Today, I’m sharing everything you need to know about Moscow mules. Ready?! Moscow mules are delightfully fizzy drinks made with fiery ginger beer, vodka and fresh lime.
Moscow mules are refreshing on hot summer days, sure, but they’re also holiday-appropriate thanks to the strong ginger flavor. They strike that elusive balance between spicy, sweet and strong, and I’d sip one any day.
Bonus: Moscow mules are super easy to make. You’ll need just three basic ingredients:
- Ginger beer
- Fresh lime
The ginger beer component makes the biggest difference between a so-so and fantastic Moscow mule. So, I bought all the ginger beers I could find and tried them at home. Keep reading to find my recommendations!
Watch How to Make Moscow Mules
Moscow Mule Ingredients
Tito’s brand vodka is my go-t0 for Moscow mules. Tito’s is affordable, high quality and made not-so-far-away in Austin, Texas.
The ginger beer dominates the other flavors so much that any decent vodka on your shelf will do, really.
2) Ginger Beer
The best ginger beer for Moscow mules is Fever-Tree brand ginger beer. Mara said, “It tastes the most like a Moscow mule,” and I wholeheartedly agreed. Fever-Tree’s ginger beer has the most clear and pronounced fresh ginger flavor, thanks to a blend of three gingers from Nigeria, Cochin and the Ivory Coast.
I found my Fever-Tree at Natural Grocers, but I’ve also seen it at Whole Foods, World Market and Amazon (affiliate link). If you’re curious, you’ll find our ginger beer tasting notes below.
3) Fresh Lime
Be sure to squeeze your lime juice from fresh limes. Don’t use the stale bottled stuff (for anything, ever).
Copper Mug Notes
Moscow mules are typically served in copper mugs, which make them seem extra-cold and refreshing. Why? Copper is an excellent conductor, meaning that cold or hot temperatures spread rapidly through the material.
While the copper material of your mug doesn’t actually make the drink colder, it makes it seem colder than it would if you were drinking it out of a regular glass or mug.
If you don’t have copper mugs at home, you can get by with a regular cocktail glass. If you’re shopping for copper mugs, be sure to buy food-safe mugs that are not copper on the inside. Copper leaches into acidic foods and poses health risks, yikes!
Moscow Mule History
Rumor has it that the Moscow mule is a product of American capitalism. Three business owners with a surplus of vodka, ginger beer and copper mugs schemed up a plan to get rid of their excess products, and a delicious cocktail was born.
The details are murky, but Moscow mules actually helped popularize vodka in the 1940s when it was new to the United States.
Easy Variations on Moscow Mules
- Kentucky Mule or Horsefeather: Use bourbon/whiskey instead of vodka.
- Gin-Gin Mule: Use gin instead of vodka.
- Mexican Mule: Use tequila instead of vodka.
- Jamaican Mule or Cuban Mule: Use rum instead of vodka.
- Dark ‘n Stormy: Use Gosling’s spiced rum instead of vodka.
Ginger Beer Tasting Notes
A couple of ginger ales snuck in, but you definitely need intensely-flavored ginger beer for a great Moscow mule! Here they are, ranked from best to worst.
- Fever-Tree Premium Ginger Beer: This ginger beer offers the most straightforward ginger flavor. It burns so good!
- Bottoms Up Ginger Beer: This ginger beer doesn’t seem to be as carbonated as the rest. It doesn’t offer as much ginger flavor as Fever-Tree, but I like it.
- Fentiman’s Ginger Beer: This ginger beer has a lot of bite. It’s yeasty, with a kombucha-like fermented flavor that distracts from the ginger.
- Reed’s Extra Ginger Brew: This ginger beer has more of a bite than ginger ale, but it’s still mostly clear and doesn’t pack enough ginger punch.
Please let me know how your Moscow mules turn out in the comments! I hope you make the best Moscow mule you’ve ever had.
Looking for more cold, classic cocktails? Don’t miss my recipes for the perfect Aperol spritz, red sangria and fresh margarita.
Moscow Mule Cocktail
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 1 drink 1x
- Category: Cocktail
- Method: Stirred
- Cuisine: American
Learn how to make the best Moscow Mule cocktail! They are so easy to make. Recipe yields 1 cocktail.
- 2 ounces vodka (I recommend Tito’s brand)
- ½ ounce fresh lime juice (about ½ medium lime)
- 4 ounces ginger beer (I recommend Fever-Tree brand)
- Lime wedge, for garnish
- Fill a copper mug or similarly sized glass with ice. Pour in the vodka and lime juice. Fill the glass with ginger beer and gently swirl it with a spoon once to mix.
- Garnish with a lime wedge, and enjoy!
Change it up: Garnish your Moscow Mule with a sprig of fresh mint for a drink reminiscent of a mint julep.
Recommended equipment: I love this citrus juicer for squeezing limes and lemons, and this stainless steel jigger for measuring small amounts of liquid. (Those are affiliate links.)
Love that you recommend Tito’s!
Forever my favorite! I could go for a vodka martini…
Kate, it may be the cat lover in me, but it’s probably the Moscow Mule lover.
If you plan ahead, that’s the hard part, I’d recommend making your own Ginger Beer, it’s easy, and easily tweaked for a for a better pepper bite:
This part is a jab at Vodka “snobs”, Luksusowa Vodka is the best right now, in my humble opinion.
It’s Polish potato vodka, not in the tradition of fine Soviet Stolichnaya, which has a place of it’s own.
That sounds like a great idea, Michael! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate the review.
FEVER TREE Ginger beer is the best!! My fav re-hydration after hot yoga. Ommmm…
I know your cookbook is under the tree for me this year. My guy felt compelled to buy it for me/us since we’ve been raiding your website for so many tasty recipes lately and we wanted to support you. We just made the sweet potato and black bean enchiladas…WOW! Easy and tasty gluten-free meal that we are planning to make them for his family during the holidays in snowy Idaho.
Thanks for all that you give, Kate! Happiest of holidays and best wishes for continued success and growth in the new year.
It’s so good!! What a great gift. Thank you so much for your support, Teresa. I do truly appreciate it. Enjoy your holiday and thanks so much for the review!
I’m lovin all the cocktail recipes! And you’re so right, the ginger beer makes all the difference in this one. (Fever tree is my fave too!)
PS: Add a little splash of St Germain liqeuer. SO FUN!
I’m glad you are enjoying them! I thought it would be fun way to help celebrate the holidays :) I appreciate your comment and review!
Thanks for the recipe and the info on your take of best ginger beer. Can I make a large pitcher of these and have it ready when guest arrive? Thanks, Kathy
Hi Kathy, that’s a great idea. The only downside to making a pitcher is that soda loses carbonation with time, but I still think it would work well if you were pouring drinks at a decent rate. :)
Thanks Kate! I look forward to trying the ginger beer you used. I recommend using Maine Root Ginger Beer. It’s got a great spicy bite to it with perfect carbonation levels. For my lady it’s a little too sweet so she will top it off with some carbonated water.
Love Moscow mules! I forget how easy they are. I’m a fan of fever tree ginger beer too, but if you are ever in Seattle, Rachel’s ginger beer is where it’s at. Thanks Kate!
I will have to try it! Thank you, Breanne.
I love Moscow Mules, my husband makes them for me :) I’ll have to try these ginger beer brands!
It’s a great cocktail. Let me know what you think!
I’m curious if you tested Q ginger beer. It is my favorite, with Fever Tree coming in second. I would love to know your opinion.
Hi Carol! I haven’t tried that one, but I just added it to my list. I’ll keep an eye out for it!
I find it at Target, now.
Kate! This is totally unrelated to cocktails, but I just opened up the copy of Love Real Food that I ordered for my dad for Christmas and I am BLOWN AWAY. It is the most beautiful cookbook I have ever seen, and every recipe looks like something I would love to make! I may just have to order another one for me! :)
I originally picked up a popular cookbook for my dad from a local bookstore, as I’d glanced through it and saw that the recipes were meatless and it said it was “vegetarian” and “plant-based” in the first few pages. Upon closer inspection at home, however, it turned out to be a totally vegan cookbook, and almost all of the recipes called for ingredients I didn’t know anything about, like nutritional yeast and white miso paste. I’m a vegetarian, but my dad isn’t, and I didn’t want to scare him off! I ended up giving that cookbook to a vegan friend and ordered yours for my dad instead, and I’m so much happier with it – I love your friendly approach and the way you focus on making cooking non-intimidating and vegetarian eating sound like fun (as we both know it is!).
Thank you for creating such an amazing cookbook – my dad is on a weight loss journey, and I wanted to encourage him to keep eating more whole foods and lowering his sugar intake. Love Real Food really hits the spot in that regard. I’m looking forward to cooking through some of the recipes with him over the next few weeks while I’m with my family on break, and I hope I can let you know how it goes! (I also plan to leave a nice Amazon review and so forth once we’ve delved into it a little more.) :)
Say hi to Cookie, and merry Christmas!
You are so kind, Mary! Good luck as your family goes on the journey with your dad. The blog and cookbook are two wonderful resources. Also, check out my social platforms as well as I do post about fellow blogger recipes too for some more variety. :)
Hi Kate! I love your cookbook. After buying mine and sharing the recipes, I bought two more for my friend and mom. I know they’ll love it! I also wanted to share that it is still OK to drink out of uncoated copper mugs- there is a lot of chemical-phobic talk going around, but such a small amount of copper dissolves in your drink, even if it you keep it in the mug a few hours!
Such a classic! Perfect for the holidays!
Right?! Thank you, Gabby.
Moscow mule recipe looks different ,i also like the ginger beer and fresh lime.so that are the good combination in each.thanks for sharing some good tips of Moscow mule recipe.
You are welcome!
Kate, I made your roasted veggie enchilada casserole for a New Year’s weekend get together. I bought gluten free corn tortillas, but as I was reading the ‘fine print’, it stated that they were made in a facility that processes wheat and soy products. The possible cross contamination could cause problems for someone who is really sensitive. Just something to pass along; read the fine print!
Looking forward to trying the casserole. Donna
Hi Donna – Yes, that is something people with Celiac have to worry about but I know gluten free intolerances don’t always. But yes, always watch the label!
Try Blenheim spicy Ginger Ale! You won’t be disappointed:-)
Thanks for the recommendation!
Thanks for the recipes! I like the break down of different ginger beers. I didn’t see my favorite listed, so I thought I’d share. My favorite spicy gingery punch of a giner beer is Cock n Bull. I has such a bite. I will have to try your recommendation though!
Let me know what you think, Antonella!
If you’re ever in Seattle, you HAVE to try Rachel’s Ginger Beer. It’s amazing. They have a ton of flavors and a few brick and mortar locations where you can get excellent moscow mules.
I will add that to my list! Thank you, Kate.
I made the Moscow mule as per your directions and added a sprig of mint which was fabulous! I didn’t have the best ginger beer so I’m excited to get some Fever Tree ginger beer for the next round.
How refreshing, Kathryn! Thanks for sharing.
My boyfriend LOVED these! I surprised him last night after him working all weekend, and he told me it was the best thing all weekend :)
You’re so sweet! I’m glad it worked like a charm. Thanks for your review, Lisa.
This was my first time ever making my own Moscow mule and I have to say I’m a new fan! Your instructions were so easy to follow and you were right… the ingredients are so simple to find and use, it truly was the Best Moscow Mule!. What I also appreciated about this post, is that you not only provided an easy-to-follow recipe, but you provided the history behind the cocktail, alternative ingredients, and other recipes and resources that can really be beneficial for an aspiring cocktail connoisseur. Thanks again, Kate! This is my first time visiting your site and it will be the first I come to when I’m in need of another recipe.
All the best!
Hooray!! I’m glad you really enjoyed the post and the recipe, Albany. Thanks so much for your review!
Received ingredients and mugs for my birthday. Enjoying my first Moscow Mule. Love the taste of the Fever- tree ginger beer!
Yep! This is exactly what I needed when executing my first Moscow Mule. It came out great! I used Goslings diet ginger beer and it came out wonderful. Nice strong ginger burn. Thanks!
You’re welcome! I’m glad you liked it, Chelsi.
We tried the Barrit’s Ginger Beer instead of the Fever-Tree and it was pretty good. Thanks for the recipe.
Surprised you didn’t mention Barritts Ginger beer to me that one stands out from the rest. Also the Gin Mule with Hendrick’s Gin is amazing. I actually prefer it over the Tito’s Mule.
Thank you for sharing, Anthony!
Absolutely perfect ratio, very good! Thanks for sharing. One change, I am a big Fever Tree fan, but now using Maine root ginger beer. Super spicy and does not taste as sugary. Give it a try! Happy 2019!
It was perfect! Thanks so much!
You’re welcome, Cristina!
I won a Moscow Mule basket at a charity auction last month.
It contained Crabbie’s Ginger Beer and Ciroc vodka. Just made a drink using your recipe. Love it!
I just subscribed to your site and look forward to many enjoyable treats.
Congrats! I’m glad it brought you to the blog. Thanks for the review!
We use Cock and Bull Ginger Beer. That’s got a good bite to it! We were looking at other brands too, so we will try several more that we have seen mentioned here…
Thanks for sharing!
we use Crabbie’s Ginger Beer! It co UK.
Thank you for sharing, Bob!
Fever Tree Ginger Beer is the best with fresh organic lime juice and Oecan Organic Vodka. I like Tito’s Vodka too.
Thank you for sharing, Barbara!
BEST Moscow Mule I’ve ever had. Hands down.
Thank you, Phyllis!
I make it with rye instead of vodka. Being a proud Canadian, I call it a Prairie Mule.
That works, too! Thanks for sharing, Annie.
You have me inspired to make these tonight! I always have these ingredients on hand, and it’s been warm and humid the past few days here.
What did you think!?
Thanks for always being so thorough in your recipes, here doing the taste test of different ginger beers because they’re such a critical component! Another variation is the Mamie Taylor (scotch instead of vodka) :)
Thanks for sharing, Nicole!
This is perfect for any summer day! We loved it so much we used it in our guide to a weekend in the mountains. A mule is totally necessary after a long day of hiking! Thanks for sharing!
That sounds like a great way to end a hike! Thanks, Kristy.
It looks so tasty!! I’ll try that for sure
Let me know what you think, Amy!
Australia makes a great ginger beer. It’s called Bundaberg. I live in southern Calif.and buy it at Stater Bros. market and sometimes find it at Walmart.
Thanks for sharing, Nancy!
Thanks, will be making this tonight! Anybody got a good brand of ginger beer to recommend in Europe? I live in Spain and I don’t see ginger beer in stores much..
I don’t! But I would love to hear what you try.
Love this drink, so thanks for telling all how to make it. For my taste, I find Crabbie’s Ginger Beer the best, and it makes the best Mules too!!!
You’re welcome, Carol!
Absolutely agree with the Fever Tree ginger beer! The copper can stuff isn’t ideal at all. And definitely right about the fresh lime, gives it such more of a refreshing and less sugary taste.
I use your recipe and this one with variations of some great ideas for other mule versions.
Thank you, Fraser!
Do The ginger beers you recommend contain alcohol?
Hi Erin! They do not. :)
Best drink I’ve had in a long time. Used your recommendation and my mule turned out fantastic I loved it.fever tree ginger beer and Tito’s vodka make for a winner in my bar. Thank you
I was just looking up a beverage recipe for a Moscow Mule in my Betty Crocker cookbook. Well, the rest is history! I googled and found your website and I loved everything. Your recipes are easy to follow and you offer options along with preferences on ingredients. I have always been a Tito’s fan, I am an Austinite after all. Lately, I’ve had Deep Eddy, another Austin Vodka.
Thank you for introducing me to this great website. Cheers!
Perfect ratio! I love it, my boyfriend loves it, making this all the time. (I add a leaf of fresh mint to ours, try it!)
Thank you! I’m glad you love it!
Made this tonight with homemade ginger beer and Titos. Very tasty! Thank you!
Been drinking mules for decades and still prefer good old Schweppes Ginger Ale to the fancy new stuff like fever tree. Even though I admit fever tree has become my favorite tonic for GTs.
You should try fentimans ginger beer, it’s a bit rarer but better than fever tree
For a non alcohol version : sustitute the 2oz. vodka for 2oz. lemon/lime sugar free CBD sparkling water. Crowd pleaser for the “mocktails” type people.
I made your moscow mule a few weeks ago and it has become our go to summer refresher!! so delicious and refreshing. i have now started making it with vanilla infused vodka, and it gives it just a slightly sweeter flavor, but oh so good. love your blog and recipes, keep them coming!!
The best ginger beer – ever – is Bundaberg Ginger Beer. It can be hard to find, but if you can get it, give it a try. I’m sure you will agree! Love this site and try lots of your suggestions!!
I’ve been a big fan of Moscow Mules forever and I don’t hesitate to share my love for them. Maine Root makes a great Ginger Brew as well. They call it wicked spicy! It is yum. When I can’t find Fever Tree, Maine Root does nicely! I use Pinnacle Vodka, also known as ‘baby goose’ (for Grey Goose Vodka)
I introduced Moscow Mules to 2 neighbors at outside socially distanced get togethers on my front lawn here in VT. this summer!
I feel that the ginger beer has lots of carbs and sugar so I used Goslings diet Ginger beer and it was still WONDERFUL!!
Followed your instructions adapted to 4oz Titos; 1 lg lime; 6.8 oz Fever Tree GB (full bottle) and OMG is this the best cocktail ever!!!!
I’ve never bought ginger beer, but ended up buying Fever Tree without knowing it’s the one you recommended! So I made this recipe, and the ginger was too strong for me. But that’s just personal preference – I added an ounce of simple syrup, and I like it much better. But I agree – if the ginger flavor is too weak, you just end up with vodka, tonic, and lime. I actually love those, but sometimes you need something with more bite – and this Moscow Mule does the trick! I’m using Baikalskaya vodka. It’s vodka made with water from Lake Baikal in Siberia. I spent a couple months in Siberia, and I brought it back to the States. Very smooth!
Thank you for your details, Joy! I’m glad it was helpful.
If it’s available to you, try Goya Jamaican style ginger beer. Packs a whallop!
I love Moscow Mules. Thank you for the insight on the ginger beer. I find that key as well to making the most flavorful mule. Have a wonderful and safe holiday season!
Well Im in Fl trying to make the Monster Mule having a real hard time figuring it out
Never even heard of this cocktail before certainly will be trying in near future.
I hope you love it! Thank you for your review.
I’m hooked on Moscow Mules! Not really but…
I’ve just found Fever Tree ginger beer at Costco today. WOW, it is good and really packs a ginger taste.
Wanting to purchase copper mugs-do you have any suggestions?
Also, do you have recipes for holiday Moscow mules?
I can’t wait to try this recipe.
Hi! The links you can find in the post. 18 Festive Holiday Cocktails has some great festive cocktails!
of course, I used Tito’s and for the ginger beer, I used some homemade ginger kombucha. Added fresh lime and a few mint sprigs and yum yum. It may be NYE in WI but the copper cup is a must.
For a bit more of a hit try using an alcoholic ginger beer! We have lots of choices here in Australia, with my favourite being Diablo from the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. It has a good ginger hit with a subtle chilli finish.
My new fave cocktail