It might look, taste and even sound flashy, but the true beauty of the Moscow Mule cocktail lies in its complete simplicity; with only 3 ingredients; lime, vodka and ginger beer. Master the recipe here and find out more about its history and origins – you might be surprised..
Moscow Mule ingredients
Here’s exactly what you’ll need…
(Makes 1 cocktail)
A copper mug
1 scoop of cubed ice
40ml (1.5oz) vodka
20ml (¾ oz) fresh lime juice
Ginger beer (just fill that glass right up)
A fresh lime wedge for garnish
For the vodka, we’d recommend the OG, Smirnoff. Or if you prefer, Absolut works just as well. The ginger beer should be just that – beer. But if you have to switch it up with ginger ale instead, it wouldn’t be the end of the world.
And it goes without saying, freshly squeezed lime juice is always better than than the bottled stuff.
Or, if you are feeling particularly adventurous, you could even make your own ginger beer.
Moscow Mule method
Start building your vodka ginger beer cocktail by pouring a scoop of ice cubes in your copper Moscow Mule mug. We’re pretty traditional about our cocktails here at EBS, so we think these cups well worth investing in.
But why do you need one? Well, copper is an excellent conductor of heat, and a copper mug will keep your Moscow Mules perfectly chilled as you sip it. Mystery solved.
Next, pour your vodka and lime juice over the ice.
The original Moscow Mule recipe uses Smirnoff vodka, which is one of our favourites. You can go for their classic Smirnoff original, or if you want to push the boat out (which we always encourage), try one of their premium blends, Smirnoff Red or Smirnoff Black.
These two are filtered using the traditional charcoal method, giving them a deep and authentic flavour.
Fill up your glass with ginger beer, and garnish with a fresh lime wedge.
As we said earlier, the world won’t end if you use ginger ale instead. But a good cold ginger beer can really be the star of a Moscow Mule recipe.
Which ginger beer brands do we favour? Fever Tree Ginger Beer is decent option. It gives the cocktail a spicy kick that complements the zingy lime and sharp vodka.
If you are a fan of this drink, you’ll be pleased to know there are tons of Moscow Mule variations. We’ve listed some of our favourites, that use other spirits instead of vodka - like the Kentucky mule (with bourbon) and the Mexican mule (with tequila).
Grab that copper mug and start experimenting!
So, you've made the drink, but ever wondered how the Moscow Mule was invented?
Let’s take a quick trip back in time... Although the name suggests otherwise, this cocktail wasn’t actually invented in Russia. It was created in Los Angeles in 1941 as a way to get Americans (who were wary of the USSR) into vodka.
The story goes that a marketing executive at a drinks company recently won the Smirnoff vodka account. At the time, Americans weren’t big fans of the Russian spirit, so John G. Martin, he needed a way to promote it, fast. Meanwhile, his mate owned a pub in L.A. called the Cock’N Bull and had recently developed a delicious new ginger beer recipe.
The two combined their tasty resources and came up with vodka, ginger beer and lime juice - aka Moscow Mules.
The drink became a huge hit in Hollywood, and word eventually caught on around the world. The rest is – you guessed it – cocktail history.
Learn more about the definition and history of cocktails in our comprehensive guide to what is a cocktail.
And, if cocktail making has got you feeling inspired, you might be a perfect fit for our International Bartender Course. Where you'll master more than 65 cocktail recipes in 4 weeks!