thus the clever recipe name.
I asked Jessi how this special cocktail came about and she told the following story:
“This drink was born out of a date during the harsh winter of 2015 when a bartender wouldn’t confess his recipe. The cocktail was delicious – Josh regretted that he had not ordered it like his wife.”
The Minnesota Moscow Mule
And so Josh set out on a mission to crack the code. Nay – develop a Moscow Mule even BETTER than the one his wife had enjoyed that fateful night. The typical Moscow Mule is made with premium vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice. This recipe starts with those ingredients, then elevates the cocktail experience with additional unique flavors including orange bitters, powdered sugar, and crystallized ginger. When they are mixed together, the results are sweet, spicy, and fizzy all at once. I could absolutely drink a Minnesota Moscow Mule everyday. They are really that good!
The Best Ingredients
Quality ingredients are critical with this cocktail. Seek out Angostura Orange Bitters (NOT aromatic bitters). I could not find them locally and had to buy them online. Reed’s Extra Ginger Beer is also required. You can find it at Trader Joe’s, specialty grocery stores, or online. Crystallized ginger, also known as candied ginger, is widely available in stores. It keeps indefinitely (I store mine in the freezer), and you can also use it for these cookies. I like the Trader Joe’s brand.
Don’t forget the copper mug! Josh likes to pour his Minnesota Moscow Mules into a lowball glass to enjoy the color and fizz, but traditionally a Moscow Mule is served in a copper mug. Look for one that is 100% copper, not copper plated and not with a lacquer lining. Apparently there is some sort of reaction that happens with the lime juice and the copper which changes the flavor profile of the drink entirely, in a good way, and it won’t happen if you use a cheap copper cup. So. Go big or go home: Get the real deal or just use a glass. The drink will be delicious either way.
Josh, I’ll let you know if the Kremlin calls. I’m sure they’ll be very impressed with your work!
Minnesota Moscow Mule
- 8 ounces Reed's Extra Ginger Beer
- 4½ ounces premium vodka
- 1½ ounces club soda
- 1 ounce fresh lime juice
- ¼ tsp Angostura Orange Bitters
- 1 tsp powdered sugar
- Crystallized ginger, lime slices, and/or fresh mint for garnish
- Fill a large cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Pour ginger beer, vodka, club soda, lime juice, and orange bitters into the shaker.
- Gently stir in powdered sugar, being careful not to disrupt the carbonation (do not shake).
- Strain into two copper mugs or lowball glasses filled with ice.
- Garnish with a skewer of crystallized ginger, lime slices, or fresh mint as desired.
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