“Moscow Mule” is a delicious cocktail that tastes classically of mint, lime and ginger. A specialty of the cocktail: “Moscow Mule” is typically served in a copper cup with lots of ice.
Over the years, many chefs and bartenders have developed their own version of the cocktail. I remixed four variants from celebrity chefs Nancy Fuller, Giada De Laurentiis, Geoffrey Zakarian and Michael Symon and tested them for you.
Fuller’s classic “Moscow Mule” with homemade ginger syrup
Nancy Fuller offers a simple Moscow Mule recipe. Although there was no lime juice, I loved the homemade ginger syrup and was curious to see how Fuller’s variant would taste. The recipe also contains tonic water instead of the classic ginger beer.
Only the ginger syrup had to be prepared and that only took ten minutes. I let it cool down in the fridge for an hour. Then I mixed the syrup with vodka and served the drink in a copper cup with ice cubes. Finally, a sip of tonic water was added and some mint and lime to garnish.
The tonic water was too dominant in taste
Unfortunately, I only tasted tonic water with this variant, which I don’t particularly like. With ginger beer, the drink would have been perfect for me at least: the ginger syrup was sweet and hot. That would certainly have been a delicious combination with the mint and vodka.
“Moscow Mule” with mint vodka from De Laurentiis
De Laurentiis’ recipe was supposed to make your own mint vodka. The homemade ginger syrup was also one of the ingredients. In addition, I only needed sparkling water, a lemon, a lime and some fresh mint to garnish. The recipe sounded a bit intimidating at first, as three days are allowed for the vodka alone. Is the result worth the time invested?
According to the recipe, fresh mint should be soaked in the vodka for at least three days. I didn’t want my vodka to taste too much like mint, so I cut the time down to a day. I had already prepared the ginger syrup for the first recipe so that I could use it again.
I then mixed the syrup, mint vodka and ice in a cocktail mixer and served the drink in my copper cup. Finally, a sip of sparkling water was added, as well as a lime, a lemon wedge and a little mint.
The result: The “Moscow Mule” was super refreshing
It was really difficult for me not to drink the cocktail like water. It was cold, refreshing and the ginger-mint taste came out perfectly.
The cocktail with the lemon and lime slices was also visually impressive. Since this recipe called for more ginger syrup, I didn’t miss the taste of the ginger beer this time. My only suggestion for improvement: some fresh lime juice.
Zakarian’s variant: “Moscow Turkey”
Zakarian has replaced the lime component with cranberries and orange juice for its variant. He calls his version of the cult cocktail: Moscow Turkey. The ingredients of this variant are unique compared to the classic Moscow Mule recipe – because neither lime nor mint are used.
The dried cranberries should be soaked in syrup for an hour. A tedious process when you consider that they are only used for garnishing. When the cranberries were ready, I put the juices, vodka and some syrup with ice in a copper cup. There was also ginger beer and the pickled cranberries.
More like breakfast juice than cocktail in taste
I was quite surprised at my first sip because I only tasted orange juice. It was only after several sips that I could even see any other components. The cocktail wasn’t bad, but it could have been a lot stronger. So it was more of a breakfast cocktail.
Symons “Moscow Mule” with bourbon whiskey
The variant from Symon, however, is completely different. He swaps vodka for bourbon whiskey for his variant: his so-called Kentucky Mule.
It irritated me that the recipe didn’t have a sweet component. The cocktail consists only of bourbon whiskey, ice, lime juice and ginger beer. Plus point: It took me just two minutes for the cocktail. Symon’s recipe was both simple and quick.
Unfortunately I didn’t have the special Collins glass recommended in the recipe on hand. Instead, I drank the cocktail in the classic copper cup.
The cocktail was strong and flavorful
I was surprised: the cocktail was both strong and extra spicy. A bit too spicy for my taste. I would add a little more lime juice and syrup to the recipe to get the different components to work equally.
The clear winner: The mint vodka “Moscow Mule” from De Laurentiis
For me, De Laurentiis’ Moscow Mule recipe was by far the best. Although the recipe was a bit more complex, the result was worth it. The cocktail was very refreshing and contained all the classic Moscow Mule components. I would just add some lime juice next time.
But the other recipes were also great and can be easily adapted to suit any taste. For example, tonic water could be replaced with classic ginger beer, or orange juice with lime juice. You can also vary the sweetness or spiciness of the cocktails and develop your own Moscow Mule variant.
This text was translated from English by Siw Inken Forke. You can find the original here.