Tangy, spicy, light and refreshing- this Basil Lemonade Moscow Mule and Virgin Mule recipe uses ginger beer, lemonade, basil, and vodka (or juniper soda) for a truly delicious cocktail or mocktail!
There’s nothing better than lemonade in summer, right?
Well- that’s wrong right off the bat… Moscow Mules are one of my summer favorites.
They are light, refreshing, delicious- and get you there without filling you up. The combination of vodka and ginger beer is divine- and the ginger beer always helps settle my stomach after a big meal, or keep me from feeling full like beers often can.
The virgin version of moscow mules are also one of my all-time favorite drinks!
So I decided to combine my two favorite drinks- lemonade and moscow mules- for an epic summer sipper.
(important note: I do get questions often about Ginger Beer. Ginger beer is NOT alcoholic- it is made like root beer or ginger ale- but has a LOT more ginger flavor than ginger ale. You can find ginger beer almost everywhere these days- but I am pretty picky about brands.)
While moscow mules do traditionally use citrus to cut the ginger beer’s flavor, I decided to switch it up a bit with lemonade.
Adding basil is a great way to take the flavor up even more- it is a fabulous compliment to slightly tangy and sweet lemonade, and gingers’ spicy heat.
And like a lot of my mocktails, this is truly one of the most delicious drinks even without booze. I’m using juniper soda for a bit of a dry, earthy kick- I might even like the virgin version more than the alcoholic one! (Well, we all know that isn’t true— but I do love a balanced, unique mocktail that doesn’t just rely on sugary sodas or juice. These are perfect for sipping all day long!)
This is an excellent party drink- you can pre-mix the basil, lemonade, and vodka/juniper soda (this actually helps the flavors develop and “marry” more) and display it in a cute jug or pitcher, and have guests top up their cocktail or mocktail with ginger beer when they are ready to drink it.
For an extra fun and delicious version, try adding cherry ginger beer!
I personally recommend the Cock ‘n Bull brand of ginger beer. It isn’t too sweet and has more spicy ginger flavor, which keeps the drink balanced and interesting. I also like to use a good premium lemonade for balanced flavor that doesn’t taste fake.
You can find everything I use here (I’m linking similar moscow mule mugs- the snowflake cup pictured is from Spring 44 Distillery, which can be found here):
Basil Lemonade Moscow Mule
- 4 oz lemonade
- 6 large basil leaves, lightly muddled + 6 for garnish
- 2 oz vodka OR 2 oz juniper soda
- 4 oz ginger beer (preferably Cock 'n Bull brand)
- In a copper mug or pitcher (if making a large batch), lightly muddle basil by pressing it with a wooden spoon so some oils and flavors release.
- Add lemonade and vodka (or juniper soda), stir well.
- Add ice, stir.
- Add ginger beer immediately when serving- if making a large batch, you can pre-mix the lemonade and vodka/juniper soda, and then have guests pour ginger beer when they are ready to drink.
- Garnish with basil leaves.