Make a Mezcal Mule, a Mexican-style version of a Moscow Mule. Made with ginger beer and lime, this smoky cocktail is perfect for fans of mezcal.
Mezcal is one of my favorite additions to my bar. Yours too?
This smoky spirit is delicious on so many levels, and you’re going to want to try this incredible and easy mezcal cocktail that’s based on the Moscow mule.
It’s a great drink for taco night or Cinco de Mayo, especially if you’re up for something other than a margarita.
What is a Moscow Mule?
Named for vodka’s Russian origin, the classic Moscow mule cocktail is a vodka-based drink made with ginger beer and lime juice. This cocktail dates back to the 1940s but has seen a revitalization in the last decade and is easily one of the most popular cocktail recipes.
What’s so great about the Moscow mule is that there are tons of variations. Most often, the mule is switched up with either:
- a spirit other than vodka (like rum or bourbon),
- or the addition of another flavor through the addition of juice or flavored simple syrup.
For example, the Kentucky Mule is made with bourbon and the Yule Mule has cranberry juice added.
Moscow mules are traditionally served in a copper mug called “mule mugs” and garnished with a lime wedge. The mugs keep the drink ice cold and utterly refreshing.
Mezcal Mule recipe
The Mezcal mule is a classic Moscow mule made with mezcal instead of vodka.
If it’s made with tequila, it’s usually called a Mexican Mule. Technically, tequila is a type of mezcal so a Mexican mule is a Mezcal mule too.
Confused yet? Let’s dive into what goes into the mezcal mule cocktail recipe.
You only need three ingredients for a mezcal mule. Here’s what to grab at the grocery store:
Mezcal (or tequila)
With just a hint of smoke flavor, mezcal is similar to tequila. In fact, tequila is a type of mezcal, not the other way around.
However, not all tequilas are mezcals! Tequilas is made in a few specific regions of Mexico and must be made from only the blue agave plant. Mezcals can be made from a number of different agave plants.
As far as flavor, mezcals can have a smokier flavor thanks to the roasted agaves it’s made from. The smoky flavor can range from subtle to smoke alarm, so take your time finding a brand you like.
My favorite brands right now are Del Maguey, Montelobos and Casamigos, but there are lots more out there. grab a bottle next time you’re at the liquor store.
Zingy lime juice is what balances out the booze and bite of ginger in a Moscow mule.
For a fresher taste, use a fresh lime — one half a lime per cocktail. The store-bought stuff will work fine in a pinch though!
I like a spicier ginger beer, which means it has more of a zing of ginger, but you can go sweeter here if you like. Check out my list of the best brands of ginger beer to help you decide on a spice level that’s right for you.
Ginger beer is a fermented ginger soda and, even though it has the name “beer,” it is non-alcoholic. I taste-tested all the brands of ginger beer I could find and ranked them by spice level. If you want to use ginger ale, feel free but your cocktail may be a bit on the sweeter side.
How to make a mezcal mule
You can pull off this easy mezcal mule cocktail in just a few steps. With its smoky quality, I’m certain it will soon be one of your favorite cocktails!
First, take your copper mule mug and fill it with your ice, crushed or cubes.
Add your mezcal.
Top with lime juice. If you’re using a fresh lime, you can drop in the spent shell. The zest of the lime will add extra citrus bite as the drink infuses.
To finish, top with ginger beer. Garnish with a lime wedge, and serve alongside tacos, guacamole or salsa.
Variations and substitutions
Make it sweeter. If you’d like, add a touch of agave syrup (AKA agave nectar) to your mule.
Switch up the citrus. Try adding lemon, orange, grapefruit or blood orange to switch up the sour addition to this drink. I bet you’ll make some pleasant discoveries.
Make it non-alcoholic. Use Ritual tequila alternative to try a version of this cocktail without booze. If you have it, add a 1-2 drops of liquid smoke to give this drink a tad more smoky flavor.
More mule recipes
Because it is so versatile, you can make a ton of mule variations with many different spirits to enjoy different flavors:
Take a trip to France and enjoy a French mule with cognac. Or enjoy a Czech Mule, made with Becherovka or absinthe.
Depending on where your gin is from, a gin-gin mule could be another type of French mule or you can call it an English mule!
But not all mule cocktails follow this nomenclature. The dark & stormy is the name for the mule made with rum!
Make a Moscow Mule with smoky mezcal for a delicious twist on the classic.
- crushed ice
- 2 ounces mezcal
- 3/4 ounce (1 1/2 tablespoons) lime juice
- 4 ounces ginger beer
- lime wheel or lime wedge for garnish
- Fill a copper mule mug with crushed ice. Top with mezcal, lime juice and ginger beer. Garnish with a lime wheel.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 287Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 119mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 0gSugar: 37gProtein: 0g
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