Moscow Mule Recipes

Moscow Mules are one of the best cocktails. With just three ingredients, they are so easy, yet they are also very flavorful and versatile. Learn how to customize this effervescent vodka cocktail with different spirits, juices and syrups for an even more delicious drink.

Half of a lime sits in front of vodka cocktails in copper mugs.

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There’s the Moscow Mule, made with vodka, and then there are her many sisters, from the Kentucky Mule to the Raspberry Mule. Let’s discuss them all, from what they are to serving them and making them your own.

What is a Moscow Mule?

The Moscow mule is an alcoholic cocktail traditionally made with vodka, lime juice and ginger beer. It’s an easy, quaffable drink that can be enjoyed year-round.

Invented at a bar in Los Angeles, this popular drink has been recognized by the International Bartender Association as an official IBA cocktail.

Though it’s called a “Moscow” mule, it’s actually an American drink. The name refers to the vodka’s origin in Russia.

It is often served in a copper mug, but you can also use a glass if you don’t have one handy!

Why you’ll love these recipes

The Moscow mule is a classic cocktail that you are going to love.

  • Moscow mules are light, refreshing and not overly boozy.
  • They’re refreshing for summertime yet cozy enough for wintertime.
  • Great for beginner mixologists, the recipe is super easy to put together.

Moscow mule ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make a basic Moscow mule:

Ginger beer

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 ginger beer brands to help you decide on 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 if you don’t have ginger beer on hand. You can also substitute a combination ginger syrup and club soda to adjust the sweetness level to your tastes.

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Lime juice

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. You are also welcome to use lemon juice to switch things up!

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Tip: Room temperature citrus is easier to juice than cold, refrigerated fruit. Set your citrus fruits out on the counter for a couple hours to warm up before juicing them.

Vodka or another spirit

The classic Moscow mule recipe calls for plain vodka, but it’s totally acceptable to use a flavored vodka like sweet tea vodka or caramel vodka. In other words, have fun at the liquor store and dream up your own creations.

You can also omit the alcohol or substitute a zero-proof spirit to make a Moscow mule mocktail.

Basic Moscow mule recipe

Use this ratio to help you dream up your own Moscow mule concoctions:

  • 1 ½ ounce vodka (or other spirit)
  • ½ ounce fresh lime juice
  • 4 ounces ginger beer
  • ½ to 1 ounce muddled fruit or simple syrup, optional

To make a mule, here’s the basic process:

  1. Pour your spirit of choice into a mule mug. Add lime juice and stir them together. (If you are adding another type of juice or simple syrup, add it now and stir it in.)
  2. Top with ice cubes.
  3. Add ginger beer over the top. Garnish with a fresh lime wedge or lime wheel.

How to customize Moscow Mules

The mule is a very versatile drink because you can make it in lots of different ways. There are two main variations to try:

  1. Switch up the main spirit. The Moscow mule is classically made with plain vodka, but you can swap it out for flavored vodkas and other spirits like whiskey, gin and tequila. This substitution usually gives the drink a different name, such as the Mexican Mule for tequila or the Scotch mule for Scotch whisky.
  2. Experiment with flavor. Try adding fruit flavors with juices, infused alcohol or simple syrup. You can also add muddled fruit and creative garnishes to play with the taste and aroma of the drink.

How to serve them: Copper mugs

The mule is often served in a copper mug known as a mule mug. Copper insulates them to keep them ice cold, which also helps to bring out the flavors in this classic cocktail. It also makes the drink really feel like the Hollywood drink that it is.

but you can also use a glass if you don’t have one handy! In fact, the rum version of the mule, called the Dark & Stormy, is usually served in a Collins glass or highball glass.

If you’re looking for a set of mugs to add to your collection or to give to the Moscow Mule lover in your life, look no further than these copper beauties:

Moscow Mule variations

From changing up the main spirit to adding juices, syrups or muddled fruit, there are so many ways to make a delicious Moscow mule. Here are some of our favorites:

Variations on the Classic Mule recipe

1
Half of a lime sits in front of vodka cocktails in copper mugs.
Classic Moscow Mule
This is the traditional Moscow Mule that all the other recipes are based on. This vodka cocktail features spicy ginger beer and a hint of lime, served in a copper mug.
GET THE RECIPE
2
a mule cocktail with a bottle of zero-proof spirits
Virgin Moscow Mule
Enjoy the essence of a Moscow Mule without the alcohol. You can use a zero-proof spirit spirit or omit the alcohol completely.
GET THE RECIPE
3
two frozen Moscow mules in a copper and glass mugs with green and white striped paper straws and a wedge of lime on a white background with a green glass citrus squeezer and a green kitchen towel
Frozen Moscow Mule
Beat the heat with a frozen version of the classic Moscow Mule, which blends frozen ginger beer, lime juice, and vodka into a refreshing yet spicy slushy.
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Mules with Different Spirits

4
a gin mule with a lime and rosemary garnish
Gin-Gin Mule
This fresh take on the Moscow Mule features the flavors of botanical, herbal gin instead of vodka. Garnish it with lime, rosemary and other fresh herbs for a delightful twist on the classic.
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5
A moscow mule cocktail in a copper mug garnished with a lime wheel, jalapeño, and celery.
Mexican Mule
Transform the classic with tequila, adding a twist of lime, jalapeño, and celery for a Mexican-inspired flavor profile.
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6
kentucky mule in a copper mule mug with limes
Kentucky Mule
Brighten up the Moscow Mule with Kentucky bourbon whiskey. The oak, vanilla and caramel notes create a spirited variation that's perfect for any occasion. (But especially Derby Day.)
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7
A Tennessee Mule sits on a wooden coaster next to two copper straws and limes.
Tennessee Mule
Utilize charcoal-mellowed Tennessee whiskey (such as Jack Daniel’s) to craft a complex and delicious twist on the original Moscow Mule, offering a unique flavor experience.
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8
a jigger lies next to a london mule.
London Mule
Experience a delightful variation by substituting London Dry Gin — from London. This version has a distinct flavor profile that's sure to please gin lovers.
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9
closeup of a french mule with a macaron
French Mule
The French Mule highlights one of France's top exports, cognac or brandy, alongside ginger beer and lime juice. Make this sophisticated cocktail for a sweet mule experience.
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10
Irish mule recipe in a mule mug on a green cloth napkin
Irish Mule
Introduce subtly sweet Irish whiskey to the mix for a perfect blend of ginger beer and lime. This one has a taste of Ireland in every sip.
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11
a czech moscow mule on a white background
Czech Mule
The Czech Mule features the Czech Republic's famous liqueur export, Becherovka. Flavors of anise and cinnamon combine beautifully with the ginger beer and lime of a Moscow mule.
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12
A champagne version of a moscow mule in a glass rests on a green coaster surrounded by gold cocktail tools and half a lime.
Champagne Moscow Mule
Made with ginger liqueur, lime juice and sparkling wine, this sparkling Moscow Mule with champagne is perfect for toasting any special occasion.
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13
a Moscow mule with a lime garnish in a copper mug
Mezcal Mule
Infuse smoky mezcal into the Moscow Mule for a unique and flavorful variation that adds depth and complexity to the classic cocktail.
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14
A dark and stormy cocktail sits in the center of the photo with a white straw decorated with stripes in shades of green. A lime wedge garnishes the glass while a blue and white dish towel is bunched to the side
Dark & Stormy Cocktail
This refreshing cocktail has a different name, but it's essentially a mule because it combines the familiar flavors of lime, ginger beer and sweet, spiced dark rum. It's perfect for a sunny day or a cozy evening.
GET THE RECIPE
15
Colorful Moscow mule cocktail with ice cubes in a clear mug, garnished with a lime slice, accompanied by a cocktail shaker and ingredients.
The Crumby Kitchen
Maui Mule
The Maui Moscow Mule puts a tropical twist on the classic cocktail. Trade out vodka for pink vodka and your drink will be as gorgeous as a Hawaiian sunset!
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16
a gingerbread mule in a copper mug on a white background with a silver absinthe spoon
Gingerbread Mule
Enjoy a Gingerbread Mule cocktail that tastes just like the classic holiday cookie! Herbal absinthe, soothing cucumber and tart orange zest are a cozy match for ginger beer and lime juice.
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Flavored mules

17
A mule with strawberry slices and ice garnished with mint leaves and a lime wedge.
Strawberry Mule
Indulge in the sweetness of fresh strawberries in this delightful spin on the classic Moscow Mule, adding a berry delicious twist to the classic drink.
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18
The Asian Pear Moscow Mule cocktail is tart and succulent. The ginger beer will warm you right up. Perfect for sipping all fall long, even for Thanksgiving!
Pear Mule
Experience the sophisticated Pear Mule made with pear vodka and a fresh pear garnish. Pears offer a unique and refreshing flavor combination with ginger beer and lime.
GET THE RECIPE
19
Chilled Moscow Mule with ice cubes in a short glass, garnished with a green twist.
The Culinary Compass
Cucumber Mule
Stay refreshed with the crisp flavors of cucumber in this summery twist on the classic cocktail, perfect for enjoying on hot summer days.
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20
a raspberry mule in a glass and copper mug with a copper straw on a pink napkin
Raspberry Mule
Savor the sweetness of raspberries with Chambord liqueur in this berry-sweet variation of the mule, ideal for brunches and special occasions.
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21
jalapeños garnishing a spicy Moscow mule
Spicy Jalapeño Mule
The Spicy Jalapeño Moscow Mule delivers a double kick of ginger and peppers with a hint of sweet and sour flavors.
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22
Say cheers to the holidays with an Apple Cider Moscow Mule! This light yet festive cocktail is a treat for Thanksgiving and Christmas entertaining, but just as nice for enjoying at home on an autumn night! (via Feast + West)
Apple Cider Mule
Add the essence of fall to your Moscow mule. This light and festive cocktail features apple cider and is perfect for autumn gatherings and holiday celebrations.
GET THE RECIPE
23
Based on the traditional Moscow Mule, the Yule Mule is a holiday cocktail featuring ginger beer and cranberry juice. Garnish it with rosemary and fresh cranberries for a cocktail that tastes just like Christmas! (via feastandwest.com)
Yule Mule
Celebrate the holidays with a festive blend of ginger beer, cranberry juice, vodka and a rosemary garnish, creating a red and green cocktail that captures the spirit of Christmas
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24
Fig Mule
Pass the Sushi
Fig Mule
Add the sweet twist of muddled figs into the perfect cocktail blend for a unique, seasonal sensation.
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25
Two Blueberry Mules alongside fresh mint and blueberries.
Blueberry Mule
Delight in the sweetness of blueberries alongside fresh mint in this refreshing cocktail, perfect for enjoying on a warm summer day.
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26
Two mugs with cranberries, pine cones and sprigs of rosemary.
White Cranberry Mule
Make your spirits bright with this festive cocktail featuring white cranberry juice, offering a refreshing and light option for holiday gatherings.
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27
Concord Grape Mule
Gastronom Blog
Concord Grape Mule
Savor the unique blend of ginger beer, vodka, lime juice and sweet-tart Concord Grape juice in this tasty sip. It’s a refreshing and fruity rendition of the original mule.

GET THE RECIPE
28
grapefruit mule cocktail on a pink hexagon plate with a copper spoon and rosemary
Grapefruit Mule
This delightful variation refreshes your palate with the sweet and sour flavors of grapefruit, offering a citrusy twist on the classic Moscow Mule.
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29
a pumpkin spice mule in a glass and copper mug with a cinnamon stick on top, surrounded by mini pie pumpkins
Pumpkin Spice Mule
Indulge in fall flavors with pumpkin, ginger, spices, and a hint of lime in this seasonal twist on the Moscow Mule, offering a taste of autumn in every sip.
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30
a pomegranate yule mule with a leafy garnish and pomegranate seeds on top
Pomegranate Mule
Add a festive touch to your holiday celebrations with ruby red pomegranate juice combined with gin or vodka, creating a refreshing and seasonal cocktail option.
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31
Mimosa Mule
A Nerd Cooks
Mimosa Mule
Combine the flavors of an orange juice mimosa with the classic Moscow Mule for a delightful brunch or happy hour treat. This refreshing and bubbly cocktail option offers a variety of flavors.
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32
Pick up some pearly kumquats, cut some rosemary and combine for a totally new way to appreciate winter citrus. The Rosemary Kumquat Moscow Mule is a bright and refreshing variation on everyone's favorite drink with vodka and ginger beer. Copper mug optional, but totally encouraged. (via feastandwest.com)
Rosemary Kumquat Moscow Mule
Switch up the citrus with sweet and sour kumquats, enhanced by the aromatic touch of rosemary, creating a bright and refreshing cocktail experience.
GET THE RECIPE

What to serve with Moscow Mules

Try a sweet and spicy Moscow mule with savory, salty and cheesy snacks. Try them with baked brie or marinated cheese for an appetizer.

You can also enjoy these flavors as poppable Moscow mule jello shots or chewy, iced Moscow mule cookies. Both of these would be great for parties where you serve Moscow mules.

FAQ

What’s a Moscow Mule?

The Moscow mule is a classic cocktail made with vodka, ginger beer and lime. Its name comes from Russia, where vodka originated, though it can be made with other spirits, including rum, bourbon, gin, brandy, tequila, mezcal, and more.

Why are Moscow Mules served in copper mugs?

Traditionally, mules have been served in copper mugs, but this is more due to science than history. Copper naturally conducts temperature well, so this material works to insulate the drink inside. Mules are best served ice cold, and the traditional mug is the perfect vessel for keeping them frigid. A chilly temperature also helps to brighten the effervescence of the ginger beer, bringing out the flavor more. If you don’t have a mule mug, a rocks glass is a perfectly fine substitute.

How do you clean copper mugs?

Never put them in the dishwasher. After using copper mugs for a cocktail, clean them with hot water and dish soap. Don’t let any liquid sit in them. If the mug is tarnished, you can return it to its shiny glory with a simple formula. Use 3 parts baking soda and 1 part vinegar to create a paste, then rub it on the mug with a sponge or cloth and let it sit. After 5 minutes, hand wash in warm water and rinse to remove the baking soda mixture and the tarnish.

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Mix the perfect cocktail, every time

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