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Moscow Mule Recipe

The Moscow Mule is a delicious drink and one that has a rich history. This is a drink that single handedly put Smirnoff on the map and that led to the rise in vodka’s popularity that started in the 50s and continues to this day.

If you love vodka, then you’ll love the Moscow Mule and you have that drink to thank for it!

What’s more is that the Moscow Mule is a fun, unique and exciting drink. One of the things that makes it so popular is undoubtedly the copper mug. These mugs stand out and turn heads whenever you order one and they also help to keep the drink cool (along with the large amounts of ice that you’ll pile in – this drink is best enjoyed on the rocks!).

On this page, we’ll be looking at the ingredients needed to make the Moscow Mule so you can serve them up to your guests. And if you run a bar, this is a great way to ensure that your patrons keep on coming back!

What’s more though is that we’ll also be looking into a ton of other recipes and other ways you can enjoy the drink. Read on and get ready to fall in love with this classy beverage!

What You’ll Need

First, you need a high quality vodka. This should ideally be Smirnoff, seeing as that’s the vodka brand that owes its existence to the cocktail!

Next you need a nice and spicy ginger beer. This should really pop and give the Mule a bit of a ‘tang’.

You also need some fresh limes. These serve double purpose, providing the lime juice that helps make the Mule so refreshing and zesty and also being ideal for the garnish.

You’re also going to need some kind of container. Of course you can use any glass you like to dish up a Moscow Mule but if you want to honor the history of this drink and be traditional, you’ll need a copper mug. Pub landlords take note: your visitors are going to be very disappointed if you don’t serve the drink in a copper mug!

You also need plenty of ice!

The Process

Start by taking one half of lime and juicing it into the cup. This should provide a good amount of high quality juice. Ideally, you want about half an ounce in total in your mug.

Now take some high quality vodka and add two ounces. So right now you have two parts vodka to one point lime juice. That means you can increase or decrease the quantity as you need and just keep the ratio the same.

Now take your ice and pile it in to the top of the cup. If you’re using a copper mug, then this should be the right size already. If you’re choosing another container, then just try and choose something that will be roughly equal to one cup.

And finally, top off the drink to the top with ginger beer!

You now have your drink and all that’s left to do is to garnish it. Take a lime wheel and lay it nicely on top to finish off the presentation. It’s a unique and cool looking drink and one that will keep bringing people back! As reliable and trusty as any mule!

To reiterate:


  • 2oz Vodka
  • 3oz Ginger Beer
  • Juice from half a lime (1oz)


  • Lime wheel


  • Moscow Mule mug
  • Or highball

To prepare:

  1. Add all ingredients to mug
  2. Fill with ice
  3. Top off with ginger beer and garnish with a lime wheel

Other Moscow Mule Recipes

This is the official, standard recipe for the Moscow Mule. Actually though, there are many more ways to make a Moscow Mule if you want to get creative and try different flavors.

Part of the fun of this drink is just how versatile it is and how much fun you can have playing with the different recipes and introducing your own spin on the classic. This is the brilliant thing about cocktails – they’re constantly changing and constantly evolving! Who knows, maybe one day you’ll come up with your own version and that will become as widely known as the original! Don’t count on it… but you never know!

So here are some instructions on how to create a few different versions of the Moscow Mule.

The Garden Mule

This is a great drink that really offers a fun variation for enjoying in the summer. It’s fresh, tasty and juicy! It also has a vibrant purple color which only adds to the appeal. So how exactly does it work and how do you go about making one?

Basically, you’re going to muddle some fruits and berries into the mixture. Specifically, you want to take some blueberries, cucumber and mint and you’re going to use a muddle, cocktail shaker and strainer in order to infuse the taste of these ingredients into your beverage. This is the only difference really – you’re using these fruits instead of the usual lime and the result is surprisingly delicious!

Apple Cider Moscow Mule

The name rather gives this one away: this time we’re going to be making our classic drink but using apple cider vinegar. This is more of a drink for the fall, showing us just how versatile the beverage is and how it can be enjoyed all year around!

To make this one we are going to take 2 ounces of ginger flavored vodka (it’s cheating but it works!), 2 ounces of apple cider vinegar, juice from one small lime and a good quality ginger beer that will just top it off (about ½ a cup). You then sprinkle cinnamon on top in order to finish off the brew and add it to your copper mug. You can garnish with a stick of cinnamon and an apple slice!

This is a very spicy, juicy and tangy drink and it’s ideal for cradling around a fireplace as the nights start to draw in…

The Watermelon Moscow Mule

The Moscow Mule is a refreshing cocktail right?

And the watermelon is about the most thirst quenching and refreshing fruit out there, yes?

So what could be better than combining these two elements to make one tantalizingly juicy and refreshing drink?

This refreshing cocktail is made from vodka, ginger beer and lime with a splash of seltzer normally but now we’re going to be using melon instead of lime! This gives you just the right amount of juiciness and sweetness but it isn’t so strong as to overpower the ginger. The writer says they would add ginger liqueur if they could though to bring out the flavor even more.

Jello Shots

Did you know you can make jello shots out of a Moscow Mule? Well, just for future reference, you can make jello shots out of practically anything. The same site that brought us the watermelon variation details how we can make our own jello shots with the same ingredients.

Simply take 8 ½ ounces of ginger beer and 1.5 ounces of fresh lime juice. Now add two envelopes (that means 5.5 teaspoons in plain English) of unflavored gelatin. You’ll need to use 6 ounces of vodka in this particular recipe.

The writer on the site says that the Moscow Mule is their favorite summer drink, so we know right away that this is someone with good taste! And if there was any doubt, then the drink itself really proves it. Lightly spray the shot vessel with non-stick cooking spray. Then wipe any excess collected spray with a towel. Next up, use a saucepan and bring the ginger and lime juice to a low heat along with some gelatin (let it sit for a bit first to ‘bloom). Wait until the gelatin is fully dissolved and be careful not to let it boil.

Remove the pan from the heat and now stir in the vodka. Next, pour the liquid into a shot vessel and leave in the fridge for four hours to set. You can use a thin knife to slice around the edges of the shots when you want to get them out the mold. They’re delicious and a lot of fun and you can even add them to your regular Moscow Mule for something a bit different!

Coming Up With Your Own

The really great thing about the Moscow Mule though is that there’s really no limit to what you can come up with. Be sure to have fun experimenting, trying out different blends and different ingredients. Really, you can substitute anything for the lemon in order to try making different juicy drinks – orange is a popular choice for example and results in a citrusy, sweet and very delicious drink. Maybe you could try the same with apple juice or something else entirely?

Another way you can vary your drink is to try different spirits or combinations of spirits. Vodka is the traditional option but why not try it with martini for a bit of class? Or why not mix your vodka with something else on top in order to make it a bit more challenging and alcoholic. You can also just change the measures – try increasing the ratio of alcohol for instance if you want to give it even more of a kick or decreasing it if you want something that’s a little easier to sip in the summer without getting too drunk!

Mixing Tips

Here are some mixing tips that will help turn you into a master mixologist, ideal for creating plenty of delicious Moscow Mules as well as plenty of other creative beverages!

A Jigger

A jigger is 1.5 ounces and the reason this is useful knowledge for a mixologist is that this is the basic pour for most drinks. So if someone asks for a shot, give them a jigger.

Boy, that sounds weird…

A double jigger meanwhile is a measuring tool with two small metal cups that are welded bottom to bottom. One of these holds 1.5 ounces and the other holds ¾ of an ounce.

What is agave nectar?

This is a natural sweetener that comes from the agave plant (hence the name!) this can be used to make tequila but you can also use it in a range of other drinks. Try adding a drop to your Moscow Mule if you like your drinks sweet!

What’s a muddler?

If you think back to the recipe we looked at earlier for creating the Summer Moscow, then you might remember that we mentioned muddling your fruits. So what is muddling? It means using a muddler… And what that means is that you’re using a tool in order to mash fruits and herbs into the bottom of a cocktail shaker or glass. Muddlers can be wooden or metallic and often have a textured nylon head that does the pulverizing. This is a great way to infuse your drink with the flavor of the fruit that you’re adding in.

How to use a cocktail shaker

You don’t actually need a cocktail shaker for the basic Moscow Mule recipe but this opens up more doors for trying new things if you want to get creative and fancy! A cocktail shaker has three parts:

  • The container
  • The perforated lid that is used to strain the cocktail
  • A cap that goes on top

This helps to better infuse the liquor with the fruits and the herbs that you are muddling, which prevents them from sitting at the bottom or top. It then allows you to strain the drink you just made without pouring lots of bits of fruit and plant into your patron’s drink! It also helps you to chill the cocktail without diluting the liquor – so in other words you can shake with ice and then leave the ice in the shaker.

To use one, just add your ingredients – muddle if necessary – and then seal the cap nicely and firmly. Now just shake as hard as you can and then strain into the glass.