A Moscow Mule Cocktail on a table

Often served in a distinctive copper mug, the Moscow Mule is a classic vodka-based cocktail with just three ingredients: vodka, fresh lime juice, and ginger beer. Here’s how to make a Moscow Mule.

Moscow Mule Cocktail Recipe

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Recipe by Craig Comer Difficulty: Easy


Prep time



A classic Moscow Mule is made with vodka, fresh lime juice, and Ginger beer.


  • 2 oz Vodka

  • 1/2 oz Fresh Lime Juice (about half a lime)

  • 4-6 oz Ginger Beer


  • Fill a copper mug or glass with ice cubes.
  • Squeeze the fresh lime juice directly over the ice.
  • Pour in 2 oz of vodka.
  • Top off with ginger beer.
  • Gently stir to combine.
  • Garnish with a lime wedge or wheel.

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Making A Moscow Mule Cocktail: Pro Tips

As you can see, making a Moscow Mule is quite easy and can be made in a matter of minutes. If you want to take your cocktail to the next level, follow these pro tips to make a Moscow Mule like a seasoned bartender.

Use A Copper Mug

A traditional Moscow Mule is served in a copper mug. Not only does the mug present the drink in an aesthetically pleasing manner, but it also helps to keep the drink cooler for longer.

Many enthusiasts believe that drinking from a copper mug enhances the flavors of the vodka and ginger beer due to the subtle interaction between the mug and the drink. If you do use a copper mug, be sure to use a food-safe one, as the acidity from the drink could cause a non-food-safe copper mug to ‘leach’ into the drink, which would be a health concern.

Always Use Quality Ingredients

Good quality vodka and ginger beer will ensure your Moscow Mule is up to the same standards as you would get in a bar. The ginger beer is especially important as it dominates the drink. Be sure to use ginger beer and NOT ginger ale as this is a completely different kind of drink.

Fresh Is Best

Always use fresh lime juice when making your Moscow Mule. The brightness and acidity of freshly squeezed limes make a huge difference in the taste, and ready-made bottled lime juice just can’t compare.

Use Large Ice

Using large ice as opposed to crushed or shaved ice will ensure your Moscow Mule stays undiluted for longer. Once watered down, the kick of the ginger beer and the tartness of the lime are less pronounced making it less flavorsome.

Moscow Mule Variations

The Moscow Mule’s refreshing combination of ginger beer, citrus, and spirit has inspired numerous variations over the years. Here are five popular Moscow Mule variations.

Kentucky Mule (or Bourbon Mule)

To craft a Kentucky Mule, use bourbon instead of vodka. Mix it with ginger beer and lime juice in a copper mug or glass filled with large ice cubes. The deep caramel notes of bourbon contrast beautifully with the spicy ginger beer, creating a drink that’s refreshing and rich.

Mexican Mule

For a Mexican Mule, swap out the vodka for tequila. Combine tequila with ginger beer and lime juice in a copper mug or glass filled with ice. Some enthusiasts also add a dash of agave nectar for a hint of sweetness.

Gin-Gin Mule

The Gin-Gin Mule swaps out vodka for gin and adds mint, offering a refreshing twist on the classic Moscow Mule. Start by muddling mint at the bottom of a copper mug or glass, then add ice and pour in the gin, ginger beer, and lime juice, stirring gently to combine.

Irish Mule

An Irish Mule uses smooth Irish whiskey as its foundation. Blend Irish whiskey with ginger beer and lime juice in a copper mug or glass filled with ice. The creaminess of the Irish whiskey juxtaposes the bite of the ginger beer, creating a perfect mix.

Jamaican Mule

This variation of the Moscow Mule uses dark rum instead of vodka. To make a Jamaican Mule, mix dark rum with ginger beer and lime juice in a copper mug or glass filled with ice. The molasses-like flavors of dark rum blend seamlessly with the tangy lime and fiery ginger beer flavor.

More Vodka Based Cocktails

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