How to make a Moscow mule: this drink is so easy to make with just 3 ingredients! Refreshingly cold & citrusy, with a warm ginger bite.

An icy Moscow mule drink in a copper mug, garnished with lime and fresh mint.

It’s Friday, woo-hoo!

And with the seasons starting to change, it seems like the perfect time for a Moscow mule.

 

I am all about a good drink recipe every now and again. A nice, citrusy margarita, or strawberry daiquiri, or even a homemade lemonade in the heat of summer.

A Moscow mule can be just as refreshing! And with that warm ginger bite, they’re even better when the weather starts to cool down.

Moscow mule cocktail in a copper mug with a text overlay above that reads "Moscow Mule."

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What is a Moscow mule?

A Moscow mule is a classic cocktail that’s so easy to make (and drink!).

It’s a little citrus-y, a little spicy, and really fizzy and refreshing. It’s got lime and ginger, and it’s spiked with vodka.

So delish!

What’s great about this recipe

  1. Killer flavor: This drink blasts you with tangy citrus and warm ginger. These flavors create an incredible contrast and a real taste sensation!
  2. Few ingredients: It only takes three ingredients to make this cocktail.
  3. Easy to make: Mix up a couple of these in around 5 minutes or less.
  4. Versatile: You can make just one or two at a time, or a whole pitcher at once. Party time!

What does a Moscow mule taste like?

When you take your first sip, you’ll notice it’s icy cold, so refreshing, and fizzy.

Next comes that ginger bite. You get a warm sensation on your tongue and at the back of your throat. This warmth ignites a slow burn that builds with every sip!

Finally, in comes the lime. It’s tangy and tart, with a floral citrus note; it will make your lips pucker! You’ll be craving another sip!

Moscow mule ingredients

This easy cocktail recipe has just 3 simple ingredients:

Vodka

Use whatever kind you like! Or, for a non-alcoholic Moscow mule, sub in the same amount of non-alcoholic vodka. Yes, it’s a thing! Who knew…

Lime juice

I highly recommend freshly squeezing it from whole limes! This gives the absolute best flavor. That said, bottled lime juice will work in a pinch.

Ginger beer

This ingredient is what will bring the heat and the fizz.

Ginger beer is similar to ginger ale, but less sweet and with a more intense ginger flavor. It does not contain any alcohol. You can find it in the soda aisle at your regular supermarket, or order it online here: ginger beer.

I like my ginger beer to really taste like ginger. When I can feel a gentle burn at the back of my throat, I’m a happy girl. I’ve tried a lot of different brands, but my favorites by far are Fever Tree and Maine Root Spicy Ginger Brew, in that order.

If you’re having trouble finding ginger beer, or if you just prefer a milder, sweeter flavor, you can substitute with ginger ale.

Special equipment

You really don’t need much of anything to make this!

A jigger is useful for measuring out the ingredients, but a liquid measuring cup would work just fine too.

A stirrer of some kind and something to drink it out of (maybe a pitcher if you’re serving a crowd?), but these copper mugs are traditional for Moscow mules and they’re pretty fun!

How to make a Moscow mule

This is a really quick and easy recipe that comes together in just 5 minutes or less!

Step 1: Ice

Start by filling your mug (or glass) with crushed ice.

Filling a copper mug with crushed ice.

Step 2: Booze it up

Then add your vodka.

Measuring vodka into a stainless steel jigger.

Step 3: Lime

Squeeze your limes, and add in the juice.

Juicing fresh limes with a small ceramic citrus reamer.

Step 4: Ginger fizz

Then just top everything off with ginger beer.

Pouring ginger beer into a Moscow mule cocktail.

Give it a stir and add a pretty garnish, and sip it while it’s fizzy and icy-cold!

How to serve

I like to garnish my Moscow mules with a sprig of fresh mint. It adds just a hint of cool, herbal flavor and a really nice aroma when you go to take a sip.

But this is completely optional!

I do recommend serving this drink with some fun nibbles though!

A tray of coconut shrimp, or some yummy lamb chops, or a plate of garlic knots would make a great accompaniment.

Or check out some more ideas on my “Appetizers” page! I’ve got tons!

Expert tips

Drink it cold! This cocktail is best enjoyed icy-cold! Crushed ice, and lots of it, makes it almost like a slushy.

Fresh limes: Freshly squeezed lime juice will take your cocktail from good to great! Leave that bottled stuff on the grocery store shelf; nothing compares to the real deal in terms of flavor.

Variations: You can totally customize your Moscow mule by adding in a splash of your favorite fruit juice. I especially love to add a little cranberry juice or apple cider; the flavors really compliment the spicy ginger!

This drink is typically made with vodka, but f you’d like to try using a different kind of liquor, here’s a quick guide:

  • Rum: if you swap the vodka for dark rum you have a “Dark & Stormy.”
  • Whiskey: a Moscow mule made with bourbon or whiskey is called a “Kentucky Mule.”
  • Gin: replace the vodka with gin to make a “Gin Mule.”
  • Tequila: use tequila for a “Mexican mule.”
Close up image of a Moscow mule drink with crushed ice, lime juice, and fresh mint.

Frequently asked questions

When is the best time of year to drink a Moscow mule?

Moscow mules can be enjoyed all year ’round.

It’s a cold and really refreshing drink, with a lot of citrus and fizz, so it’s perfect in the spring and summer months.

But because of the warm ginger flavor, it works really well in fall and winter too. That gentle heat at the back of the throat is so nice on a cool, crisp evening!

Is a Moscow mule a girly drink or a manly drink?

This is one of the things I love most about this cocktail: anyone can enjoy it!

It’s often served in a masculine metal mug, and it’s got a sharp bite to it, so it’s perfect for guys.

But it’s also fizzy and a little sweet, so women really enjoy it too!

Do I need to buy those copper mugs?

Traditionally, Moscow mules are served in mugs made of hammered copper. If you don’t have them, they are pretty inexpensive to buy and they’ll look great on your bar cart. Here’s a link: Moscow mule mugs.

But these are by no means a necessity! You can totally just prepare your drink in a regular rocks glass or high-ball.

Why are Moscow mule mugs copper?

Besides just looking cute and trendy, copper mugs will keep your drinks extra cold and super refreshing!

Are copper mugs safe to drink from?

I have heard conflicting information on this topic, so if you have any doubt at all, look for mugs that are lined with nickel or stainless steel.

Can Moscow mule mugs go in the dishwasher?

Although it’s probably perfectly safe to put copper in the dishwasher, it does tend to dull the finish.

So if you want to keep your mugs bright and shiny, it’s best to hand wash them with warm soapy water.

Where to buy Moscow mule mugs

Moscow mule mugs seem to be readily available just about anywhere you go these days. I’ve seen them in lots of gift shops, as well as at Target, Walmart, and Kohl’s.

But to me, the easiest thing is just to order them online!

That’s what I did for the cups you see in these pics. Here’s a link: Moscow mule copper mugs.

How to make Moscow mules for a crowd

If you’re throwing a party, think about mixing up a big pitcher!

Just multiply this recipe by 10 and you’ll have enough to fill a pitcher.

But don’t add the ice to the pitcher! It will melt and water down the drinks. Instead, place the ice in each cup before serving. Smart!

Two copper Moscow mule mugs surrounded by crushed ice and fresh limes.

A few more of my favorite drink recipes:

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An icy Moscow mule drink in a copper mug, garnished with lime and fresh mint.
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How to Make a Moscow Mule

Servings: 1 drink*
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
How to make a Moscow mule: this drink is so easy to make with just 3 ingredients! Refreshingly cold & citrusy, with a warm ginger bite.

Ingredients

  • 1 /2 cups (14 g) crushed ice
  • 2 ounces (56.7 ml) vodka
  • 1 tablespoon (14.79 ml) lime juice,, freshly squeezed (juice of 1/2 lime)
  • 8 ounces (226.8 ml) ginger beer
  • 1 slice lime, (optional garnish)
  • 1 sprig fresh mint

Instructions
 

  • Fill a cocktail glass or copper mug with crushed ice, then add vodka, lime juice, and ginger beer.
  • Stir to combine, then garnish with a slice of lime and a sprig of fresh mint.

Notes

*This recipe scales up beautifully!  Just multiply the ingredient amounts by the number of drinks you want to make.
Serving: 1drink, Calories: 215kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Sodium: 29mg, Sugar: 20g, Vitamin C: 7mg, Iron: 1mg
Cuisine: American
Course: Drinks
Tried this recipe?Mention @bakingamoment on Instagram or tag #bakingamoment.

Close-up image of a Moscow mule drink with a text overlay above that reads "Moscow Mule."

Close-up image of a Moscow mule drink with a text overlay above that reads "Moscow Mule."

Close-up image of a Moscow mule drink with a text overlay above that reads "Moscow Mule."

Author

  • Allie

    Allie is the creator and owner of Baking a Moment. She has been developing, photographing, videographing, and writing and sharing recipes here since 2012.

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