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Top Watermelon Mule Recipe

Top Watermelon Mule Recipe

Have you tried the ultimate watermelon cocktail? This post is the ultimate guide to the Watermelon Mule cocktail, a unique variation on the classic Moscow Mule. Read on for the best Watermelon Moscow Mule recipe along with a special variation known as the Watermelon Mint Moscow Mule!

The Perfect Drink for Hot Days

One of the best things about cocktails is the power of a specific combination of ingredients to completely alter the shape of your day. Whether you’re stressed out after a long day of meetings, you’re in need of a pick-me-up due to personal turmoil, or you’re just ready to welcome the weekend with open arms, a meticulously assembled alcoholic beverage has the immense power to alter your mood in a positive way. In this sense, it is a little bit like experiencing a great work of art or a delicious meal... with the added bonus of giving you a nice buzz.

Imagine yourself on a hot, sweltering summer day, sitting outside with some friends, in desperate pursuit of some relief from the heat. You’ve already done the basics: you’ve kicked your shoes off, you’ve set some fans in your general direction, you’re playing some positively chilly music in an attempt to trick your brain into believing it’s not unbearably hot. What better way to cap all of this off than with a cool, refreshing cocktail?

And, as far as cocktails go, it doesn’t get much more refreshing than the noble Moscow Mule. The super-simple combination of vodka, ginger beer and lime juice, served ice-cold in the traditional copper mug, has long been a summer staple; not only is it refreshing, but it has the added “kick” of spiciness from the ginger beer. And while drinking a spicy drink in the summer heat might sound counter-intuitive, the slight kick only adds to the overall refreshing effect of this very straightforward, very delicious concoction.

Of course, there’s more than one version of the Moscow Mule out there. And there was bound to be -- a drink this simple, consisting of just three main ingredients, is prime for experimentation. In most cases, people substituted the spirit base for something different: changing vodka to bourbon gave you a Kentucky Mule, swapping it out for rum gave you a Caribbean Mule, using tequila instead resulted in a Mexican Mule. As you can probably imagine, the possibilities are endless, and there are a huge amount of delicious drinks that exist within the larger “Mule” family of cocktails, and they are all served in the classic copper mug.

So how do we make the Moscow Mule even more refreshing? How do we make this already-perfect summer drink an even more deliciously cool cocktail experience? Is such a thing even possible?

Friends, let us tell you about the Watermelon Mule.

The Watermelon Moscow Mule

Watermelon is the perfect summer fruit. It is not only inherently refreshing and delicious, but it is also packed with amazing health benefits, nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Having a few slices of watermelon makes any situation better. So it stands to reason that this incredible fruit would kick the Moscow Mule up a notch in terms of flavor, texture, and freshness.

As the name implies, the Watermelon Mule (or Watermelon Moscow Mule, as it is sometimes called) is a Moscow Mule variation which includes watermelon as part of the recipe. See, instead of substituting vodka for a different spirit (which is what the great majority of these Moscow Mule variations do), the Watermelon Mule adds an ingredient to the mix, creating an entirely new cocktail experience.

The addition of watermelon does a few different things to the traditional Moscow Mule. Let’s start with the obvious: the cocktail instantly becomes sweeter. Adding fruit will make any cocktail sweeter, true, but, in the case of the Watermelon Mule, there’s also the matter of the unique contrast between the ingredients. Here, the interaction between the sweet-but-subdued watermelon flavor and the crispness of the ginger beer makes for a very interesting flavor combination, and the citrus from the lime juice serves as the tangy bow on top of a very delicious package; it has depth, it has nuance, and it has texture. It’s light, but there’s a real depth of flavor to it. So yes, it is sweet, but what it isn’t is a mountain of sugar with a little booze added in!

How to Add Watermelon to Your Mule Cocktail

While the Watermelon Mule continues with the Mule tradition of being an extremely simple drink to make, there are a couple of points that vary from recipe to recipe. In particular, these relate to the way the watermelon is added to the drink: some recipes call for frozen watermelon in cubes, others say to add ice. For us, cubing a fresh watermelon, freezing it, and sticking it right in the blender is the way to go! If you don’t have enough time to freeze your watermelon, adding some ice will do the trick, but be aware that this will inevitably water down the flavor of your cocktail.

Another point of contention is whether you should be making watermelon juice before adding it to the cocktail, or simply blending it all together. This will come down to your preference in texture. If you prefer a thicker, slushier drink, more reminiscent of a fruit smoothie, then there’s no need to go through the process of juicing it. However, if you’d prefer a more liquid, easy-to-drink cocktail, using watermelon juice might be the right move for you. We’ll go through both methods below. 

Use Fresh Ingredients

One thing that should go without saying when talking about making any cocktail that incorporates fruit: use fresh ingredients! Yes, you could go to the store and pick out some pre-made watermelon juice, but you’ll likely end up with a product that has added sugar and none of that unmistakable freshness that you get when something is made with fresh products. This goes for the lime juice, as well.

Frozen Watermelon Mule Cocktail Recipe

First, let’s go through the frozen Watermelon Mule cocktail recipe.

Ingredients

  • 4 cup cubed watermelon, frozen
  • 1 cup ginger beer
  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • Ice for blending

(Optionally, you can include some mint leaves and lime slices for garnish)

Instructions:

  1. In a blender, combine your frozen watermelon, the ginger beer, vodka, and lime juice. Blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into copper mugs and garnish with mint leaves and lime slices. Makes four servings.

If you’d rather have a more liquid consistency, follow the instructions below to make watermelon juice before combining the beverages:

  1. Place the watermelon chunks into the blender. Cover and puree until smooth.
  2. Strain the watermelon, reserving the juice. Discard the pulp.
  3. Simply pour the watermelon juice into the copper mug with the ginger beer, vodka, and lime juice.

See? So simple! And yet the combination of these ingredients, as well as the way the flavors interact with each other, will have you feeling like you’re drinking a fancy, incredibly elaborate cocktail at a five-star resort.

Making Watermelon Simple Syrup

A few other recipes call for making watermelon simple syrup which you can them pour into the copper mug with the rest of the ingredients. Watermelon simple syrup is essentially watermelon juice and sugar, so the end result will be a much stronger and much sweeter cocktail.

While this may up the ante in terms of making the drink more exciting, it does also have the effect of losing some of the subtleties of the drink; the watermelon’s natural sweetness is pushed way forward and amplified by the sugar, which comes at the expense of the drink’s more complex properties. Again, this comes down to personal preference; if you’re in the mood for something super sugary, go for it!

  1. Combine 2 cups seedless watermelon and 1 cup of sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. 
  2. Use a potato masher (or another similarly blunt utensil) to mash the watermelon and sugar together, making sure to push out the liquid and dissolve the sugar. 
  3. Simmer for around five minutes, stirring often. 
  4. Pour the mixture through a fine sieve over a bowl. Press the watermelon to extract all the liquid. Set aside to cool completely.

Watermelon Flavored Vodka

The traditional Moscow Mule is made with unflavored vodka, but if you really want to amp up your cocktail’s watermelon-y properties, you have the option of using watermelon-flavored vodka!

Some might consider this redundant as the drink already has watermelon in it, but this is actually a good way to really increase the watermelon flavor without losing any of the drink’s subtler qualities; most watermelon-flavored vodka isn’t overwhelmingly sweet or watermelon-forward, so you’re just adding a little bit of extra flair to your drink.

If you’re interested in watermelon-flavored vodka, a good one to try is Smirnoff Watermelon Vodka. The famous vodka maker has been around for a long time and built a reputation for themselves by making a reliably good product, and their watermelon-flavored vodka is no exception.

Another good option is Ivanabitch Watermelon Vodka, a very smooth and very fruity product. Three Olives Watermelon vodka is a tangy, delicious vodka that is fairly smooth while still having a bit of a kick to it, while Burnett’s Watermelon is a very potent vodka with a subtle watermelon flavoring. Any of these would make a great addition to your Watermelon Moscow Mule, bringing the watermelon taste further to the forefront while not overwhelming your cocktail with sweetness.

Conclusion

There you have it - everything you need to know to make the perfect Watermelon Moscow Mule! Once you have the recipe down, consider upping your cocktail game with some authentic copper Moscow Mule mugs!

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Best Vodka for Moscow Mule

Best Vodka for Moscow Mule

If you're anything like us, you love the Moscow Mule. And, if you love the Moscow Mule as much as we do, you want to learn how to make it perfectly, every time. In this post, we answer a common question: what is the best vodka to use to make the Moscow Mule?

Introduction

When it comes to putting cocktails together, there tends to be a lot of room for error. Precise combinations of meticulously measured ingredients that interact with each other in very carefully considered ways make it so that, if you happen to use the wrong brand or amount, you’ll likely end up with a very nasty drinking experience. 

But what about when we’re talking about a cocktail, like the Moscow Mule, that literally only includes three ingredients? You might think it would be hard to mess up something so simple, but the risk is considerably higher. You want to make sure that the ingredients that make up one third of the entire drink are all high quality and delicious to ensure that your cocktail is as delicious as it can be.

The gingery, somewhat spicy kick of the Moscow Mule is made up of three ingredients: vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice. It’s a super approachable cocktail in terms of its preparation, and the flavor combinations result in a zesty, delicious, refreshing drinking experience. Each ingredient is, of course, of utmost importance here, but the alcoholic spirit is the very heart of the drink. Swap out the vodka and you get an entirely different type of Mule altogether (and there are countless variations, such as the Tennessee Mule, which replaces vodka for bourbon). But there’s something about the clearheadedness of vodka that beautifully complements the kick from the ginger beer, resulting in a well-rounded and deeply satisfying drink.

Vodka and the Moscow Mule

In fact, the relationship between vodka and the Moscow Mule is so strong that it is believed that the cocktail is directly responsible for the popularity of vodka in the US. Though vodka had been around for a while, it didn’t really catch on until the 1950s, when the Moscow Mule made its way out of the Sunset Strip and took off in popularity nation-wide. Suddenly, everybody was talking about the alcoholic spirit, and its use eventually extended way beyond the copper mug. Yes, vodka makes the Moscow Mule, but the Moscow Mule also made vodka.

However, as you know, not all vodkas are the same. There are subtle nuances that distinguish different brands of vodka, and they each bring something unique to the Moscow Mule. There are differences in flavor profile, mouth feel, aftertaste, and alcohol content that make choosing the right vodka part of the experience of “designing” your cocktail experience. And while purists may cling to the mighty Smirnoff (and we rightfully doff our cap to the legendary vodka maker), there’s an entire world of different vodkas to choose from, each offering their own contributions to the beloved Moscow Mule.

What Makes Good Vodka?

But wait. What makes vodka "good," anyway? Why is one bottle of the clear spirit supposed to be better than the other? And what do we look out for when we sample it? 

As you may know, vodka is a fermented starch (most commonly made from grains or potatoes), which goes through a process of distillation to become the mostly-odorless, mostly-flavorless concentrated liquor we know and love today. Vodka is a "rectified spirit," which means that it is often distilled at least three times. Often, especially with higher-end products, this number is a lot higher, and marketing teams will make it a point to advertise the amount of times the product has been distilled; this is because the product is cleaner and smoother the more times it is distilled, as impurities are removed with each trip through the still. 

So, the difference between a high-end product and a low-end one will come down to the amount of attention and effort that is put into its creation. Not only is the amount of distillations a factor, the water that is used is also a major point. This is why many brands will advertise the fact that they use mountain spring water or other clean sources to create a clean, smooth vodka.

With that in mind, we’ll be listing the best vodka for Moscow Mules and going over their differences and what they bring to the table. This way, you can be prepared when it comes to  crafting your cocktail. Let’s get right to it.  

Absolut Elyx

Since we want to keep things as varied as possible, our list includes vodkas from various price points and budgets. That said, we're going to start things off with this luxury vodka. Absolut Elyx isn't only a smooth, delicious spirit, it also comes in an absolutely gorgeous bottle to look at which will be a welcome addition to your collection. And, it fits nicely with the Moscow Mule theme; Moscow Mules are traditionally served in copper mugs, and Absolut Elyx is distilled in a manually operated copper column still. Buy it for its silky, full-bodied palate, and keep it for its gorgeous packaging. 

Ocean Vodka

Speaking of beautiful packaging, here’s another pretty bottle for your booze rack that happens to be filled with an incredible product. Hawaii-based Ocean Vodka Organic Farm and Distillery boasts that its product is "the only vodka in the world distilled from organic sugar cane and blended with deep ocean mineral water;" this means that it is completely gluten-free and contains no GMOs, herbicides, or pesticides, resulting in a clean and pure drinking experience. Its smooth, slightly sweet finish will beautifully complement the kick of the ginger beer in your Moscow Mule.

Grey Goose

Everyone knows Grey Goose. Even if you’re not a vodka drinker, you’ve likely heard that name. It'd be hard to put together a list like this and not mention one of the most deservedly famous vodka makers on the planet. The French vodka has made its way into the hearts of people from all over the world with its sweet, round taste; the maker uses single origin Picardie wheat as well as water from a natural limestone well in France, which contributes to its characteristic boldness. There are several variations of the vodka, but for Moscow Mules, you just can't go wrong with the original.

Luksusowa

"Luksusowa" is literally Polish for "luxury," and the Polish vodka maker's faith in its own product is well placed. Made with potatoes in Poland, Luksusowa vodka’s flavor profile is mild and clean; instead of hogging the spotlight, Luksosowa is happy to take a backseat to the zestier taste of the ginger beer and lime juice. The texture is what really sets it aside; as a potato vodka, it adds a good amount of creaminess to the body of your Moscow Mule. 

Hangar One

Hangar 1 is the result of a group of enterprising individuals taking a look at what was available on the market and thinking "we can do better." They took matters into their own hands and created a vodka that blends grapes with Midwestern grains to create a floral, fruity flavor profile with a viscous mouthfeel. This is not a tame vodka. Hangar 1’s flavor profile is big and easily recognizable; it will add a decadent twist to your Moscow Mule.

St George Green Chile

If you want to add to the spicy bite of the ginger beer in your Moscow Mule, a good choice is St. George Green Chile Vodka, which is made from a variety of California-grown hot and sweet peppers including jalapeños, serranos, habaneros, and red and yellow bell peppers. The result is a sweet, savory vodka experience that is surprisingly deep, vibrant, and invigorating. Your Moscow Mule will kick a little stronger than usual with this bold, zesty vodka product. But who doesn’t like a bit of a kick from time to time?

Chopin Vodka

Chopin vodka is a small-batch, boutique product that takes its name from the famous Romantic composer. Unlike Chopin's Nocturnes, this vodka won't put you in a soporific or melancholy mood. It's rich and weighty on the palate, with a smooth finish that'll pair perfectly with the ginger beer in your Moscow Mule. The Polish maker claims that seven pounds of potatoes are used to make each bottle of Chopin vodka. We don’t know if there is any way to independently verify this, but there is a richness and full, creamy smoothness to the finished product that makes this claim easy to believe.  

Carbonadi

Carbonadi is an ultra-premium, top-shelf vodka from Italy that falls towards the top of the price range in this list. It is made from organic wheat, distilled a whopping five times, and passed through a filtration process that utilizes black diamonds with super absorbent properties. It has a very smooth finish, and its flavor profile has faint citrusy notes that cut through the smoothness. As far as how it will work in your Moscow Mule, it is possible that it might counteract the spice of the ginger a bit, but it's a small price to pay for its decadent smoothness. If you're anything like us and think that being able to tell your guests "this vodka was filtered through black diamonds" is inherently cool, then this is the choice for you.

Reyka Vodka

Speaking of inherently cool facts about your booze that you can throw out there to impress your party guests, Iceland's Reyka vodka is made from arctic glacial water and filtered through Icelandic lava rocks at a distillery that is powered by geothermal energy from underground volcanoes. That's pretty cool. This hand-crafted, small-batch product has a very well-balanced flavor profile, which works to round out the Moscow Mule, providing more depth of flavor and texture. It has a touch of lemon and a bit of sweetness to it. Reyka vodka isn’t necessarily as bold or forward as some of the other choices in this list, nor is it as smooth and passive as others. What it is is a slick, full-bodied vodka with a bit of a peppery burn that will add to the overall character of your Moscow Mule cocktail.

Prairie Organic Spirits

Prairie Organic Spirits' vodka is a great option for a couple of reasons. First, it's an absolutely delicious vodka, with hints of melon and pear, a creamy palate, and a smooth finish. Secondly, it is grown organically and free from any harmful GMOs, herbicides or pesticides, which means the good people at Prairie Organic are looking out for your health. And finally, Prairie Organic donates 1% of all sales to the Spirit of Change Fund, to support more farmers going organic. So, this is a delicious, creamy, slightly fruity vodka that will go beautifully with the ginger and lime in a Moscow Mule, is produced organically, and is helping in efforts to support organic farming. Sounds like a win-win-win.

Purity Vodka

There are certain vodka brands that make a big deal about the amount of times their product has been distilled. Purity Vodka, as the name implies, is one of those products. And while we have some built-up cynicism for this marketing tactic, the result in this case is an exceedingly good vodka; Purity’s 34 rounds of distillation may have little to do with its smoothness or its hints of lime and nougat, but it’s still a cool factoid to throw out. It pairs beautifully with the citrusy, ginger flavors in a Moscow Mule.

Fugu Vodka


 

If you’re well-versed in Japanese cuisine (or you remember that classic Simpsons episode), you know “fugu” is the name of a Japanese delicacy; a potentially deadly pufferfish that leaves behind a satisfying numbness in the lips when prepared correctly. This is similar to the effect that a good Moscow Mule should leave you with. This is a sophisticated, creamy vodka experience that works great as a cocktail base or as a "sipper." 

Russian Standard

Russian Standard is what you might call an "entry-level" vodka, and it is priced thusly. So this is a great choice for someone on a tighter budget, because it’s cheap but still very good quality. A great example of what a wheat vodka should be, filtered through charcoal and quartz crystal. It is grainy and neutral, and a solid choice for cocktails precisely because of its openness and versatility. 

BLK EYE Vodka

BLK EYE Vodka is one of the most recent entries on our list. As a relative newcomer to the vodka game, they’re still relatively low profile, but that should be changing any day now: their product is truly remarkable. And though their marketing may smell of gimmickry -- it’s another one of those vodkas that makes a big deal about the amount of times it’s been distilled -- the end result is undeniable; it is a lush, well-rounded drinking experience, with complex flavor combinations of nuts, cream, and vanilla. This vodka is distilled from black-eyed peas from Muleshoe, Texas; of course, the name of its place of origin makes it fitting for the Moscow Mule, as does its surprisingly satisfying flavor and mouthfeel. 

Wheatley Vodka

Wheatley is another entry-level vodka that is very accessible while also being extremely good quality. It's primarily a wheat-based vodka, but there are other grains that are used in its production. Wheatley Vodka is distilled in a "micro-still," triple-filtered and bottled at 82 proof. Its crisp, bright qualities tend to bring out the flavors in all the other ingredients that surround it, making it a great choice for inclusion in a cocktail such as a Moscow Mule.

Caskwerks Vodka

CaskWerks premium vodka is a relatively new product from Tempe, Arizona, and it has built a reputation for itself as a good example of what vodka should be. Known for its smoothness and sweet finish, the spirit also has an openness to it that leads itself perfectly to its use in cocktails such as the Moscow Mule. For this reason, it is fast becoming a preferred choice for mixologists everywhere.

Stolichnaya Vodka

Ah, yes -- the mighty Stolichnaya. Or “Stoli,” as it is affectionately known by its loyalists. A company that's been around since the beginning of the 20th century, their vodka is a classic Russian go-to, and it feels completely appropriate to use in a Moscow Mule (even though the drink itself isn't technically from Russia). This wheat and rye based vodka has mineral and fruit peel aromas and a medium-bodied palate. As far as taste, price, and availability, Stolichnaya is one of the best vodkas you can find; it not only works great as a "sipper", but it's also fantastic as a cocktail base. Definitely a classic, well-trodden choice for a Moscow Mule, and with good reason.

Kalak Vodka

So far on this list we've featured Polish vodkas, French vodkas, Russian vodkas, Icelandic vodkas and American vodkas, but this is our first vodka from Ireland. An Irish single malt vodka with an amazing texture and beautiful dark chocolate, butter, and fruit flavor notes that work wonderfully with the bright spiciness of ginger. The product is “finished in virgin oak casks and charred over an Irish peat fire.” This sublime combination will kick your Moscow Mule up a notch in terms of its flavor profile.

Tito's Handmade Vodka

Hey, speaking of classics, here’s a brand that’s quickly becoming one: Tito's Handmade Vodka has become one of the best-selling vodkas in the entire world. It's one of those drinks that "go with everything," this is an extremely smooth vodka with a bit of a sweet tang to it; silky, clean, and with a slightly hot finish that reminds you that you're drinking a spirit. Every batch is taste-tested to ensure quality. Tito's Handmade Vodka goes great with any cocktail, and is a remarkable deal for good quality American vodka. Their philanthropic work with dogs is a plus, and makes Tito’s a company that you really love to be able to support.

Crystal Head Vodka Aurora

 


 

There are a few reasons why we're ending our list with Crystal Head Vodka Aurora. Firstly, it's actually a wonderful vodka; don't let the celebrity figurehead fool you (the product was famously conceived by Dan Aykroyd), Crystal Head is a complex beast with hints of marshmallow sweetness, peppery and floral notes, and a delightfully spicy finish that pairs incredibly well with the rest of the ingredients in the Moscow Mule. The other reason? It has easily the coolest-looking bottle in this entire list, and that's no small accomplishment. So if you want to impress party guests with an incredible Moscow Mule cocktail while also blowing them away with a spooky iridescent skull bottle, this is really the only choice for you.

Best Flavored Vodka for Moscow Mules

We've talked about how one of the strengths of the Moscow Mule is its simplicity, and how these three main ingredients interact with each other to create a very special drinking experience. But if you want to kick things up a notch and add a certain level of complexity, you could also incorporate flavored vodka into the process. Here are three classic flavored vodkas for Moscow Mules that offer more shades of nuance to your drink.

Grey Goose La Vanille 

We've discussed Grey Goose as one of our favorite vodka makers, and while their flagship product is the original recipe, La Vanille is a fantastic product in its own right. A sweet, creamy palate and the flavor of Madagascan vanilla beans bring a whole new dimension to the classic Mule.

Hanson of Sonoma Habanero

The Moscow Mule is famously spicy thanks to the "kick" from the ginger beer. But how about we bring that spiciness up even more? Hanson of Sonoma Habanero is infused with, as the name implies, habanero peppers. And though the name sounds daunting, this vodka doesn't go overboard with the spiciness; in fact, it's just the right amount of piquancy to bring some excitement to your drink without making your eyes water. It's not just spiciness, either; unlike the St. George vodka we listed earlier, this one has a much more obvious presence of the pepper flavors, as the sweet and savory habanero pairs wonderfully with the ginger and the lime juice.

St. George California Citrus Vodka

For a drink that so prominently features lime juice as one of its ingredients, pairing it with a citrus flavored vodka is a no-brainer. St. George California Citrus Vodka combines Valencia oranges, Seville oranges, and bergamot, all grown in California. It's a fruity product that has touches of bitters and herbaceous flavors which will provide your cocktail a hint of earthiness in addition to the sweetness.

Conclusion

After all of this, where do we land? There are so many great options available to make this classic drink, each adding their own dimensions and nuances to the Moscow Mule. Whether you're splurging on a deluxe brand or going with a more budget-friendly option, there are fantastic vodka choices at every price point. So which choices provide the best bang for your buck?

Well, if we're focusing on the price/quality relationship, our three choices are: Hangar One, with its big flavor profile and accessible price; Tito's, with its versatility and thorough quality testing; and Praire Organic Spirits, who not only produce a high-quality product but also donate 1% of all sales towards supporting organic farming, thus making our world a better place.

We hope this has been helpful! Once you have picked the best vodka for your Moscow Mule, consider taking your cocktail's presentation up a notch by equipping your kitchen with some authentic copper mugs. Cheers!

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Best Montana Mule Recipe

Best Montana Mule Recipe

In this post, we discuss the delicious Montana Mule, which is a variation on the classic Moscow Mule. Read on to learn about the history of the Montana Mule and the best recipe for the cocktail you will find anywhere on the web!

Introduction

Everyone loves a good Mule. And no, we’re not talking about the donkey/horse hybrid -- though who are we to besmirch such noble creatures? -- we’re talking about the cocktail (or, at this point, cocktail category) that bears its name. It all started with the Moscow Mule, a drink that sought to combine the clear-headed bite of vodka with the kick of spicy ginger beer (hence the reference to the hooved animal). Add in a bit of lime juice, and the famous copper mug, and voila -- you have an instant favorite that became such a cross-country craze that it single-handedly solidified vodka’s popularity in the United States.

There are many different versions of how the famous Moscow Mule came about. Some say it was the result of tireless troubleshooting; the search for the perfect refreshing cocktail. Others say it was born out of necessity; a business owner found himself with a surplus of vodka and ginger beer and simply decided to put the two of them together. The use of its iconic copper mug has also been attributed both to overstock and to its role in maintaining the drink’s refreshing presentation. As is usually the case with these things, there is not a lot of documentation on the subject, and the drink’s origins remain murky and debated. Whatever the case, the Moscow Mule soon became one of the most popular drinks in the country.

Of course, things didn’t end there. As drinks tend to do, there were a number of regional variations as the noble Mule spread throughout the country. Though there were a few constants that remained throughout -- the copper mug, the splash of lime juice, the use of spicy ginger beer (or, in some cases, ginger ale) -- different regions started swapping the spirit out for their own. And because each spirit radically alters the taste, feel, and overall drinking experience of a cocktail, these weren’t simply small tweaks on an existing drink -- they became their own thing. This is why we referred to Mules as their own drink category -- they each have their own identity, but the spicy kick of the ginger beer and the famous copper mug both contribute to a unified identity.

And so you have the Mexican Mule, where vodka is replaced by tequila; you have the Kentucky Mule, which in turn replaces the spirit with Kentucky bourbon; you have a Caribbean Mule, where tequila is the spirit of choice, and so on and so forth. Each Mule variation brings something new to the table. Each has the intensity from the spicy ginger beer. Each is served in its trademark copper mugs.

The Montana Mule

The variation of the drink that we’re focusing on today is, strangely enough, not a version that a lot of people really talk about very often: the Montana Mule. The name conjures images of Montana’s beautiful wide-open skies and, if you’ve ever sampled whiskey made from Montana’s distilleries, you know they have something truly special when it comes to their spirits. As you might guess, the Montana Mule replaces the Moscow Mule’s vodka base with Montana-produced whiskey.

The smokier flavors of the brown liquor make any cocktail that replaces vodka for whiskey an entirely different experience. There is a richness to it that immediately sets it apart from the breezy openness of the original Moscow Mule; it’s still very refreshing, but the contrast in flavors makes it a much more complex drinking experience; the bright notes from the ginger and lime juice contrast interestingly with the darker tones of the whiskey. Of course, there are always differences within the Moscow Mule itself based on which brand of vodka you’re using, but it is overall much more of a “blank slate” in terms of how it interacts with its surrounding flavors, whereas whiskey offers much more of a fight.

Best Whiskey for Montana Mule

There are several different brands of whiskey produced in Montana that can be used for this purpose. One of our favorites is Bozeman Spirits Montana 1889 Whiskey, which is a blend of a 6-7 year old whiskey that is made in Indiana with a whiskey they have distilled on site, barreled and aged. Their mash bill is corn, Montana malted barley, and Montana rye. After more blending and a distillation process, the whiskey is proofed down to 90 proof and bottled. The end result is an outstanding product with a strong caramel aroma and a delicious taste of peppery rye spice, malt, oak, and citrus. Really delicious and pairs very well with the bright notes of ginger and lime juice.

Another great product is Bighorn Bourbon Whiskey made by Willie's Distillery in Ennis, Montana, which is a blend of bourbons of varying ages. It is a lightly proofed bourbon named for the "majestic Rocky Mountain Bighorn Ram." The whiskey has a smokey nose giving way to a toffee, sugar, and cinnamon taste; it's very easy to drink, very smooth, and very sweet. This will make your Montana Mule positively sparkle with sweetness and an added depth of smokey flavor.

And finally, another example of Montana whiskey is RoughStock Montana Bourbon Whiskey from RoughStock Distillery near the Bridger Mountain Range. They created 4 different bourbon recipes distilled from corn, rye and malted barley and, after aging, blended them together. It's a lovely whiskey with a warming, slightly sweet taste, plus notes of mature oak flavor that add to its complexity. Not only that, but the product is twice-distilled in copper pot stills, which makes it even more appropriate for use in the Montana Mule.

Best Montana Mule Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1.5 oz Montana whiskey
  • 6 oz ginger beer
  • The juice of 1 lime
  • Ice

Instructions

Add ice to a copper mug. Pour your whiskey over the ice, add lime juice, and fill up the glass with ginger beer. Like we said earlier, it is possible to substitute the ginger beer for ginger ale; however, this will give you an entirely different flavor with a much milder ginger kick. Also, ginger beer is to taste. If you like more of a whiskey taste, add less; if you like a sweeter drink, add more!

That’s it! It’s pretty straightforward, isn’t it? That’s the beauty of these Mule cocktails; they’re all about the quality of the ingredients and the ways in which the very simple parts interact. They’re not crowded, fussy, or showy like a lot of other cocktails; instead, they let the two main ingredients -- the spirit base and the ginger beer -- take center stage, do their little dance, and guide you through the whole experience. Anything else is just extra.

The Montana Huckleberry Mule

We should mention that the Montana Mule is not to be confused with the cocktail known as the Montana Huckleberry Mule. This is a different variation on the original Mule formula; instead of the plain vodka in the Moscow Mule or the whiskey in the Montana Mule, it uses huckleberry vodka as its spirit base.

If you’re not familiar with huckleberries, they are a sweet and delicious fruit that is native to Montana, though it can be found in other places (in fact, it is the state fruit of neighboring Idaho!). The key to the Montana Huckleberry Mule is the sweetness that is added to the vodka by the fruit, which radically alters the entire drink experience.

If you want to go into a little bit of history, we can even talk about how the copper mug used to serve these drinks immediately calls to mind the wild west days of Montana, and the way boom towns popped up back then in pursuit of copper and other natural minerals which were present in the area. In this way, the Montana Huckleberry Mule is like a neat little piece of history; a living record of a time long past, as well as… well, just a delicious cocktail on its own!

Unfortunately, huckleberry vodka isn’t very easy to find, so you’ll have to do a little bit of scouring if you want to experience this time-travel-cocktail.

One brand to keep an eye out for is Bozeman Spirits from beautiful Bozeman, Montana; they use huckleberries when they are in season to produce Cold Spring Huckleberry Vodka. The end result is a sweet, smooth, delectably fruity vodka, which will augment the ginger flavor in your Montana Huckleberry Mule. 

Another example is 44 Degrees North Huckleberry Vodka, which is a potato vodka distilled using a five-column distillation process from 100% potato neutral spirits and blended with Rocky Mountain Water from the Snake River Aquifer, then blended with mountain huckleberries for a mellow, sweet flavor. And it's gluten-free!

You could also go with Grand Teton Huckleberry Infused Vodka, which is a product derived from the Double Gold winning Grand Teton Vodka and real mountain huckleberries. The vodka is naturally infused with the huckleberries over a period of 12 weeks, with no artificial colors or flavors. This results in a flavorful, subtly sweet and tart base for the Montana Mule.

So if you come upon some huckleberry flavored vodka and you want to attempt a Montana Huckleberry Mule, here’s how you make it!

Best Montana Huckleberry Mule Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1.5 oz Huckleberry vodka
  • 6 oz ginger beer
  • The juice of 1 lime
  • Ice

Instructions

Once again, we start by adding ice to a copper mug. Pour the huckleberry vodka over the ice, add the lime juice, and fill up the glass with ginger beer. Remember that there is some sweetness here on account of the huckleberry vodka, so try with different amounts and see what works best for you. That’s it! Sit back and enjoy this delicious, sweet and refreshing cocktail; just try your best not to affect an old wild-west prospector persona and annoy all your friends.

Conclusion

We just broke down the Montana Mule and the Montana Huckleberry Mule, two cocktails that -- though superficially similar, on account of sharing many of the same ingredients and presentation -- are actually radically different from each other. They’re each unique drinking experiences that put on full display how making seemingly minor tweaks can completely alter the character of a drink.

To take your cocktail experience to the next level, check out these gorgeous authentic copper mugs! Bottoms up!

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Best Virgin Moscow Mule Recipe

Best Virgin Moscow Mule Recipe

Wherever there are great cocktail recipes, there are equally fabulous mocktail recipes for those of us who enjoy all the style and taste of cocktails without liquor. In this post, we reveal the best recipe for the Virgin Moscow Mule on the internet! Let's get started!

Introduction

A cocktail is essentially a blend of two or more ingredients of which at least one is alcoholic. As of late, cocktails are getting more inventive with upwards of four and five ingredients.

The Moscow Mule keeps it classically simple with only three ingredients that most of us already have at home. Vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice.

The intense burn of the ginger beer blended with the refreshing sourness of lime juice delights the palate and warms you right up from the first sip.

There are a multitude of practical reasons for choosing a mocktail over a cocktail.

This could include health concerns and diet practices. Or, maybe you're the designated driver and don't want to miss out on a fun night with your social group.

Whatever the reason, mocktails make sure no one is left out.

Most will say that a mocktail is simply a recipe for any cocktail sans the alcoholic ingredient(s), but we're going to show you fantastic ways to enjoy a Virgin Moscow Mule without sacrificing flavor or taste.

Best Virgin Moscow Mule Recipe

Ingredients

  • Sparkling Water 
  • Fresh limes 
  • Ginger beer 
  • Simple syrup

Instructions

  1. You can either muddle a couple of fresh limes or use freshly squeezed lime juice. We won't tell if you decide to do both ;)
  2. Next, combine your favorite sparkling water and a splash of ginger beer
  3. Add a serving of simple syrup (1 part water, 1 part sugar)
  4. Stir. If you have a shaker on hand, you can also shake the combined ingredients together, but be cautious when pouring as the turbulence may have created a little extra fizz from the sparkling water.
  5. Pour over ice
  6. Enjoy!

With this excellent non-alcoholic version of the Moscow Mule, you can have guilt-free seconds or even thirds!

Health Benefits

Typically, in every 6 oz serving of the traditional Moscow Mule cocktail there are approximately 180 to 200 calories.

One fantastic upside of making a Moscow Mule mocktail is that with the extraction of vodka (say 1.5 oz) you can eliminate around 96 calories, meaning that a typical 6 oz serving is approximately 100 calories or less!

Layers of Flavors

Now that we've laid the foundations, it's time to explore the variations and wonderful layers we can add to perfect our Virgin Moscow Mule. With these alterations, your mocktails are sure to be enjoyed by all!

In addition to following the preparation of the basic recipe noted above, we suggest adding a few slices of fresh ginger to the mix.

To fully extract the flavors of the ginger, consider muddling it with your limes. Be careful to strain afterward, unless you want to be sucking up bits of ginger through your straw and set your mouth ablaze!

Coupled with the ginger beer, this is sure to amplify the smoldering tones of the original cocktail's taste.

Be sure to use ginger beer and not ginger ale. Most commercially sold ginger beer, though fermented, is alcohol-free. It differs from ginger ale in the way it is manufactured. The intensity of ginger essence in ginger ale isn’t comparable to that of the essence in ginger beer.

So, if you decide to replace ginger beer with ginger ale, you’ll be disappointed at the silenced flavors of ginger in your drink. Essentially, what you’d be drinking wouldn’t be a Moscow Mule at all. 

Take it from us, use ginger beer!

If you would rather direct your variations or additions towards the sweet and fruity citrus flavors of your Virgin Mule, you can switch out the simple syrup for a fruit-flavored syrup.

Use a lime-flavored syrup if you would like to stay true to the original characteristics of the classic Moscow Mule.

If you're looking to put a spin on your virgin mule, don't be afraid to try any berry-flavored syrup for an extra layer of fruity goodness.

Sugar-Free Options

Not everyone is a fan of sugar and all things sweet. With this modification, the recipe can accommodate those of us who are patrolling our sugar intake due to dieting and/or health concerns.

More specifically, if you're counting calories or looking to steer clear of sugar all together, you can modify the Virgin Mule recipe by using sugar-free syrup. 

With 8 grams of sugar in one tablespoon of conventional syrup, the sugar-free option is a great way to go. A couple of dollops of the sugar-free syrup is a guilt-free way to enjoy the sweetness of this mocktail without the guilt.

Depending on your location and accessibility, you may or may not find brands of sugar-free syrup. All the merrier if you can!

If you can’t find sugar-free syrup, another option is to use flavored sparkling water to add some additional flavour to your mocktail. Some brands of flavored sparkling water are sold in tasty flavors with no sugar, no sweeteners, and no calories. Furthermore, the carbonation in sparkling water will augment the invigorating fizz of the ginger beer. Win-win-win!

Serving Time

Just because we've decided to forego the alcohol component doesn't mean we're also forsaking presentation. We're all about balance in life as well as in mocktails. So, if one component of the drink has been removed, another must be added!

And what better place to embellish then in the presentation?

It's no secret that the Moscow Mule is served in a copper mug. There are a variety of reasons why, and one of them is that copper is trusted to maintain a cooler temperature. In addition, the copper adds a "zing" to the flavor of the cocktail with each sip.

Whatever the reason, we can't deny that a Moscow Mule served in a copper mug just looks and feels right. The same is to be said for a Virgin Mule.

Besides, if we’re talking about looks, no one has to know you’re drinking a mocktail if you don’t want them to. The copper mug will keep your secret!

In lieu of serving your Virgin Mule in a copper mug, you can serve it in any bar glass. With so many types and shapes of cocktail glasses, there really is no reason why you couldn't enjoy your mocktail in a highball, an old fashion glass, or even a martini glass.

Whatever you have on hand should work just fine!

Garnish Like a Pro

Add a lime wedge to the rim and voila!

Want to take things up a notch? Drag the lime wedge along the rim of your glass, allowing the citrus to coat the edge. Turn your glass upside down into a plate of salt or sugar.

Extra points for presentation and added flavor with every sip!

For herb garnishes, clap your choice of herbs between your hands to bruise it lightly and release its essential oils and aroma. Mint works great!

And here's an extra tip. If you have them, sprinkle a few pomegranate seeds on the surface of your drink! However, be careful if drinking with a straw as those little seeds will get sucked right up! It’s also a beautiful addition to your Virgin Mule, as you can see in the photo below.

Conclusion

We hope this article has been useful in helping to introduce you to the Virgin Moscow Mule! The Moscow Mule is an incredibly versatile drink, so don't hesitate to let your creativity push you to experiment with new variations. And, if you want to take your presentation and style up a notch, make sure to equip your kitchen bar with a few copper mugs!

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7 Best Moscow Moose Recipes

7 Best Moscow Moose Recipes

In this post, we reveal the best recipes on the internet for the Moscow Moose, one of the most legendary variations of the classic Moscow Mule. This great variation packs a punch and will be sure to impress your friends. Let's get started!

Introduction

The Moscow Moose cocktail is one of the most notable spin-offs of the traditional Moscow Mule drink. It melds the fresh flavors of the warmer months with the dark flavors of the cold ones. If you're wondering, "what is a Moscow Moose?", the answer is that it's a simple cocktail with a classic mix of ginger beer, lime, vodka, and rye. Rye is a popular cocktail ingredient that brings a sharp spiciness to the mix. This cocktail is super easy to make at home and ridiculously refreshing.

The Moscow Moose itself has several varieties, all of which pack a punch. Some use rye as an addition to the original recipe, while others replace vodka with it. Whichever way you go, the cocktail gives you something new to try if you’re looking for a way to spice up your cocktail. 

In this article, we’ll take a look at the following: 

  • What’s in a Moscow Moose?
  • When is the best time for a Moscow Moose cocktail?
  • Moscow Moose cocktail recipes
  • The ginger beer in your Moscow Moose
  • Health benefits of ginger beer
  • Ginger beer recipe

What’s in a Moscow Moose?

This cocktail contains the basic ingredients of a Moscow Mule, which are ginger beer, vodka, and lime juice. What makes it a Moscow Moose is the addition of rye whiskey. The combination of ginger and rye makes a spicy and zesty drink. Rye has a peppery taste, one that’s a bit too strong and which is slightly balanced by the hint of sweetness found in ginger. Then there’s the bitterness in lime, which adds a citric twist to the cocktail. 

When is the Best Time for a Moscow Moose Cocktail?

Because of its flavor, a rye cocktail is great for cold weather days. You can also drink it on a hot sunny day or anytime you want a distinct flavor in your drink. Rye is savory enough, and you’ll always be able to taste it through the lime and ginger. 

Moscow Moose Cocktail Recipes

Here are some of the best Moose drink recipes which strike that elusive balance between strong, spicy, and sweet. Even better, they’re pretty easy to prepare and don’t require much in terms of ingredients. They are all utterly spectacular in their simplicity. 

The Classic Moscow Moose

Preparation Time: 5 Minutes

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. rye whiskey 
  • 4 oz. ginger beer 
  • ½ tbsp. lemon juice 
  • 1 tsp amaretto 
  • Lemon twist 

Instructions

  • Place ice in a glass, then add whiskey, lemon juice, and amaretto. 
  • Top with ginger beer and give a quick stir. 
  • Garnish with the lemon twist and enjoy. 

Canadian Moscow Moose Cocktail 

Preparation Time: 5 Minutes 

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 3 oz. Canadian rye whiskey 
  • 1 oz. haskap liqueur 
  • 1 oz. fresh lime juice 
  • 0.5 0z. maple syrup 
  • 1 tsp ginger beer
  • 4 dashes apple bitters 

Instructions

  • Put crushed ice in a mug, then add the rye whiskey, lime, haskap liqueur, and maple syrup. Top with ginger beer.
  • Add bitters. 
  • Garnish with ginger and serve.

Apple bitters give this Canadian drink a flavor profile different from all the other varieties of Moscow Moose cocktail. They also enhance the aromas in the cocktail, exposing hints of lime, whiskey, liqueur, and ginger. Apple bitters balance out the sourness in the rye whiskey and lime, which is suitable for you if you would love a cocktail that’s a little bit lightly flavored. This effect is further improved upon by the maple syrup, which gives the cocktail a sugary twist.

The haskap liqueur is made from haskap berries and has a sweetness you would find in a mix of raspberries, blackcurrants, and blueberries. This combination of ingredients makes the cocktail an excellent choice for anyone with a sweet tooth who would like to blunt the bitter taste of the moose drink. 

Whiskey Ginger Moscow Moose Cocktail 

Preparation Time: 5 Minutes 

Serves 1

Ingredients 

  • 6 oz. ginger ale
  • 2 oz. rye whiskey 
  • 0.5 oz. lime juice
  • Lime wedge

Instructions

  • Put ice in a copper mug, then pour in the whiskey. 
  • Add the ginger ale and lime juice. 
  • Garnish with lime wedge.
  • Enjoy. 

Ginger ale is not as strong as ginger beer, but it has a refreshing citrusy taste. When mixed with whiskey and lime juice, a spicy-sweet flavor is created. 

Birch Beer Moscow Moose 

Preparation Time: 5 Minutes 

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • A sprig of mint 
  • 2 blueberries 
  • 1 lime wedge
  • 2 oz. vodka 
  • 2 tbsp. birch beer
  • Ice

Instructions

  • Muddle the lime, mint, and blueberries together in a copper mug. 
  • Pour in the vodka and birch beer, then mix. 
  • Add ice and enjoy. 

Birch beer is a type of carbonated soft drink that usually includes birch bark and herbal extracts. So, if you love adding a bit of herbal spice to your drink, this is the cocktail for you. In this recipe, the red birch beer adds taste as well as color, making the drink all the more irresistible. The blueberries bring a sweet tartness into the mix and, the fresher they are, the more juice they produce. This makes for an even richer cocktail. 

Not only will you be making your Moscow Moose more flavorful with these berries, but you’ll also be reaping their health benefits. Blueberries are full of antioxidants that boost the body’s immunity by fighting free radicals, which cause cell damage. This mix is quite refreshing because of the mint. When mint is muddled, it releases an oil extract with a sweet, aromatic flavor. Freshness is vital when it comes to adding mint to your alcoholic drink, as it will release more of its juice and scent. 

Moscow Moose Drink with Soda Water

Preparation Time: 5 Minutes 

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. vodka
  • 1/8 oz. soda water
  • 1 oz. ginger beer 
  • 1 lime wedge 
  • 1 lemon wedge 
  • Sprig of mint 
  • Ice

Instructions

  • Fill a mug with crushed ice. 
  • Stir vodka, lemon, ginger beer, and soda water then pour into the mug. 
  • Garnish with mint and lime wedge. 
  • Serve.

    Soda water has a slightly sour taste, with a note of citrus. It’s suitable for bringing subtle flavor changes to this cocktail, and also adds fizziness.

    Amaretto Moscow Moose Cocktail

    Preparation Time: 5 Minutes 

    Serves 1

    Ingredients

    • 1 tsp. amaretto 
    • 2 oz. rye whiskey 
    • I tbsp. fresh lemon juice 
    • Lemon twist 
    • 2 oz. ginger beer
    • Ice

    Instructions

    • Pour ice in a glass, then add rye. 
    • Mix in lemon juice and amaretto. 
    • Top with ginger beer and stir to combine. 
    • Use lemon twist to garnish.
    • Serve. 

    Amaretto is an Italian liqueur with a sweet taste. Traditionally, bitter almonds are used for flavoring, but there are varieties prepared using peach and apricot stones. Amaretto is used in mixed alcoholic drinks and adds an almond-like flavor. This liqueur blends exceptionally well with several flavorings, among them citrus. If you are interested in trying out Italian-based cocktails, this Amaretto Moscow Moose drink recipe is a good place to start. 

    Other than being a suitable pairing for the amaretto, lemon juice makes its mark in this mixed drink by adding some sourness. In addition, freshly squeezed lemon juice will do more for your Moose than store-bought varieties, which are less delicious. Also, keep in mind that the longer the citric juice remains in your cocktail, the better-tasting it gets. Its aroma also becomes stronger. 

    Peppermint Moscow Moose Cocktail 

    Preparation Time: 2 Minutes 

    Serves 1

    Ingredients

    • 2 oz. peppermint schnapps 
    • 1.25 oz. vodka

    Instructions

    • Pour the peppermint schnapps into a glass. Add the vodka. Serve. 

    If you don’t mind strong cocktails, then this combination of schnapps and vodka has got you covered. With such simple preparation, it's ideal when you're in a hurry or preparing drinks for a large group. The type of schnapps used here has a minty flavor that will take away a bit of edge from the vodka. Note that its minty flavor is more on the intense side, and it also contains a high percentage of alcohol. 

    The Ginger Beer in Your Moscow Moose

    Ginger beer remains an essential ingredient in any variation of the Moscow Mule, including the Moscow Moose drink. Since it’s a common ingredient in all of these recipes, let’s have a look at its benefits and how you can make your own at home. 

    Health Benefits of Ginger Beer

    These are some of the health benefits of ginger beer:

    • Relieves Nausea and Helps in Digestion – Ginger beer aids in the movement of food through the stomach, promoting smooth digestion. Gingerol and shogaol are the active compounds found in ginger, and they relieve stomach irritations. The compounds encourage the production of saliva and bile, both of which are useful in food digestion. Ginger beer also relieves nausea. 
    • Anti-bacterial – Ginger root contains anti-bacterial properties that are useful in flushing out fungi and bacteria from the body. When you make ginger beer an essential part of your cocktails, you decrease your need to depend on antibiotics to fight bacterial and fungal infections. 
    • Fights Inflammation – Gingerol has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Drinking ginger beer can, therefore, help suppress inflammation associated with conditions such as hepatitis, arthritis, and gastritis.

    Ginger Beer Recipe

    Preparation Time: 3 hours

    Ready In: 3 days

    Ingredients

    • ¼ cup grated ginger root, peeled 
    • ½ tsp. cream of tartar 
    • ¼ cup lemon juice 
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 tsp. dry yeast 
    • Water

    Instructions

    • Combine the ginger, lemon juice, and cream of tartar in a large pot. Add 4 cups of water and bring the mixture to boil. 
    • Reduce heat, add sugar, then stir and simmer until it’s fully dissolved. Remove from the heat. 
    • Add 40 ounces (5 cups) of water to the pot. Leave it to cool down to 23°c. Add yeast and stir. 
    • Cover the pot with a clean cloth or towel, then store away from light in a warm place for 3 hours. 
    • Using a strainer to remove bits of ginger, transfer the mixture into a pitcher.
    • Fill into glass bottles, only 2/3 full to allow for fermentation. Leave to ferment for 3 days. 
    • Refrigerate to prevent further fermenting, or put in room temperature for more fermentation. 

    Get Your Quick Fix

    The Moscow Moose cocktail is a simple-to-make drink that takes very little time. Remember to use fresh limes, lemons, blueberries, and even homemade ginger beer if you can for the freshest taste and aroma. To perfect the presentation of your Mule drink, consider using some authentic copper mugs!

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