Modern mixology has given us all kinds of unforgettable boozy inventions, but there’s a reason why classic cocktails keep showing up on bar menus. Still, even the tried-and-trues can benefit from a little freshening-up every now and again, which is what talented bar gurus at the six places below have done with the Moscow Mule—a drink traditionally made with just vodka, lime juice and ginger beer and served in a copper mug. You'll find the cocktail's main components in all of these versions (and in the recipe below), but that little something extra goes a long way, even when it found its way into the drink totally by accident.
Where: The Forge Lounge, Seattle
What: Matcha-infused vodka, lime, cane sugar ginger beer.
How: “The idea for the drink came from my spilling ginger ale on a businessman while eating green tea Pocky on a flight home from Japan. It was quite embarrassing, but we've been making the drink now for over half a decade,” says manager Thanny Bradford. Photo by Catherine Glesige.
Market Square Mule
Where: Pappas Bros. Steakhouse, Houston
What: Vodka, lime, ginger beer, housemade grenadine, chile tincture.
How: The upscale steakhouse adds a pleasantly sweet and spicy kick to the classic drink, made here with housemade grenadine and chile tincture. Photo courtesy of Pappas Bros. Steakhouse.
Where: Hibiscus Restaurant, Dallas
What: Vodka, lemon juice, jalapeno-infused green chartreuse, honey syrup, ginger beer.
How: "The name ‘Jaded Mule’ came from the feeling that the Moscow Mule’s increase in popularity was not breeding many creative derivatives," says general manager, Mike Tarumi. "If you will, this cocktail is a recreation of a drink that was tired of being ordinary." Photo courtesy of Hibiscus Restaurant.
Where: Liberty Tavern at Hilton Hotel, Austin
What: Vodka, lime juice, agave syrup, pineapple juice, ginger beer.
How: “We make large pineapple ice cubes to keep the drink chilled. Also, we make it in batches and use a draft system. This means the cocktail tastes fantastic and is really easy and fast to serve,” says assistant manager Matthew Horsley. Photo by Matthew Horsley.
Where: The Vine, New York City
What: Russian vodka, lime, ginger, falernum.
How: The bar at New York City's Eventi Hotel has been introducing countless drinkers to its inventive Mule spin, which adds falernum sweet syrup to the mix, and tops it all off with fresh crystallized ginger. Photo courtesy of The Vine.
La Mula Tejana
Where: Prego, Houston
What: Vodka, ginger beer, sparkling soda, grapefruit bitters.
How: The boozy riff at this Italian restaurant pays homage to the classic recipe but swaps out lime juice for sparkling soda. Grapefruit bitters and a garnish of grapefruit slices add bright acidity.Photo by David Cook.
Frozen Moscow Mule
Where: Provision No. 14, D.C.
What: Vodka, Chinese five spice, ginger, lime juice, simple syrup.
How: "The drink is a cooling version of a traditional mule, with a blended consistency. The fresh ginger really kicks up the spice," says head barkeep Glendon Hartley. Photo courtesy of Provision No. 14.
Frozen Moscow Mule recipe:
5 oz vodka
1 tsp fresh, grated ginger
4 oz ginger beer (preferably Fever Tree or Fentimans)
2 oz lime juice
2 oz simple syrup
Add all ingredients except the candied ginger in a blender with ice and blend until smooth. Continue adding ice until desired consistency is reached. Serve in a copper mug and garnish with candied ginger.
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