Moscow Mule Cocktail

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A glass cup on a table, with Gin and Moscow mule

I’d like to introduce you to my new favorite cocktail, the Moscow Mule. This carbonated cocktail has a strong lime twist with a mild ginger beer background. It’s the perfect drink when you want something refreshing and not overly sweet.

Moscow Mule Ingredients

Have you tried ginger beer? I had never heard of it before now.

Ginger beer is non alcoholic and it has a stronger ginger flavor than ginger ale. It is a fermented drink, making it less carbonated and less sweet than ginger ale as well. It has plenty of kick from real ginger and makes a great foundation for lots of different mixed drinks, including Moscow Mules.

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I absolutely love it.

You can find Ginger Beer in many well-stocked grocery stores and specialty food markets. It’s also not too difficult to make yourself if you plan ahead. My friend Becky makes her own Homemade Ginger Beer regularly.

I don’t recommend substituting ginger ale soda for the ginger beer in the Moscow Mule. The amount of carbonation and the balance of sweet and spicy is completely different than ginger beer. I’ve also discovered that many ginger ales don’t use real ginger for flavor; that real ginger taste is a big part of what makes Moscow Mules so enjoyable to me.

The other important ingredient for a Moscow Mule is the vodka. There’s no need to go all out with the nicest priciest vodka you can find. Ginger beer and lime are the primary flavors in this drink so an inexpensive variety of vodka works just fine.

That ginger beer and vodka combo is already pretty great but the lime twist ties this whole cocktail together. A generous squeeze of lime juice into your glass adds a bright and tangy citrus flavor that compliments the ginger beautifully.

A glass of beer on a table, with Moscow mule and Ginger beer

How to Make a Moscow Mule

After introducing me to ginger beer, my friend Becky also introduced us to Moscow Mules Cocktails last month. It was love at first sip. She showed me how to make Moscow Mules myself and I was happy to learn that it’s quite easy.

After filling two tall glasses with ice, you add an ounce of lime juice and two ounces (slightly more than one shot) of vodka. Open a 12 ounce bottle of ginger beer and divide the bubbly stuff between the two glasses.

If you’re using a larger bottle of ginger beer, simply measure 6 ounces into each glass. I like to garnish this drink with a lime wedge for a little extra style!

In many bars, Moscow Mules are served in a copper mug. That’s a fun way to do it but I also enjoy them in a simple glass.

Moscow Mule Cocktails

I’ve already made Moscow Mules for a couple different occasions since Becky introduced them to me. They’re cool and refreshing enough for a hot summer day but the warming ginger would also make them delicious in cooler months.

In short, I’m looking forward to enjoying many more Moscow Mules all year long.

This is a great alternative to the fruity sweet drinks that dominate most cocktail menus. It’s great to sip while catching up with a friend, at any party or gathering or as a pre-dinner cocktail.

You could also serve these without the vodka for a mocktail that kids and grown-ups will both enjoy. The combination of ginger beer and lime juice is plenty tasty even without the vodka.

This makes it easy to cater to drinkers and non-drinkers alike at a party or get-together.

Cocktails with Ginger Beer

Now that I’ve discovered ginger beer, I’ve enjoyed learning about how many different cocktails you can make with this sweet and spicy soda.

A Kentucky Mule is what happens when you take a Moscow Mule out of Russian and drop it in the American south. Instead of vodka, this drink is strengthened with bourbon whiskey.

Another ginger beer based cocktail to try is a Dark and Stormy which is very similar to a Moscow Mule only with dark rum in place of the vodka. The rum makes it a little sweeter than a Moscow Mule but it’s still far from overly sugary.

Next on my list to try is a Moscow Mule with Gin instead of vodka. Sometimes called a Foghorn, this cocktail is part G&T, part Moscow Mule and a great choice to share with the gin lovers you know.

There are plenty of non-alcoholic ginger beer mocktails that deliver just as much flavor and enjoyment as their alcoholic counterparts. This Pineapple Mule recipe includes instructions for both alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions of this tropical take on the Moscow Mule.

Easy Cocktail Recipes

Looking for more great easy cocktail recipes to share with friends?

The Whiskey Smash is another of my favorites. It’s tart, smooth and tastes like a grown-up lemonade. And when it comes to refreshing cocktails, you can never go wrong with a classic Mojito.

The Pimm’s Cup is a refreshing summer cocktail with hints of orange, lemon, and cucumber mixed with Ginger Ale.

My husband’s personal favorite is The Old-Fashioned and I’m particularly partial to this Cranberry Margarita.

Moscow Mules are definitely becoming one of my go-to mixed drinks for sharing at parties and simple gatherings or just mix up for a relaxing night at home. I can’t get enough of that spicy tangy flavor with just a hint of sweetness.

What about you? How sweet do you like your mixed beverages?

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Moscow Mule Cocktail

4 from 1 vote
Servings: 2 servings


  • 2 ounce fresh lime juice about 2 medium limes
  • 4 ounces vodka a less expensive brand is fine for this drink
  • 1 12 ounce bottle ginger beer


  • Fill two tall glasses with ice. Add 1 ounce of lime juice and 2 ounces of vodka to each glass. Divide the bottle of  ginger beer between the two glasses and stir. Enjoy!
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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Pat Thomas says

    This is a great suggestion. I've been drinking Ginger Beer since I went to Jamaica decades ago. And Vodka is the only strong alcohol that I normally imbibe. I never thought to combine the two until I read your post. I gotta try it! Thanks for the suggestion.

    Remember, though, Ginger Beer is a great nonacoholic alternative!