It’s summertime, the days are long, the sun is hot and your thirst seems unquenchable. Never fear: we’ll teach you how to make the Strawberry Moscow Mule, which is one of the best summer cocktails! You may not be a stranger to the Moscow Mule, but today we’re going to focus on a variation that will have you serving up pitchers of this drink all summer long!
History of the Strawberry Moscow Mule
The Strawberry Moscow Mule is a crowd-pleaser that is sure to have everyone craving more. However, do be careful. Since this is an alcoholic drink we advise you to practice drinking in moderation. We know, we know ... easier said than done, especially with a drink so delicious!
The Moscow Mule boasts more than a century’s worth of being one of America’s favorite classic cocktails and with good reason. This cleverly simple cocktail is a combination of ingredients so common, most of us can make one right now without having to make a trip to the store.
All you need is vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice. With such a phenomenal taste, it’s scary how simple it is to make.
The story of how the Moscow Mule was invented is pretty simple. One seller of vodka, another of ginger beer, and a third selling copper mugs came together with an ingenious idea in the 1940s and thus the Moscow Mule was born.
The popularity of the drink spread like wildfire and soon enough Americans had gone from thinking vodka was the Russian way of saying ‘horrible’ to being welcomed as a reputable alcoholic base for cocktails.
The drink can be described as being sweet, spicy and refreshing all at once. The lime juice in this drink gives it a tart and rousing flavor, perfect for a pick me up on a hot day, but the spiciness of the ginger beer gives it a robustness that won't be overpowered.
Mixed with vodka, served over ice and garnished with a lime wheel, it’s a perfect drink of choice to help you stay cool in when you need it. The traditional use of a copper mug maintains those crispy cool temperatures for even longer. Its gingery flavor also makes it a delectable choice during the holidays.
The magic behind this drink is that there is no one way to make it. Through the years there have been quite a few variations and additions to the Moscow Mule. Some recipes alter the amounts of each ingredient, tipping the balance when it comes to flavor.
In our cocktail experiments, we developed the Strawberry Moscow Mule and we couldn't wait to share it!
Nature has an uncanny way of putting opposites together to make the perfect pair. Strawberry and lime are no exception. Something about the sweetness of strawberries and the tartness of limes come together in a classic combination of sweet and sour.
First, we'll roll out the classic recipe for the Strawberry Moscow Mule. Then, we will discuss variations and different ways to make it.
Strawberry Moscow Mule Recipe
- Fresh strawberries
- Fresh limes
- Ginger beer
- Depending on how you like the consistency of your fruit you’ll either want to muddle the strawberries or blend them in a food processor. Muddling, of course, will leave you with chunkier bits in your drink, while blending will give you a smoother consistency (we prefer muddling as it creates more texture).
- Next, squeeze some lime juice into your strawberry mixture. Muddling the limes with the strawberry also works excellently.
- Add a shot (or two) of vodka
- Finally, top it off with a splash of ginger beer and some ice.
It really is that simple! Now you’ve got yourself a fizzy, fruity cocktail!
Strawberry Mule Mocktail
We have found ways to tweak this recipe so it can be enjoyed by all. For those of us who would prefer to skip the alcohol, you can enjoy a strawberry mule mocktail with the same great taste like the original.
Simply follow the classic recipe without the addition of alcohol.
Do keep in mind that there is both alcoholic and non-alcoholic ginger beer. If you are looking to avoid any alcohol, the non-alcoholic ginger beer is pretty popular and easy to find in most well-stocked supermarkets.
You might be thinking that you can substitute the ginger beer with ginger ale, but these two drinks are manufactured uniquely, and the results have different tastes.
Ginger beer is brewed or fermented, which allows the taste and flavoring of ginger to be more robust. On the other hand, ginger ale is more carbonated and has less of a gingery taste.
The use of ginger ale in a Strawberry Mule cocktail or mocktail would alter the taste of the drink. The taste of ginger would be overpowered by the strawberry and lime and you would be left with something other than a Strawberry Mule.
Another plus of this variation is that Strawberry Mule mocktails can also be served to children.
Fresh or Frozen
Not everyone has access to fresh strawberries and, for those of you who don’t, you may be wondering if you can make the same delicious cocktail or mocktail with frozen strawberries and the answer is: yes!
Frozen fruit lacks in areas of freshness, quality and sometimes even texture when compared to their fresh counterparts but, at the end of the day, a frozen strawberry is still a strawberry.
Frozen strawberries can be thawed by leaving them in the refrigerator, placing them under running water or by leaving them in a container of water. If thawed improperly or for too long they may turn into a mushy mess.
Leaving them in the refrigerator for a couple of hours should do the trick. Muddle or blend as desired.
Limes are always in season, at least for some. If you’re working with frozen limes, be sure to thaw properly before muddling with your strawberries. There’s also nothing wrong with using lime concentrate, but since the concentrate offers less brightness in flavor you may want to use more concentrate vs. freshly squeezed lime juice to achieve the same effect.
Note: Lemons are NOT a substitute for lime (at least in this case). If you use lemons or lemon juice you’ll pretty much end up with a gingery lemonade.
Substitutes and Additions
Outside of substituting fresh fruit for frozen options, there is a bit of wiggle room when it comes to the other ingredients needed for making a Strawberry Mule. There are also some bonus ingredients one can add to take it to another level and satisfy personal tastes.
Ginger beer gives the Strawberry Mule its fiery burn and bubbly fizz. In addition to using ginger beer, we’ve read some recipes that also use tonic water, sparkling water or seltzer.
Essentially these are all carbonated water, but because of their unique compositions they have distinct tastes.
Seltzer and sparkling water are great additions to the Strawberry Mule if you’re only looking for bubbles without changing the taste.
Tonic water is slightly bitter so if you insist on adding tonic water to your Strawberry Mule then we suggest adding simple syrup to balance out the taste.
In addition, we suggest adding simple syrup (1 part water and 1 part white sugar) if you want to amplify the sweetness of your cocktail or mocktail. One recipe we came across used Sprite in lieu of tonic water which packs a great citrus punch, intensifies fizz and enhances sweetness.
The Strawberry Moscow Mule is already spicy in nature due to its ginger beer component, but some people want to up the ante when it comes to spiciness. Some recipes require adding jalapeno slices.
For those of you brave enough to try, it's quite simple. One method is to add jalapeno slices to your vodka, shake, and let it sit overnight for maximum spiciness. If you prefer less intensity, let it sit for 1 hour.
Another option is to cook the jalapeno slices in a saucepan for five minutes in a mixture of simple syrup. The jalapeno slices can be left in the syrup or strained before mixing with your cocktail.
Don't forget to remove the seeds before adding the jalapenos.
Similar to a jalapeno syrup, some recipes use ginger slices in their syrup to enhance the flavor of this cocktail.
Zesty and spicy notes from the ginger are strongest with the addition of ginger syrup. Using ginger syrup in your Strawberry Mule cocktail or mocktail is a perfect recipe tweak for the holiday season.
How to Serve Strawberry Mules
If you’ve had a Moscow Mule it comes as no secret to you that they are traditionally served in copper mugs to keep temperatures at optimal levels.
Lately, there has been speculation on whether or not the toxicity of copper activated by the acidity of the limes makes for poor health choices. If you prefer to maintain the aesthetic value of the copper mug when serving your strawberry mules it is suggested to use nickel lined copper mugs to protect any copper properties from leaching into your drink.
When it comes to garnishes there are recipes that use sprigs of fresh herbs, or citrus wedges and peels. Feel free to use one or combinations of two or three. When it comes to cocktails, the presentation is just as important as taste.
Fruit wedges are probably the easiest and most functional garnish. Use a slice of citrus fruit or a juicy strawberry. Chances are you will either squeeze your fruit garnish into your drink to add a spritz of extra flavor or take a bite.
When using fresh herbs, many recipes make use of basil, thyme, mint, and rosemary. Make sure to slap the herbs between your hands to release their natural fragrances before placing them on top of your Strawberry Mule.
Once you have made your first Strawberry Mule cocktail or mocktail you'll be sure to come back for more!