Skip the alcohol and make a Virgin Moscow Mule This ginger beer and lime drink normally contains vodka or another spirit, but is just as tasty without the booze.
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Virgin Moscow Mule recipe
Summer mocktails aren’t all Shirley Temples!
With the addition of zero-proof spirits on the market, it’s easy to turn classic cocktails into mocktails, and they will just as easily be some of your favorite drinks.
Take the Moscow Mule for example. It’s a seriously delicious cocktail made with ginger beer and lime juice.
This drink typically calls for vodka (which hails from Russia, hence the name), but it can easily be made without it. You can use a zero-proof spirit or you can omit the alcohol entirely.
Why you’ll love this recipe
You’re going to love this Virgin Moscow Mule mocktail, and here’s why:
- The Virgin Mule is very easy to make with just two or three ingredients.
- Even though it’s a non-alcoholic drink, it tastes like the real thing — you won’t miss the booze at all!
- This drink is super refreshing for summer, but you can customize it for other seasons as well.
You can serve this virgin mule recipe anytime you are craving a cocktail but don’t want to drink. It’s a great recipe to have in your back pocket when you have a non-drinker at a party.
Virgin cocktails are especially fun to serve at a baby shower where it might not be so nice to drink around the parent-to-be!
What is a Moscow Mule?
This Virgin Moscow Mule is based on the classic Moscow mule recipe, which is an easy-to-make, 3-ingredient cocktail.
The mule is also a very versatile drink because you can make it lots of different ways, even when you’re not adding alcohol. Here’s how:
- You can experiment with flavor. Try adding fruit flavors with juices or simple syrup. The pear mule, the apple cider mule and the cranberry mule are some of my favorites I’ve made.
- You can switch up the main spirit. When using a zero-proof spirit, you can still bring in the flavors of different types of booze. For example, with a tequila alternative, you can make a non-alcoholic mezcal mule.
See the section called Variations down below for more ideas on how to mix up the Virgin Mule.
Ways to make a Moscow Mule non-alcoholic
There are two main ways to make this virgin version of the Moscow mule without alcohol.
- Substitute the alcohol. There are tons of alcohol-free “spirits” on the market these days. They’re essentially concentrated liquids that don’t contain any trace of alcohol, but they bring in similar flavors. You can use them in place of vodka in this versatile cocktail. Or, if you like, you can add fruit juices, bitters, tea or a flavored simple syrup to the mix to gain more complex flavors.
- Omit the alcohol entirely. Ginger beer and lime juice are a perfect match, and you won’t miss the booze!
Either way is a great way, so you really can’t go wrong here.
You only need a few simple ingredients to make this delicious drink.
Alternatives to vodka
There are a few ways you can replace the vodka in the Moscow Mule and still end up with a tasty cocktail.
- Zero-proof alcohol: My favorite for a drink most similar to the vodka Moscow mule is this Ritual gin alternative. (Gin is really just herb-infused vodka!) You could also try Seedlip Spice 92 or Lyre’s Dry London Spirit.
- Fruit: Try adding a splash of puree or juice to your mule to bring in some fresh flavor.
- Simple syrup: A half ounce of simple syrup will add lots of flavor to the drink. Try cinnamon, mint or rosemary syrup, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
- Tea: Brewing a pot of tea (or using iced tea) is a flavorful way to replace the vodka.
Something else you can try is adding a few drops of bitters, no matter which method you use. Bitters have a strong scent and come in a range of flavors. However, most bitters do contain alcohol, which may or may not appeal depending on the reason you’re going for a mocktail.
Fresh citrus juice is the perfect complement for this ginger beer mocktail.
I always recommend fresh lime juice if you have it on hand, but feel free to use a good quality lime concentrate.
To get more juice out of fresh limes, use room-temperature citrus. Here are some of my favorite juicers:
Ginger beer is a fizzy, non-alcoholic beverage made from fermented ginger.
When it comes to ginger beer, there is wide a range of options that comes down to the strength of the ginger flavor. Check out my list of the best brands of ginger beer to help you decide on a spice level that’s right for you.
Personally, I prefer the flavor of a spicy ginger beer, which has more of a zing of ginger, but you can go sweeter here if you like. My favorite ginger beers are Fentiman’s, Bundaberg and Reed’s.
Ginger ale is a ginger-flavored soda and is much sweeter than ginger beer. However, you can make a mule with ginger ale if you prefer or if you don’t have ginger beer on hand.
One thing to note: Though ginger beer is typically non-alcoholic, you will sometimes see “hard ginger beer” on the market (usually in the beer section). Be sure to avoid this type for a virgin cocktail and make sure you are buying non-alcoholic ginger beer.
How to make a Virgin Moscow Mule
I love that you can order non-alcoholic spirits online; since they don’t contain any booze, they are much easier to ship around the country!
If you don’t have non-alcoholic spirits on hand, you can still make a Virgin Mule cocktail.
Here’s how I make my virgin mules:
- First, fill a copper cup or rocks glass with ice. I like to use crushed ice but you can use regular ice cubes.
- Add lime juice. (Use fresh juice if possible.)
- Add either 1 ounce zero-proof alcohol, tea, fruit juice or purée; or ½ ounce simple syrup. You can also skip this step and jump to the next one.
- Top with ginger beer. Stir gently. Garnish with a lime wedge. (You can also make lime wheels, which are thin slices of lime.
Then drink up, and enjoy!
Variations and substitutions
There are a few ways you can adjust this virgin drink to make it your own:
Use diet soda: Feel free to use diet ginger beer if you’d like a lighter option with less sugar content. You can also use half ginger beer and half club soda.
More mocktail recipes
If you loved this non-alcoholic Moscow Mule, check out these other alcohol-free mocktails that are perfect for summertime:
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- ½ ounce lime juice
- 2 ounces zero-proof spirit alternative, tea, fruit juice/purée OR ½ simple syrup
- 4 to 6 ounces ginger beer
- Fill a copper cup or rocks glass with ice.
- Add lime juice.
- Add one of the following: 1½ ounce zero-proof alcohol, tea, fruit juice or purée; or ½ ounce simple syrup. You may omit this step and jump to the next one.
- Top with ginger beer. Stir gently.
- Garnish with a lime wedge.
Try one of these variations to make this mule your own:
- Use diet soda: Feel free to use diet ginger beer if you’d like a lighter option with less sugar content. You can also use half ginger beer and half club soda.
- Spicy Virgin Mule: Use jalapeño simple syrup to make a non-alcoholic version of this jalapeño mule.
- Virgin Kentucky Mule: Use iced tea or a strong-tasting zero-proof whiskey alternative to bring in the flavor of bourbon.
- Virgin Gin-Gin Mule: A fragrant zero-proof gin alternative will bring oodles of herbal flavor.
- Virgin Dark & Stormy: For this classic spin on the mule, the iced tea or a zero-proof rum alternative work well.
- Virgin Mexican Mule: Use a smoky flavored zero-proof tequila alternative for this mule variation.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 6 ounces
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 97Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 14mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 0gSugar: 24gProtein: 0g