The Moscow Mule is one of a select number of cocktails that can be enjoyed year-round and during just about any occasion. But its versatility doesn't stop there. The standard Moscow Mule is a lush-worthy combination of vodka, ginger beer and lime, but variations on this classic sip are nearly limitless. Whether you substitute ginger beer for homemade ginger syrup and sparkling water, or opt for unique ingredients like fresh jalapeños or watermelon juice, there's a Moscow mule iteration that's perfect for you.
Not only are the Moscow Mule variations ahead quite clever, they'll also have you eager to refill your copper mug. Here are our picks for the best Moscow mule variations to try at your next happy hour.
Cranberry Moscow Mule
The Recipe: Cranberry Moscow Mule
Hero Ingredient: An easy-to-make, homemade cranberry simple syrup helps balance out the ginger beer and lime juice.
Pro Tip: Boulder Locavore's Toni Dash shares that once you've made your cranberry simple syrup, the leftover syrup can be used in other cocktails. "The syrup is very simple to make and works beautifully in many cocktails," she says.
Why We Love It: Homemade simple syrups seem to always yield the best cocktails, and like the cranberry simple syrup used in this Moscow Mule, they're easily made.
The Recipe: Watermelon Mule
Hero Ingredient: Watermelon may not be the first fruit to come to mind when creating a variation on the Moscow Mule, but it certainly pays off with this cocktail.
Pro Tip: If you've ever wondered why Moscow Mules are served in copper mugs, A Couple Cooks offer some insight on how this piece of barware is used and why you should use it. "One of the reasons is that copper keeps the drink cool in a different way than glass," they reveal. "The copper immediately takes on the temperature of the drink, and the cool copper rim gives a cold sensation when taking a sip."
Why We Love It: The use of both watermelon juice and a watermelon wedge creates a beautiful splash of color with this sip.
Apple Cider Moscow Mule
The Recipe: Apple Cider Moscow Mule
Hero Ingredient: Hard cider is already delicious on its own, but it proves to be a worthy addition in this flip on the Moscow Mule.
Pro Tip: Toni Dash of Boulder Locavore reveals that the hard cider in this cocktail actually makes it less boozy, and a perfect option for low ABV sippers. "Combined with the traditional Moscow Mule ingredients the cocktails become a refreshing choice, and one that is not overly boozy (so those who are not so into cocktails might take a fancy to them as well)," she says.
Why We Love It: While this recipe calls for hard apple cider, different flavors of hard cider can be used for equally delicious spins on this drink.
Orange Pineapple Moscow Mule
The Recipe: Orange Pineapple Moscow Mule
Hero Ingredient: A trio of fruit juices (fresh lime juice, pineapple juice and orange juice) make for a Moscow Mule that's deliciously vibrant and fruity.
Pro Tip: At a loss on what dish to pair the Orange Pineapple Moscow Mule with? For Tieghan Gerard of Half Baked Harvest, she opts for street tacos. "Now I can serve up my favorite street tacos along with this tropical pineapple mule to really tie the meal together," she reveals.
Why We Love It: For those who may find ginger beer a little overwhelming, the pineapple and orange juice in this sip perfectly balances things out.
Minty Moscow Mule
The Recipe: Minty Moscow Mule
Hero Ingredient: Fresh mint gifts this twist on the Moscow Mule with a refreshing edge.
Pro Tip: Phoebe Lapine of Feed Me Phoebe created a big batch version of this cocktail, but if you need an individual portion, she provides the ratio to do just that. "If you want to reduce the recipe and serve individually, the ration is 1:1:3:3 simple syrup to lime juice to ginger beer to vodka," she reveals.
Why We Love It: A little bit Moscow Mule, a little bit mojito, this cocktail provides the best of both worlds for the frequently indecisive.
Spicy Pomegranate Moscow Mule
The Recipe: Spicy Pomegranate Moscow Mule
Hero Ingredient: Moscow Mules already boast a subtle kick thanks to the addition of ginger, but this play on the Moscow Mule really kicks things up with fresh jalapenos.
Pro Tip: From winter holidays like Christmas to Fourth of July, Tieghan Gerard of Half Baked Harvest suggests always having a handful of ingredients at the ready. "Keep fresh citrus, jalapeños, pomegranate juice, ginger beer, and an assortment of alcohol on hand during the holidays," she reveals.
Why We Love It: With pomegranate and jalapenos, the Spicy Pomegranate Moscow Mule is deliciously sweet and spicy.
Lemon And Sage Moscow Mule
The Recipe: Lemon And Sage Moscow Mule
Hero Ingredient: The Lemon And Sage Moscow Mule serves as another flip that switches out ginger beer for another bubbly ingredient: sparkling lemon water.
Pro Tip: If you're short on time and don't want to create your own ginger simple syrup, Eden Passante of Sugar And Charm has a recommendation for a syrup you can purchase. "The other is Liber & Co. Fiery Ginger Syrup that is already made for you and is super gingery and spicy," she says.
Why We Love It: The combination of ginger syrup and sparkling lemon water is delicious and somewhat reminiscent of homemade ginger beer.
Fresh Ginger Moscow Mule
The Recipe: Fresh Ginger Moscow Mule
Hero Ingredient: Instead of ginger beer, the recipe for this Moscow Mule calls for ginger, creating a fresh twist on this classic sip.
Pro Tip: Pickled Plum's Caroline Phelps offers this suggestion for saving time when hosting: "You can make the base of this Moscow mule recipe in advance to save time if you are hosting a party or enjoy having more than just a glass."
Why We Love It: The Fresh Ginger Moscow Mule replaces a handful of ingredients in the Moscow Mule with similar ingredients, but it does so in a way that creates a distinctly delicious cocktail.
The Recipe: La Mulita
Hero Ingredient: Vodka is the primary spirit used in the Moscow Mule, but a number of variations, including the tequila-based La Mulita, switch out spirits for a unique take on the Moscow Mule.
Pro Tip: Hola Jalapeno's Kate Ramos reveals that the La Mulita packs quite a lot of Vitamin C, making it a great contender against any possible cold symptoms. "It is invigorating and full of vitamin C which should stave off any cold symptoms you might have picked up along the way," she says.
Why We Love It: With the use of tequila, the La Mulita proves just how versatile the Moscow Mule can be.
Blueberry Moscow Mule
The Recipe: Blueberry Moscow Mule
Hero Ingredient: An easy-to-make blueberry syrup gives this Moscow Mule a vibrant blue color.
Pro Tip: According to Sugar And Charm's Eden Passante, by using blueberries in this cocktail, not only are you adding flavor, but also great color and antioxidants. "The syrup adds a blueberry flavor and color to the cocktail. I also love the added antioxidants from the fresh blueberries," she reveals.
Why We Love It: Only a small amount of blueberry syrup is used per cocktail, but this concentrated syrup delivers a welcome amount of blueberry flavor.