Moscow Muled

My Account

7 Best Russian Mule Recipes

7 Best Russian Mule Recipes

If you're like us, you think the Russian Mule is a fabulous cocktail. But what is the best way to make and serve the Russian Mule? In this post, we lay out the classic Russian Mule recipe along with six awesome variations that will keep you coming back for more! We also explain the origins of this classic drink and the best way to serve it. Read on!

Introduction

A truly exceptional cocktail is more than swishing alcohol together with your go-to mixture. Cocktails should heighten your senses with exquisite presentation, flavors, and aromas. Drinking itself brings people together to experience fun, share stories, and have a good laugh. Thus, any cocktail worth sipping needs a story and personality of its own. And one such cocktail is the Russian Mule.

The Russian Mule, also known as the Moscow Mule, is a cocktail that has been around for decades. There are a couple of stories that explain how it came into existence, but one of the most popular ones has its origins in Los Angeles. Story has it that in 1941, three people whose businesses were not doing so well found a way to make their products complement each other to build sales.

Jack Morgan, the owner of the Cock 'n' Bull pub, had a stock of ginger beer in his basement that wasn’t selling very well. John Martin had bought a vodka distillery in the 1930s, but that too was not doing well. Lastly, Sophie Berezinski had come to the United States from Russia with a load of copper mugs from her father’s factory that she hoped to sell. Together, as they discussed the woes of their ventures, they began entertaining the idea of a cocktail made of ginger beer, vodka, and lime juice served in a copper mug. That is how the Russian Mule was born, and it has enjoyed immense popularity ever since. 

In this article, we’ll explore:

  • Making the Russian Mule
  • How is the Russian Mule served?
  • Russian Mule Recipes

Making the Russian Mule

The Russian Mule drink recipe has three main ingredients. Spicy ginger beer, vodka, and lime juice. Over time, many variations have emerged, but most of them still include these three. Today, the cocktail remains a favorite in many parts of the world, but more so in the United States.

How is the Russian Mule Served?

Since its inception, the copper mug has become the traditional cup in which the Russian Mule drink is served. After the meeting at the Cock ‘n' Bull, it’s reported that Martin, the owner of the vodka distillery, traversed the country popularizing the new cocktail. He would ask bartenders to pose for photos with a copper mug and a bottle of his vodka. They would keep one photo for display, and he would keep the other for marketing. 

The best cocktail makers know that icy drinks served in copper cups have an extra sensation because the metal quickly takes on the chilled temperature of the cocktail. The mug's rim becomes cold almost instantly, giving your lips a frozen feeling. Copper is highly effective at insulating the cold temperature of liquids and deflecting heat. The mug’s handle helps preserve drink temperature and keeps the heat from your hand away from the walls of the copper mug.

What’s more, using copper cups enhances the individual flavors of vodka, ginger beer, and lime. According to some experts, once vodka comes into contact with the walls of the mug, copper starts to oxidize, enhancing the taste, and boosting the aroma of vodka slightly.

Cold copper brings to life lime juice, intensifying the tangy citrus notes while at the same time reducing the acidity to better compliment the spiciness of the ginger beer. Also, extra cold copper increases the bubbles in carbonated ginger, making the Russian Mule even fizzier, when compared to serving it in a glass or plastic container. 

When all these flavors attain their maximum potential, they make the Russian Mule a classic American cocktail.

Here are some of the best recipes for the Russian Mule, along with some great variations on the classic:

The Classic Russian Mule Recipe

Preparation Time: 5 Minutes
Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz ginger beer 
  • 2 oz vodka 
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice 
  • 0.5 oz sugar syrup
  • Lime wedge
  • 2 pieces of ginger 

Instructions:

  • In a shaker, muddle the pieces of ginger then add vodka, sugar syrup, and lime juice.
  • Shake until they’re well combined and strain into a copper mug. 
  • Top with ginger beer. 
  • Add ice, and use a lime wedge to garnish. 
  • Serve. 

This recipe contains the basic Russian Mule ingredients. The sugar syrup is used as a sweetener, which is easier to add to cold beverages compared to granulated sugar. 

The English Russian Mule

Preparation Time: 5 Minutes
Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz ginger beer
  • 2 oz English gin
  • 1 oz lime juice 
  • 0.5 oz sugar syrup 
  • Lime wedge
  • Ice

Instructions:

  • Pour the ginger, lime juice, and sugar syrup into a mug and stir to mix. 
  • Add ginger beer and ice. 
  • Garnish with the lime wedge. 
  • Enjoy. 

Gin is a favorite drink among the Britons, which makes it an ideal ingredient to add to this English version of the Russian Mule. It has a herbal, piney flavor that blends well with sweet, slightly spicy ginger beer.

One of the reasons why gin became so popular is because of its benefits to the body. To begin with, it has a much lower calorie count than other alcoholic drinks. Each shot comes at around 97 calories. In addition, it’s low in sugar, and these two attributes make it a good ingredient for people who are keen on managing their weight. Gin also helps reduce the signs of skin aging, given that its main ingredient, juniper, is rich in anti-oxidants.

The Mimic (Non-Alcoholic) Russian Mule Recipe

Preparation Time: 3 Minutes
Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz non-alcoholic ginger beer
  • 1 lime, sliced
  • 1 pinch mint
  • Mint sprig

Instructions:

  • Muddle the sliced lime and mint in a shaker, then add ginger beer and shake. 
  • Strain into a glass and garnish with a mint sprig. 
  • Serve. 

This is a non-alcoholic version of the Russian mule cocktail. It comes with the same invigorating flavor and is a suitable option if you want to lay off the alcohol. For the best result, ensure the lime and mint are fresh. That way, they will release a lot of flavor and aroma into the Russian Mule drink.

The Russian-Mexican Mule Recipe

Preparation Time: 5 Minutes
Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz tequila 
  • 4 oz ginger beer 
  • 1 oz lime juice 
  • 0.5 oz syrup
  • Mint sprig
  • Ice

Instructions:

  • Combine the ginger beer, tequila, lime juice, and syrup in a copper mug. 
  • Add ice. 
  • Garnish with mint sprigs and serve. 

Tequila and Mexico go hand in hand, and that’s what gives this recipe its Mexican identity. The drink is known for its burning sensation and is liked by many, while others dislike it in equal measure. However, when tequila is combined with ginger beer, its bitterness is balanced out and made more bearable to those who don’t fancy it. Of course, the lime juice and sugar syrup add more of the citrusy, sweet edge. 

In addition, having a bit of tequila in your cocktail may aid with digestion. Tequila has high levels of insulin, which encourage the growth of good bacteria in the digestive tract, inducing better digestion. It’s also good for bones, can help control blood sugar by lowering its levels, and also reduces the level of pain perception. If you have been having trouble sleeping, a glass of this may help calm your nerves and ease you into a restful slumber. 

Pineapple and Ginger Russian Mule

Preparation Time: 5 Minutes
Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1½ oz vodka
  • ¾ oz ginger simple syrup
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice 
  • ¼ oz pineapple juice
  • Splash of club soda 
  • Ice cube

Instructions:

  • Pour vodka, lime juice, and ginger syrup into a cocktail shaker and combine. 
  • Add an ice cube, then shake well. 
  • Strain mixture into a copper mug and add pineapple juice. 
  • Top with a splash of club soda. 
  • Serve. 

For fruit lovers, this is the ideal Russian Mule drink recipe. The sweet and tart tropical flavors of the pineapple make it a refreshing drink suitable for any occasion. Club soda brings a mineral flavor, adding more texture to the drink. 

Not to forget that pineapple juice has several health benefits. Firstly, it contains bromelain, an enzyme that has powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. It helps prevent and reduce swelling, bruising, and is useful in the treatment of injuries. Secondly, research has shown that this enzyme is instrumental in fighting the growth of cancerous cells in the body when used alongside chemotherapy. When bromelain is consumed regularly, it can help reduce the risks of developing colon and prostate cancer. 

Lastly, thanks to its vitamin C content, pineapple juice reduces the risk of coronary heart disease. With such benefits, a mug of this Russian Mule variation seems like a good thing any day. 

Orange Russian Mule

Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz vodka
  • 2 oz orange juice
  • 4 oz non-alcoholic ginger beer
  • 2 tbsp. lime juice 
  • Ice
  • 1 Orange slice

Instructions:

  • Combine vodka, orange juice, ginger beer, and lime juice in a glass. 
  • Add ice and stir. 
  • Garnish with an orange slice.
  • Enjoy. 

This is another sweet and refreshing drink for anyone looking to brighten up their cocktail. Even better, orange juice comes with a host of health benefits that makes this Russian Mule variation all the more worthwhile. This citric drink is full of important nutrients such as potassium, folate, and vitamin C. These nutrients promote bone health, boost the immune system, and protect against cardiovascular disease. 

Orange juice is also a rich source of anti-oxidants that fight oxidative damage in the body. These include flavonoids and carotenoids. Besides helping prevent diseases such as cancer, anti-oxidants also promote healthier skin. 

The Aussie-Russian Mule Cocktail

Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Yields 1 Glass

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz ginger beer
  • 2 oz dark rum 
  • 1 oz lime juice 
  • 0.5oz sugar syrup 
  • Ice
  • 1 lime wedge 

Instructions:

  • Mix the ginger beer, rum, sugar syrup, and lime juice in a copper mug. 
  • Add ice and stir. 
  • Garnish with the lime wedge. 
  • Serve. 

What gin is for Britain, rum is for Australia. Dark rum, with its notable taste, makes smooth cocktails. These are especially spicy and delicious when ginger beer is added into the mix. 

A Drink That Makes Your Day

With so many variations on the classic Russian Mule cocktail, it's up to you to decide which one appeals best to your tastes and preferences. To take your cocktail experience to the next level, make sure to get some authentic copper mugs for your next batch of Russian Mules!

 

Leave a comment