Let the White Cranberry Moscow Mule be the star of your holiday celebrations! Made with spiced rum, white cranberry juice, lime juice and ginger beer, this delicious cocktail is sweet, spiced bubbly and oh-so-festive.
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White Cranberry Moscow Mule recipe
‘Tis the season for festive cocktails! Cheers to the holiday season finally being here.
This recipe is a sweeter twist on my most popular holiday cocktail, the cranberry yule mule. This drink uses cranberry juice, lime juice, vodka and ginger beer to make a sweet-tart, spiced festive drink and it is a favorite for holiday gatherings.
But cranberry juice can be cloying and it’s not always everyone’s favorite, so I wanted to bring you a version that’s a little lighter. White cranberry juice answers this call.
Made from white cranberries, this juice blend is a perfect addition to holiday cocktails that’s absolutely worth trying in lieu of its sour cousin. You could even call this a White Christmas Moscow Mule.
Why you’ll love this recipe
The White Cranberry Moscow Mule is going to be one of your favorites:
- Sweet and succulent, this white cranberry cocktail is full of holiday flavor.
- You can customize it with other types of spirits, if you like.
- It is the perfect cocktail to add to your Thanksgiving menu or serve at a holiday party.
You can make this cocktail for wintry baby showers and wedding showers, housewarming parties, girls’ night or guys’ night — or whenever you crave a fresh cranberry cocktail.
What is a Moscow mule?
This festive cranberry Moscow mule is a spin on the traditional Moscow mule, which is an easy-to-make, three-ingredient cocktail.
The mule is a versatile drink because you can make it in many different ways. There are so many variations to try, but they fall into two main categories:
- You can experiment with flavor. Try adding fruit flavors with juices, infused alcohol or simple syrup. The pear mule, the grapefruit mule and the strawberry mule are some of my favorites I’ve made.
- You can switch up the main spirit. I’ve also made the Mexican mule with tequila, the Kentucky mule with bourbon and the Swedish mule with aquavit.
Or you can do a mix of both! This perfect holiday cocktail falls into the “experiment with flavor” category because we use fruity white cranberry juice and spiced rum.
Tools & glassware
This white cranberry mule cocktail only calls for a few ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need to grab at the grocery store to make this recipe:
Vodka is classic for mules, but you can also use bourbon, tequila, mezcal, brandy, rum or gin to make different flavor profiles.
Feel free to use any of those, but we enjoy this one with spiced rum as it pairs so nicely with the fruity white cran juice and gives such a nice festive flavor.
You could also use cinnamon whiskey like Fireball for a similar flavor that has just as much holiday cheer.
White cranberry juice
White cranberry juice is similar to the cranberry juice you know, only it’s clear because it’s made with cranberries harvested before ripening when they have a light, white and pink color. They provide a milder, subtler and more delicate flavor.
Most white cranberry juice tastes similar to white grape juice. In fact, it contains white grape juice concentrate and cranberry juice concentrate.
You can find white cranberry juice at your local grocery store, usually in the room-temperature juice aisle, not the refrigerated section. I used Ocean Spray brand for this drink.
I always recommend fresh lime juice if you have it on hand, but feel free to use a good quality lime concentrate.
I use one of these citrus squeezers to get the most juice out of my limes. Lemon juice and orange juice will also work as a substitute here.
Ginger beer is a fizzy, non-alcoholic beverage made from fermented ginger. 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.
Check out my list of the best brands of ginger beer to help you find your favorite ginger beer with a spice level that’s right for you.
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 don’t have ginger beer.
Variations and substitutions
Try one of these variations on this recipe:
Red-and-white cranberry mule: Use half regular cranberry juice and half white cranberry juice.
White cranberry peach mule: Use a white cranberry-peach juice blend for a sweet and summery spin on this drink. With a peachy and cranberry flavor, it would be a festive cocktail for Christmas in July holiday parties!
Cranberry mule: Don’t have or can’t find white cranberry juice? You can use the regular kind! It’s more tart than white cranberry juice, but when balanced with sweet ginger beer, it makes a nice balanced cocktail. I prefer unsweetened cranberry juice over cranberry juice cocktail. Pure cranberry juice has enough sugar.
Non-alcoholic white cranberry mule: Use a zero-proof spirit instead of the spiced rum. I recommend Ritual rum alternative. You can also skip the alcohol altogether.
How to make a White Cranberry Moscow Mule
Here’s how to make this white cranberry juice cocktail recipe:
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add spiced rum, lime juice and white cranberry juice.
Shake vigorously, then strain into two mule mugs.
Add ice to the mugs, then pour ginger beer over top.
Garnish each mug with fresh cranberries and a rosemary sprig. You can also use lime wedges.
Tips & tricks
Here are some tips and tricks for making this spin on the classic Moscow mule recipe recipe:
- Use a copper mug or other metal mug to keep the drink ice cold.
- Make cranberry ice cubes to float on top for a pretty garnish.
- Add the ginger beer last so that it can bubble and foam to the top, making the best drinking experience.
- Instead of spiced rum, use your favorite spirit. Cinnamon whiskey and gin would be so good in this drink!
- Make sugared cranberries for the garnish. They glisten and gleam, giving this drink an even more festive and fun twist.
White Cranberry Mules for a party
These White Christmas Mules would be a cinch to whip up en masse for a holiday party. ALl your guests will rave about them!
To prepare a big batch for your holiday party, just make a big batch of the white cranberry/lime/vodka base.
You can either top each glass with ginger beer right before you serve the drinks or add it to the pitcher (or punch bowl) just before the party begins. (This is important so it doesn’t go flat and lose its carbonation.)
Set up a bowl of cocktail picks, fresh cranberries and rosemary sprigs to garnish drinks quickly and easily.
Here is a basic recipe to follow that makes ~8 cocktails:
- 2 cups vodka
- 1 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice (about 6 limes)
- 2 cups white cranberry juice
- 3 cups ginger beer
- plus fresh cranberries and rosemary for garnishes
What to serve with White Cranberry Moscow Mules
Anything with cranberries will be a hit with this holiday spin on the classic drink. These white chocolate cranberry cookies are a favorite for the dessert table.
White cranberry juice is a clear version of cranberry juice. It is made with cranberries that are harvested before ripening, which have a light, white and pink color. They provide a milder, subtler and more delicate flavor than ripe cranberries.
The name of the Moscow Mule cocktail is sometimes shortened to simply “mule.” A Moscow Mule contains vodka, and gets its name from vodka’s Russian origin. However, the drink is American. The name changes when other spirits are used. For example, it’s a Kentucky Mule when made with bourbon, a Mexican Mule when made with tequila or a London Mule when made with gin.
While the copper mug helps to keep the Moscow mule ice cold, it’s not a requirement. Feel free to use a rocks glass instead.
More holiday mule recipes
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White Cranberry Mule
- 4 ounces spiced rum or cinnamon whiskey
- 1 ounce lime juice about 1 lime
- 3 ounces white cranberry juice
- 5-6 ounces ginger beer
- fresh cranberries for garnish
- rosemary sprigs for garnish
- In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add spiced rum, lime juice and white cranberry juice.
- Shake vigorously, then strain into two mule mugs.
- Add ice to the mugs, then top them up with ginger beer.
- Garnish with fresh cranberries and a rosemary sprig.
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