In this post, we reveal the best Blackberry Moscow Mule recipes on the internet! We also describe the origin and history of the Blackberry Mule so that you can fully appreciate the cocktail. Let's dive right in!
When you think of cocktails, there are usually a couple of different places your mind can go: the sugary, overpriced, watered-down drink you paid an embarrassing amount of money for at the nearest semi-swanky nighttime establishment, or the tasty-but-sloppy concoction your friend threw together in their blender. Of course, there are varying degrees of quality within those categories: some overpriced bar cocktails can taste like a slice of heaven, and your friend could be surprisingly adept at mixing drinks together. But, by and large, those appear to be the most common experiences for a lot of cocktail enthusiasts out in the wild: weak, expensive, convoluted, sub-par.
Why is that? Why do so many cocktails fall so short of the Platonic ideal of what a delicious cocktail should be? Well, there are a number of potential reasons, chief among them being the fact that a lot of cocktail recipes appear to be in a constant battle to come up with the most complicated recipe, throwing together a huge amount of ingredients that may or may not actually gel together as a whole. Nothing worse than a cocktail that tastes like it’s being pulled in ten different directions at the same time. Add to this the bar’s need to make a profit (which affects the price and the quality of ingredients) and the home mixologist’s innate need to show off to their friends by putting together the most elaborate drink (which affects the structural integrity) and what you end up with is often a less than ideal cocktail experience.
But then there are some drinks that are so beautifully perfect in their simplicity that it’s hard to mess them up; where the ingredients list is very brief and each element interacts perfectly with each other. Stone-cold classics of the alcoholic-beverage tradition. We’re talking about iconic drinks that have stood the test of time over the years, and whose simplicity has actually served as the ideal springboard for creativity in coming up with new twists on the original recipe. And, in this particular case, a drink that has traditionally been consumed in its own iconic container: a copper mug. That’s right; we’re talking about the venerable Moscow Mule.
You’re probably familiar with the classic Moscow Mule by now -- if not, you’ve likely seen them at gatherings or in pop culture, in their eye-catching presentation. It is an extremely straightforward and delicious cocktail that is just about impossible to get wrong, containing three main ingredients. And because these ingredients complement each other so perfectly, the Moscow Mule has become the drink of choice for a lot of amateur mixologists who want to impress their guests without navigating long and complicated recipes. A Moscow Mule is as refreshing as it is easy to make, containing ginger beer, vodka, and lime juice. But there’s more to the Mule than that.
You see, Moscow Mules kicked off a bit of a trend; as the popularity of the drink spread across the land, so did regional variants start popping up. Because the original recipe is so straightforward, there’s a lot of room for creativity and playing around with different flavors and textures, giving way to a whole new world of options. Most of these variations did one simple thing: swap out the spirit for a different one. So, for instance, a Mexican Mule would be a Moscow Mule with the vodka replaced by tequila, a Kentucky Mule would be a Moscow Mule using Kentucky bourbon, and so on and so forth. But some variations of the Moscow Mule did something different instead of swapping out ingredients: they added something to the mix.
The Blackberry Moscow Mule
Enter the Blackberry Moscow Mule, one of our favorite variations of this cocktail. Can you guess what is different about this version of the Mule? That’s right: it adds a whole other layer of flavor and texture by incorporating blackberries. This extremely refreshing and delightfully sweet drink makes for a fantastic summer companion, especially out in the sun with some friends. The kick of the ginger beer, the brightness of the lime juice, and the slight tartness of the blackberries all work together to make this drink a unique experience.
And though it sounds very simple from the description above, there are actually a few different ways to make the Blackberry Moscow Mule. Let’s talk about some of them, and what our personal choice is for the best Blackberry Moscow Mule recipe.
Classic Blackberry Moscow Mule Recipe
Let’s start with the most traditional Blackberry Moscow Mule recipe, which, as you might expect, is also the most straightforward one. This is the basic Moscow Mule recipe with the added element of the blackberries.
- 4 large, plump blackberries, or 8 smaller ones
- 6 ounces ginger beer
- 1.5 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 ounces vodka
- Place a glass (or, preferably, the traditional Moscow Mule copper mug!) in the freezer until it’s frosty.
- In a different glass, muddle the blackberries. Feel free to add in a small sprig of mint for some extra brightness.
- Add in the ginger beer, vodka, and lime juice.
- Strain the liquid into the frosty mug or glass.
- Garnish with more blackberries, mint, and lime.
This cocktail is best served ice cold, which is why we chill our mug before mixing. The best thing about a cocktail this simple is that it’s very easy to customize, meaning that, if you like it a bit stronger, all you have to do is adjust the alcohol levels accordingly. Similarly, if you’re a big fan of blackberries, feel free to add more!
Mint is not an obligatory ingredient here -- your Blackberry Moscow Mule will be delicious without it. But we have found that adding in a small sprig of mint really kicks the whole mixture up a notch, adding a touch of herbal brightness to the mix of flavors and textures you’re putting together. Of course, some people aren’t fans of mint in their cocktails, so feel free to leave it out altogether.
The recipe above uses fresh muddled blackberries which are mixed with the rest of the ingredients and strained into the icy copper mug. This will get you the smoothest version of the drink, since you’re leaving out all the solids. But if you’re the kind of person who likes to have a little chewy treat at the bottom of their drink, you could also muddle the blackberries in the mug itself and pour the rest of the ingredients into it.
To do this, simply place the blackberries and lime juice in the bottom of your ice-cold copper mug. Then squash the berries to release their juice. Add the vodka and ginger beer on top of that, and stir to combine. That’s it!
This saves you the step of straining the mixture, and also takes full advantage of the texture that the blackberries bring to the Blackberry Moscow Mule. On top of that, you get to eat the blackberries at the bottom of the mug once you’re done with the drink.
Moscow Mule with Blackberry Syrup Recipe
Some Blackberry Moscow Mule recipes go the extra mile to really bring the blackberry flavor forward by incorporating other elements. For example, some recipes call for making your own homemade blackberry syrup to add to the mix. If you like your drink a little sweeter than most and you want to make the cocktail’s blackberry flavor significantly more intense, this could be the best version of the Blackberry Moscow Mule for you.
So, how would we go about making that syrup?
- 2.5 cups water
- 1.5 cup sugar
- 2 cups blackberries
- Put water, sugar, and blackberries over medium-high heat, bring them to a boil.
- Reduce heat and let simmer 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and mash berries. Make sure to mash thoroughly so as to get as much syrup out as you can.
- Allow to cool 20 minutes. Bottle up and store until ready to use.
If you go this route, you end up with a more concentrated blackberry flavor that is also considerably sweeter due to the added sugar. To put the cocktail together:
- Combine room-temperature blackberry syrup and vodka. Make sure neither of them are chilled, as the syrup won’t incorporate as well if either is cold. Add in the lime juice.
- Once incorporated, pour the mixture over ice into a copper mule mug.
- Top with ginger beer and lime juice. Fresh blackberry garnish optional.
This version of the drink makes for an entirely different experience. It’s very sweet and definitely loses some of its breezy refreshing qualities, while also being a little more intense and perhaps even more festive. We can see these drinks working well in different contexts, or perhaps even different seasons of the year; while the original recipe is a summery, outdoors drink, we definitely envision the version that incorporates syrup as more of an indoor party drink, perhaps even suited for a holiday gathering in the winter.
Whichever version you choose to go with, the Blackberry Moscow Mule is a delicious twist on the classic cocktail that you’re going to love. And with a recipe this simple, it’s near impossible to mess up!