The 10 Best Vodkas for a Moscow Mule: Your Essential Guide

Updated 05/06/19

Graphic by Cristina Cianci

Vodka didn’t have much of a following in the U.S. before the 1950s, but the climb since has been a rapid one—evolving into one of the most ubiquitous spirits in the States. The one drink we have to thank for this? The Moscow mule. Combining Russia’s most beloved spirit with the mule-like “kick” of ginger beer, the Moscow Mule first ascended to prominence on the Sunset Strip in L.A., where it still tops some of the best cocktail lists in the city.

In addition to its glamorous origins, this favorite mixed drink is one of the easiest to make. To help you get started, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite vodkas and a simple recipe for making the best Moscow Mule this season. Read on to discover ten of the best vodkas for Moscow Mules—along with an easy recipe to make the classic cocktail.

Square One

The past few years have seen the rise of organic and artisanal vodkas. A Moscow mule made with Square One is about as healthy as it gets. To keep things clean, pair this vodka with an organic ginger beer like Belvoir and a squeeze of lime.

Square One Organic Vodka
Square One Organic Vodka $31
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Żubrówka

While Russia undoubtedly enjoys the most prestigious vodkas, Poland has been quietly developing its own reputable vodka tradition. The perfect example is Żubrówka, a bison-grass vodka known for its distinctively herbal profile, along with rare notes of almond, coconut, and vanilla. This much-loved vodka is distilled from rye—making it an ideal pairing for ginger beer.

Żubrówka Bison Grass Vodka
Żubrówka Bison Grass Vodka $26
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Absolut Elyx

Mick Jagger once said, “There’s no absolutes in life, only vodka.” And since the Moscow mule is traditionally served in a copper mug, it stands to reason that the best vodka for a Moscow Mule would be crafted in a copper bottle. As a result, this ultra-presentable vodka is exceptionally smooth (and yes, it’s totally worth springing for the copper pineapple).

Absolut Elyx
Absolut Elyx $33
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Russian Standard

Inspired by Dmitri Mendeleev, the Russian scientist who invented the periodic table and established the ideal alcohol-to-water ratio in 1894, Russian Standard is among the five versatile and well-priced vodkas for mixing. While the Moscow mule may not technically have been invented in Russia, this is still the perfect choice for celebrating the classic cocktail’s mythological origins.

Russian Standard Platinum Vodka
Russian Standard Platinum Vodka $22
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Hangar One

Known for its perfect blend of chemistry and artistry, Hangar One is headquartered in San Francisco (yes, in an actual hangar) and is operated by head distiller Caley Shoemaker. But it’s not just the brand we love. This ultra-pure vodka uses only fresh, seasonal ingredients, and is the perfect match for luxe, natural ginger beers like Fever Tree.

Hangar One Vodka
Hangar One Vodka $23
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Carbonadi

Hailing from a family-owned distillery in the rolling hills of Italy's Piedmont region of northern Italy, Carbonadi is an (admittedly splurge-worthy) ultra-premium vodka that has been micro-oxygenated and passed through precious carbanados (AKA black diamonds) for a luxurious finish.

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Carbonadi
Carbonadi Vodka $89.99
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Prairie Organic Spirits

This organic vodka features hints of melon and pear—perfect to compliment the ginger beer. The cherry on top? Prairie donates 1% of sales to the Spirit of Change Fund to support more farmers going organic.

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prairie organic vodka
Prairie Organic Spirits Vodka $18.99
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Tito's Handmade Vodka

Fun fact: Tito himself made the iconic, old-school label that's still used on the bottles today, and he financed the first legal distillery in Texas with a credit card check in 1997. Every single batch is taste-tested so you know you know you're getting quality every time.

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Titos handmade vodka
Tito's Handmade Vodka $15.99
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Grey Goose Vodka

We've all heard of Grey Goose, and for good reason. This premium vodka uses single origin Picardie wheat and water from a natural limestone well in France, where every step of the distilling process is completed. At only $25 a bottle, we'd say it definitely lives up to the hype.

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greygoose
Grey Goose Vodka $25.99
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Crystal Head Vodka

It's safe to say that this one is worth the buy if only as added decor to your home bar. Distilled with peaches and cream corn and blended with immaculate water from Newfoundland, Canada, the flavor and finish is unparalleled.

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crystal head vodka
Crystal Head Vodka $49.99
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The Perfect Moscow Mule

To make a Moscow mule, mix the following:

  2 oz. vodka
3 oz. ginger beer
1/4 oz. fresh lime

  2 oz. vodka
3 oz. ginger beer
1/4 oz. fresh lime

Garnish with a lime wheel and serve in a copper mug or highball glass. For an extra-special twist on this classic cocktail, add a dash of orange bitters and a splash of organic pressed ginger juice.

Up next, try these three refreshing cocktail recipes with a healthy twist.

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