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. Today, we'll be presenting the best recipe for the Virgin Moscow Mule!
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
- Sparkling Water
- Fresh limes
- Ginger beer
- Simple syrup
- 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 ;)
- Next, combine your favorite sparkling water and a splash of ginger beer
- Add a serving of simple syrup (1 part water, 1 part sugar)
- 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.
- Pour over ice
With this excellent non-alcoholic version of the Moscow Mule, you can have guilt-free seconds or even thirds!
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.
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!
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.
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!