Moscow Mule

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Easy classic Moscow mule cocktail recipe with ginger beer, vodka, and lime – with tips to making the perfect sweet and spicy drink in a classic copper cup!

moscow mule in a copper cup with mint and limes in it on a table

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a large moscow mule in a copper cup with mint and limes in it on a table

Vodka Ginger Beer Cocktail

Moscow Mules might sound Russian – but they were actually first made in the United States. Accounts vary, but both New York and Los Angeles both claim to be the origin of Moscow Mules – but as a native Los Angeleno myself, I’m choosing to go with California for the cocktail’s origin story.

While the drink was largely credited as a way to move more Smirnoff vodka, its also known to be properly made only with Cock n Bull ginger beer to stay true to it’s origins. You can still buy Cock n Bull for the nostalgic flavor today – or try another ginger beer!

For this recipe, I used Rocky Mountain Soda Company’s Golden Ginger Beer to give a bit of a Denver twist to the classic cocktail, but I’ll always love the iconic flavor from Cock ‘n Bull Ginger Beer.

One of the most important parts of the Moscow mule is the glass you serve it in – the iconic copper cup! A copper mug helps your cocktail stay incredibly cold, to keep the flavor crisp, clean, and incredibly satisfying – it is thirst-quenching, a bit spicy, and totally delicious. For another take on this recipe, be sure to check out my Strawberry Basil Moscow Mule Recipe.

I hope you love this drink as much as I do!

moscow mule in a copper cup with mint and limes in it on a table

How to Make Moscow Mules

To make this recipe, you’ll need:

  • Vodka: brings a neutral alcohol flavor to the drink, which allows the other ingredients to stand out.
  • Ginger beer: adds a sweet and spicy flavor to the drink with its combination of ginger, sugar, and carbonation.
  • Ice: chills the drink and dilutes it slightly, creating a smoother taste.
  • Lime Wedges: adds a bright, citrusy flavor and aroma to the drink, which helps to balance the sweetness of the ginger beer.
  • Copper Cup: While not an ingredient, the copper cup is often used for serving a Moscow Mule and is said to enhance the drink’s flavor by conducting the cold temperature of the drink to the hands, making it more refreshing.
picture of moscow mule in a copper cup with mint and limes in it on a table

Tips and Tricks to a Perfect Moscow Mule & FAQs

Don’t shake. If you shake your drink, don’t shake with ginger beer – the carbonation will spill over. Shake with just vodka and ice in shaker.

Use a copper cup. A copper cup isn’t technically necessary – but it does actually keep your drink colder, and change the flavor of your cocktail. A copper cup absolutely makes a difference in the flavor of Moscow Mules – and will change the flavor of your drink. We love these gorgeous hammered copper cups with a wooden lid!


What are Moscow mules?

A Moscow Mule is a cocktail made with vodka, ginger beer, lime juice, and ice, traditionally served in a copper mug.

What type of vodka is best for Moscow Mules?

Any good quality vodka can be used in a Moscow Mule, but it is recommended to use a clean and crisp vodka without any strong flavors.

What is ginger beer?

Ginger beer is a non-alcoholic carbonated beverage that is made from ginger, sugar, and water. It has a spicy and sweet taste and is commonly used in cocktails like Moscow Mules.

Should I serve Moscow Mules in a copper mug?

Yes, a Moscow Mule can be served in any glass, but it is traditionally served in a copper mug to keep the drink cold and enhance the flavor.

Can I substitute ginger ale for ginger beer in a Moscow Mule?

While ginger ale can be used as a substitute for ginger beer, it will result in a less spicy and less complex flavor. It is recommended to use ginger beer for the best taste.

Can I make a non alcoholic Moscow mule?

Yes, a non-alcoholic Moscow Mule can be made by omitting the vodka and increasing the amount of ginger beer and lime juice for flavor.

moscow mule in a copper cup with a large mint sprig and limes in it on a table

Other Easy Drinks You’ll Love

If you love this drink, be sure to check out our Sex on the Beach, Lemon Drop Martini, Caramel White Russian Cocktail, or our Easy Red Sangria Recipe!

For more vodka-based drinks recipes find some of our recent favorites below:

Moscow Mules Recipe

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picture moscow mule in a copper cup with mint and lime

Moscow Mules

Yield: 2 cocktails
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Delicious sweet and spicy sparkling ginger beer vodka cocktails with a fresh lime kick!


  • 2 oz vodka
  • 1/2 cup ginger beer
  • juice from 1/2 lemon or lime
  • sprig of mint


  1. Add mint, basil, thyme, or any desired herbs to a glass and lightly muddle against the sides.
  2. Add ice.
  3. Pour vodka, lemon juice, and ginger beer over ice. Stir well to mix.
  4. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Yield 2 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 180Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 78mgCarbohydrates 30gFiber 2gSugar 24gProtein 1g

Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.

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About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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