Classy Things: Mule Cocktails

01/02/2011 § 2 Comments

Mule cocktails are an old-fashioned name for a group of mixed drinks that are made with ginger beer, citrus juice and a variety of base liquors.  Popularized during the first half of the twentieth century, these drinks are enjoying a bit of a renaissance at discerning bars — not least of all at my personal bar at home.  As a result of my budding interest in nostalgic mixology, I thought I would impart recipes for two of my favorite Mules — the Gin Gin Mule and the Moscow Mule.

The Gin Gin Mule

  • 0.5 oz simple syrup*
  • 0.5 oz lime juice
  • 6-8 fresh mint sprigs
  • 1 oz Reed’s ginger beer
  • 2 oz Hendrick’s gin

Gently muddle the mint, lime juice and simple syrup in the bottom of a mixing glass.  Add the ginger beer and the gin, and shake well.  Pour into an ice-filled glass.  Garnish with an additional spring of mint.  Top off with a bit of ginger beer, or soda water, if desired.  I don’t.  I definitely don’t need mixers getting in the way of my love affair with gin…

*It’s simple to make simple syrup.  The recipe is equal parts water to sugar.  Bring the water to a boil, add the sugar and allow it to dissolve.  Remove it from the heat and let it to cool.  Once cooled, I put mine in a Ball jar and keep it in the fridge.  (You may have noticed from the picture my kitchen has quite a few Ball jars — they are so handy and affordable.  I pick mine up from Fishs Eddy, near Union Square.)

The Moscow Mule

  • 1.75 oz Belvedere vodka
  • 0.5 oz lime juice
  • Reed’s ginger beer

Pour vodka and lime juice into an ice-filled glass, top off with ginger beer and garnish with a lime wedge.

Purists will demand you serve the Moscow Mule in a copper cup, owing to the origins of the cocktail.  Created in Los Angeles at the Cock n’ Bull Tavern on Sunset Boulevard in the 1940s, the Moscow Mule was originally served in a specific copper cup, and I have been earnestly stalking eBay in the hopes of adding one (or two or three or four…) of these cups to my bar.  (Sidenote: If there are any eBay warriors out there with helpful hints, pass them my way!)

Mule cocktails can be made with other liquors, but these two are my favorite.  Let me know how you enjoy them!

Bottoms up!

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