How to Make a Moscow Mule

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Learn how to make a Moscow Mule with only three ingredients for the perfect summer cocktail that is sweet, tangy, and just a little bit spicy! I’m sharing tips and tricks plus tasty and unique Moscow Mule recipes! 

Up close photograph of a copper mug filled with a moscow mule with square ice cubes and lime slices at the top of the drink and a lime wedge on the edge of the mug. The mug sits on a coral floral napkin on a white table with lime wedges in the top right corner.

THE BEST MOSCOW MULE RECIPE! 

If choosing a summer cocktail to sip on during a warm pool day or evening out on the patio, I’m making one of two drinks: a delicious summer sangria or a Moscow Mule!  

Moscow mules are a tasty fizzy drink that is simultaneously sweet, tangy, and a little bit spicy! More than anything, though, they are refreshing on a hot summer day. 

So refreshing, actually, that a virgin Moscow mule was my go to drink while pregnant. The ginger made it a big pregnancy win! 

They are also super easy to make! You need only three basic ingredients to make a Moscow mule!

It’s easy enough that I like to keep everything on hand in our fridge both for myself as well as guests. The instructions are so simple they can make it themselves on the first try! 

Your ingredients choices can make a big difference in the overall flavor. For example, ginger beers can have different flavors and sugar content, which will all impact the finished Moscow mule. 

There are also endless variations to a Moscow mule – fun twists on the classic, added flavors, a change of liquor and more! 

So if you are wanting to serve up the best Moscow mules at your next party, I am here with all the tips, including recommendations for copper mugs, my favorite ginger beers, and new recipes to try. 

We have you covered on everything you need to know on how to make a Moscow Mule! 

WHAT IS IN A MOSCOW MULE?

A classic Moscow mule only takes three ingredients! Easy peasy! 

Since it only takes three ingredients though, I find that choosing quality ingredients matter more than in a sangria recipe or punch recipe. While you don’t need the most expensive ingredients, you definitely don’t want the cheapest. 

To make a homemade Moscow mule cocktail, you’ll need:

  • Ginger Beer: I’ve become a fan of using Gosling’s Diet Ginger Beer in order to cut down the sugar, but I also love Fever-Tree Ginger Beer
  • Vodka: Definitely use your preferred vodka of choice. I personally use either Absolut Vodka or Tito’s
  • Lime Juice: Use fresh and then garnish your cup with your squeezed lime! Avoid the bottled juice at all costs. 
  • Ice: Not technically an ingredient but I like my Moscow Mules cold and load them up with ice cubes! 

Wanting your summer cocktail to look a little fancy? Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint! 

A copper mug filled with square ice cubes, slices of limes, and a classic moscow mule recipe sits on top of a coral and blue floral napkin on top of a white wood table with extra limes sitting on the table.

HOW TO MAKE A MOSCOW MULE:

With only 3 ingredients, making a Moscow mule can’t be hard! Here’s what you need to do: 

  1. Fill your copper mug or other glass with ice. Crushed ice is traditional for Moscow mule but I use our normal ice cubes made in our old freezer.
  2. Add vodka. jiggerI always use my to measure my vodka. 
  3. Squeeze in lime juice.  Squeeze is the important word here. Avoid using a bottle of lime juice whenever possible. Use a real lime and toss the remaining in your glass as a garnish. 
  4. Add ginger beer.  Fill the remainder of your mug with your ginger beer of choice. 
  5. Stir and ENJOY!  Give your Moscow Mule drink a quick stir, and then serve!

HELPFUL ITEMS FOR MAKING MULES

Looking for Moscow Mule mug suggestions or other glassware? Look down below under “THE BEST MOSCOW MULE MUGS”.

Otherwise, I suggest having at least a basic bar set for making mules. I always use a jigger to measure my vodka and a stirrer to – well – stir my drink. If you decide to start trying some of my other Moscow mule recipes, a muddler is definitely helpful! 

3 PIECE BAR SET: If you are going to make simple cocktails, this is my favorite bar set. It has a jigger, a muddler, and a trident cocktail stirrer. This last one means it has a mini “spoon” shape on one end like a traditional stirrer and a forked shape on the other. 

LARGE BAR SET: If you are going to be getting into more sophisticated cocktail recipes, including anything that needs to be shaken or strained, than I suggest upgrading to the full bar set. I love having everything on hand. You never know when you want to try something new! 

THE BEST GINGER BEER FOR MOSCOW MULES

The answer to this question is going to vary greatly depending on the person, mostly based on taste. For example, I prefer my ginger beer to be less sweet and more spicy. 

For this reason, I’ve become a big fan of using Gosling’s Diet Ginger Beer. It has almost 50 grams less of sugar than their original and almost 200 less calories. 

Fever-Tree Ginger Beer is also a flavorful ginger beer that I love when I can find it. It’s easy to order on Amazon though. 

My biggest suggestion though is to do a taste test of ginger beers. A fun ginger beer flight would be a super fun date night activity or girls’ night! 

BEST VODKA FOR MOSCOW MULE

There isn’t one go-to vodka that you need to make a Moscow mule. However, you are only using three ingredients to make this cocktail, so you want a quality vodka. 

My go-to vodka of choice is Absolut Vodka but I also like Tito’s

SHOULD I ADD MINT IN A MOSCOW MULE? 

Mint is probably the most popular herb addition to a Moscow mule. 

If you are using it to garnish, you will want to give it a “clap” first. Place the leaves or sprig in one hand and gently smack it with the other. This process warms up the mint slightly and begins to extract the oils, which will release the aroma that everyone loves. 

If you want your cocktail to be a mint Moscow mule, then you will need to smack the mint and then muddle it at the bottom of the glass. 

A top down photo of a coral, green and blue floral napkin with a copper mug of moscow mule resting on top. The moscow mule is topped with fresh limes and filled full of ice to keep the summer cocktail cold.

WHY ARE MOSCOW MULES SERVES IN A COPPER MUG?

Supposedly, the Moscow mule was created out of a mere surplus in materials from three different business owners with a surplus of vodka, ginger beer, and copper mugs. It was successful and copper mugs became the cup for this cocktail. 

Love history, read all about the origins of the Moscow mule

The thought behind the copper mugs is that they keep the drinks cooler. It has since been proven inaccurate but they are pretty! 

In recent years, there has been a lot of controversy over the safety of using all copper mugs for Moscow mules because supposedly lime and copper are a dangerous combination. 

The easy answer if you are concerned about it is to use copper mugs that are lined on the inside of the mug with another metal, like stainless-steel or nickel. 

THE BEST MOSCOW MULE MUGS

Now, it’s time to get shopping! 

  • Hand Hammered 100% Copper Mugs – Hand hammered, which means no two mugs are identical. They are strong, sturdy and beautiful! Plus this set comes with matching straws and shot glass! 
  • Unique 100% Copper Mugs – These copper mugs are hand hammered and beautiful! What I love the most is their unique shape with straight sides. Plus I love the large handles! 
  • Brass Handle Copper Mugs – If you love the look of the brass handles against the copper mugs, you will love these ones! 
  • Stainless Steel Lined Copper Mugs – If you are at all worried about using 100% copper mugs, than choosing ones lined in stainless steel is a great option. 

DO YOU HAVE TO USE A COPPER MUG?

Of course not! For years, I used a regular cocktail glass, and the drink was just as tasty. 

I do love using a copper mug these days now though because they are so pretty! Hammered is definitely my preferred style, especially when they get all frosty from being cold. 

However, if I am making a Moscow mule to be sitting pool side or water table side, then I prefer using my insulated wine tumblers with lids.

^^^These are honestly my go-to cocktail glass no matter what if I am going to be sitting outside. The lid is both good protection against kids and bugs. 

A classic Moscow mule recipe with ginger beer, fresh lime juice, vodka and lots of ice! The mule is garnished with lime slices on top.

VARIATIONS OF A MOSCOW MULE

There are two main ways to change up your mules – easily swapping the liquor and adding additional flavors and ingredients. 

SWITCHING THE ALCOHOL OF THE MOSCOW MULE

The first would be to swap our the vodka for a different liquor.

  • Rum Mule: swap vodka for rum
  • Kentucky Mule: swap vodka for bourbon
  • Irish Mule: swap vodka for Irish whiskey
  • French Mule: swap vodka for cognac 
  • Mexican Mule: Use tequila instead of vodka
  • Gin-Gin Mule: Use gin instead of vodka
  • Dark & Stormy: swap vodka for dark rum or spiced rum

MOSCOW MULE DRINK RECIPES

The second way is to add an additional flavor to your mule which can be done a few different ways: flavored vodka, fresh fruit, herbs and more! 

Learn how to make a Moscow Mule with only three ingredients for the perfect summer cocktail that is sweet, tangy, and just a little bit spicy! I'm sharing tips and tricks plus tasty and unique Moscow Mule recipes! | THE LOVE NERDS #cocktailrecipe #summerdrinks #moscowmulerecipe

NOW YOU ARE READY TO MAKE THE BEST MOSCOW MULES! 

THE BEST MOSCOW MULE RECIPES

After sharing all the tips and tricks for how to make a Moscow Mule, here are a variety of amazing Moscow mule recipes for you to try! Your guests will be amazed at how you make the BEST Moscow mules!

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