Discover the secret ingredients to the Best Moscow Mule you’ve ever tasted! Developed by a bartender friend in Minnesota, this mule is miles ahead the rest of the pack and perfect for your next happy hour.

The best Moscow mule in two copper mugs with copper straws.

The recipe for this cocktail comes straight from Moscow, with a short pitstop in Minnesota. It was developed by Josh, a close friend of mine, who sought to replicate a Moscow Mule that his wife ordered at a bar in Minneapolis. Josh regretted not ordering one for himself, and perhaps that’s what fueled his quest to make it at home. I know Jess thinks so. :)

Recipe ingredients:

Labeled Moscow mule ingredients.

Ingredient notes:

  • Ginger beer: Reed’s Extra Ginger Beer is the gold standard. It can be found at well stocked specialty stores, Trader Joe’s, or online. However, if you have your own favorite ginger beer, feel free to use that.
  • Angostura Orange Bitters: Crucial ingredient! Look for the orange bitters, not the standard aromatic bitters.
  • Powdered sugar: Powdered sugar dissolves easily in the drink and makes things just a touch sweeter. Leave it out if you prefer, but it does make a difference.
  • Crystalized ginger: Candied ginger, especially the kind sold by the bag at Trader Joe’s, makes a spicy-sweet garnish you’ll love. Use a lime wedge or fresh mint sprig if you don’t have it (or even if you do!).

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Find a large cocktail shaker and fill it halfway with ice. Pour in the vodka, ginger beer, soda, lime juice, and the orange bitters into the shaker.Liquor being poured into a martini shaker.
  2. Then, ever so gently, stir in the powdered sugar. Stir, don’t shake, so that you don’t burst those bubbles. Strain the drink into the ice-filled copper mugs, and garnish with a slice of candied ginger and a wedge of lime. Cheers!

Recipe tips and variations:

  • Why the copper mug: Enjoying chilled drinks in copper cups offer a super-cool sensation because the metal takes on the cold temperature of the drink quicker than glass. That frozen sensation feels good on your lips! Also, icy cold copper can increase the amount of bubbles in the carbonated ginger beer, making things extra fizzy. Here are the copper mugs shown in the photos (Culinary Hill may earn money if you buy through this link).
  • Shopping for copper barware: Don’t worry about a Moscow Mule mug poisoning you. Most copper cups on the market are lined with steel or nickel, so the acidity of the drink won’t interact with the metal and leach into your lovely cocktail. Some vintage mugs are even made out of anodized aluminum. When shopping, look for sturdy mugs that are lined and food safe. There are lots of good options out there, even gorgeous hammered copper ones.
  • Virgin mule: Skip the vodka and make this drink as-is for the non-imbiber in your life; they’ll love it.
  • Make ahead: This cocktail should be “built” in the glass, exactly when you need it. Otherwise, the fizz will fade and the drink will lose its magic. But you can squeeze the limes and have everything chilled and ready to go beforehand and things will go smoothly.
  • No mug: If you don’t have a copper mug, just serve the drink in a glass; it will still be amazing. This particular recipe looks better in a glass because you can admire the layers of the drink.

Two Moscow mules in clear glasses next to a cocktail shaker.

More cocktails to try:

The best Moscow mule in a copper mug with a lime.

The Best Moscow Mule

Discover the secret ingredients to the Best Moscow Mule you’ve ever tasted! Developed by a bartender friend in Minnesota, this mule is miles ahead the rest of the pack and perfect for your next happy hour.
5 from 12 votes
Prep Time 1 min
Total Time 1 min
Servings 2 servings
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Calories 197

Ingredients 

  • 8 ounces ginger beer preferably Reed's Extra (see note 1)
  • ounces vodka
  • ounces club soda
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • ¼ tsp Angostura Orange Bitters (see note 2)
  • 1 tsp powdered sugar (see note 3)
  • Crystallized ginger lime slices, or fresh mint, for garnish (see note 4)

Instructions 

  • 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.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Ginger beer: Reed’s Extra Ginger Beer is the gold standard. It can be found at well stocked specialty stores, Trader Joe’s, or online. However, if you have your own favorite ginger beer, feel free to use that.
  2. Angostura Orange Bitters: Crucial ingredient! Look for the orange bitters, not the standard aromatic bitters.
  3. Powdered sugar: Powdered sugar dissolves easily in the drink and makes things just a touch sweeter. Leave it out if you prefer, but it does make a difference.
  4. Crystalized ginger: Candied ginger, especially the kind sold by the bag at Trader Joe’s, makes a spicy-sweet garnish you’ll love. Use a lime wedge or fresh mint sprig if you don’t have it (or even if you do!).
  5. Why the copper mug: Enjoying chilled drinks in copper cups offer a super-cool sensation because the metal takes on the cold temperature of the drink quicker than glass. That frozen sensation feels good on your lips! Also, icy cold copper can increase the amount of bubbles in the carbonated ginger beer, making things extra fizzy. Here are the copper mugs shown in the photos (Culinary Hill may earn money if you buy through this link).
  6. Shopping for copper barware: Don't worry about a Moscow Mule mug poisoning you. Most copper cups on the market are lined with steel or nickel, so the acidity of the drink won’t interact with the metal and leach into your lovely cocktail. Some vintage mugs are even made out of anodized aluminum. When shopping, look for sturdy mugs that are lined and food safe. There are lots of good options out there, even gorgeous hammered copper ones.
  7. Virgin mule: Skip the vodka and make this drink as-is for the non-imbiber in your life; they'll love it.
  8. Make ahead: This cocktail should be "built" in the glass, exactly when you need it. Otherwise, the fizz will fade and the drink will lose its magic. But you can squeeze the limes and have everything chilled and ready to go beforehand and things will go smoothly.
  9. No mug: If you don't have a copper mug, just serve the drink in a glass; it will still be amazing. This particular recipe looks better in a glass because you can admire the layers of the drink.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cocktailCalories: 197kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSodium: 13mgSugar: 11gVitamin C: 4mgIron: 1mg
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Meggan Hill

I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

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Comments

  1. First of all…thanks for that copper mug link!! And secondly, these are just gorgeous!! Finally, MN is my second home :)5 stars

  2. I recently bought copper mugs! I can’t wait to try this recipe. I’ve tried regular Moscow Mules before, but I can tell I’m going to LOVE this version! :)5 stars

  3. As a NE Minneapolis resident, I am really curious to learn which bartender inspired this. We have a plethora of amazing cocktail bars in the Twin Cities!5 stars

    1. I wish I could say! He made me promise to keep his identity a secret. Or his wife did, at least. :)

  4. Ooo, I LOVE Moscow mules! So cool that you took a bartender course! That would be a great couples activity!5 stars

    1. I should probably take the course again, Kathleen. I don’t remember a thing. :) But yes, it was super fun at the time!

    1. The copper mugs are so fun, Kim! I want to drink everything out of them now. They keep beverage so cold, it’s amazing!

  5. When I saw this on Google+, I knew I had to come see more! I love this drink but sometimes it’s hard to find ginger beer in Canada. It seems to that it’s becoming popular again so maybe they’ll carry it in more stores. A great drink, Meggan, and gorgeous photos!
    PS. You rock in FBC. Truly appreciate all your hard work to keep such a dynamic group rolling along!5 stars

    1. Thank you so much, Robyn! Great of you to stop by. I am lucky I stumbled across Ginger Beer myself, I didn’t know much about it before making this cocktail. Thanks for the FBC shout-out too. :) Most of the credit goes to Nagi of course. She brought us all together!

  6. You did a bartender course? Seriously? Well then if so I’m very impressed! No wonder you have so many amazing drinks. This sounds like a sort of delicious gingery mochito!5 stars

    1. I did, Helen, but it’s really not all that impressive. Sarcasm must not be translating well on my blog these days, ha ha! It was a course called Mixology and I don’t remember a thing from it. I am lucky to have lovely friends who share their secrets!

  7. I LOVE Moscow Mules. I’d say it was the cup, but it’s actually the drink – I love gingery drinks. I had no idea about the copper reaction though! I love when science is involved! ;)5 stars

    1. You are so coming over for one of these (or two) at the end of May! Bring T. #science #research

  8. I’ve never had a Moscow mule but I’m loving Josh’s recipe. Cheers to the weekend!5 stars

    1. We all need more weekends! I had one of these last night after dinner. It’s totally my new Friday thing. :)

  9. Looks so refreshing Meggan! Love the pictures! So glad your friend shared the recipe with you, I’ve had copper mugs for a long time, but never attempted to make Moscow Mule ! Will try it ! Have a great weekend!5 stars

    1. Thank you so much, Mira! It’s the best way to use a copper mug. :) And it’s a great drink! I don’t necessarily make many cocktails (probably due to lack of know-how) but this one is on my list. Have a great weekend too!