Moscow Mule

What do you get when you mix a creative bartender, an overstocked basement, & a marketing genius?

moscow mule in copper mug


Moscow Mule

Written by Jena Ellenwood

Let’s Get Buildin’

Serves: 1

Special Tools: Collins Glass, Jigger, Bar Spoon, Y Peeler

Difficulty: Easy

The Moscow Mule is the work of pure marketing genius: its spicy little history began with a marketing firm called Hueblein acquiring a Russian vodka and ended with a Polaroid picture. See, we really didn’t know what to do with vodka in the 1940’s–it wasn’t spicy like rye or flavorful like gin, and, traditionaly speaking, it wasn’t a cocktail spirit.

The Moscow Mule was born when a bartender at the Cock ‘n’ Bull in LA decided to clean out the basement, combining well loved ginger beer with this spirit no one knew what to do with and his boss had the bright idea to serve it in a mug from his girlfriend’s copper company. The gent from the marketing firm happened to have a new device called the “Polaroid Camera” and he went around getting pictures of the bottle and the cocktail in the copper mug and, as fast as you could shake it like a you-know-what, the Moscow Mule was famous.

If you love this cocktail, check out our full cocktail library or our YouTube Craft Cocktail Making playlist for home mixology lessons as you make your drink.

Moscow mule in copper mug polaroid

Traditional Moscow Mule

2 oz Vodka

1/2 oz Fresh Lime Juice

3 oz Ginger Beer (the spicier, the better!)

Lime Wedge

or try this DIY Moscow Mule 

2 oz Vodka

3/4 oz Ginger Syrup

1/2 oz Fresh Lime Juice

2.5 oz Club Soda

Candied Ginger


  1. Combine vodka, lime, and ginger beer in a copper mug (or collins glass)
  2. Add ice and lightly stir
  3. Garnish with lime wedge

DIY Moscow Mule Steps

  1. Make a ginger syrup: equal parts fresh ginger juice (grate and press/strain fresh ginger) and sugar, stir or shake in a lidded jar to combine and store in fridge for up to 2 weeks
  2. Combine vodka, lime, and ginger syrup in a shaker 
  3. Add ice and shake
  4. Strain into copper mug and add soda
  5. Fill with ice 
  6. Garnish with ginger candy


Suzanne Pucker Face

But will I like it?

Cocktail flavor profile

Getting to know your palate, what you like, and what you don’t like is a critical part of being a great craft tippler AND key to becoming a great home bartender as well!

So before you break out that barware and buy the key ingredients, here’s a little guidance on what to expect from this cocktail so you can start to hone in on exactly what elements of cocktails you enjoy and which you’d prefer to minimize.  This helps you order new cocktails you love when you’re out on the town better as well!

  • Sweet
  • Spiritous
  • Refreshing
  • Complex/Funky/Unique
  • Spicy

Let me know what you discover, or if you would have rated it differently in the comments below…

Let us know what you think!

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