TL;DR-scroll down to the shopping list and recipe at the bottom
After years of painstaking research, I have finally cracked the secret for crafting The Perfect Moscow Mule(TM). I do not make this claim lightly. I have tried literally thousands of these drinks, and have mixed them using no less than ten different vodkas, over twenty different hard and soft ginger beers, four different lime juices, and various secret ingredients until finally achieving gastronomic enlightenment. Through careful testing and a rigorous application of the scientific method, I have found not only the perfect ingredients, but their perfect ratios, that when combined in just the right way, create a drink a mere sip of which will move the gods to tears. And in this post, I am going to share with you that which, if there is ever a contest for crafting a Moscow Mule, guarantees you a flawless victory.
Be warned-accept no substitutes. The specific ingredients are not just recommendations. Perfection is only attainable when everything is just so. You may not think my choices are the best of the best. Perhaps, when taken individually, you are correct. But it’s not just finding the best ingredients, it’s finding the ingredients that work best together. These, are those.
You wouldn’t serve a fine wine in a mason jar. You could never bring yourself to pour a fine draught beer into a paper cup. And, if you have any respect for yourself or your guests, you’d never serve a Moscow Mule in anything other than a fine copper mug. The best Moscow Mules are served in copper mugs which are lined with steel, and stored in a freezer until ready to use. If the inside of your mug is copper, you should know that the acidity of the drink will leach copper into the drink. This will alter the taste, and not in a good way, and may be risky to your health. If you have lesser mugs that are not lined, lose them and pay for the better ones. I like these.
Use cubed, not crushed, ice. Crushed ice melts too quickly and will dilute your drink before you can truly enjoy it. You don’t need to get fancy with the ice, but you do want to keep your drink cold
A proper platform
Have a good quality coaster ready at hand. Remember, this drink is utter perfection, and you will need something to catch all those tears from the gods. Between the cold of the frozen mug and the humidity in the air, the perfect mule is going to leave a lot of condensation wherever you set your mug down. And given this is a sipping drink, not a gulping one, and that copper is going to feel cold in your hand, you will be setting it down between sips.
Garnish is to the perfect Moscow Mule like a frame is to a Rembrandt. Yes, you want a good one, but no one is going to pay attention to it, and it doesn’t really do anything for the work of art. I like to use a bamboo skewer, a piece of candied ginger, and a wedge of lime, but you can use whatever you wish. Here is where you can indulge your artistic nature.
Now, it’s shopping time. You probably won’t have all of these on hand, so go get them before you begin, as they are all required, not optional, ingredients and substitutions will at best lead to a drink that makes you go “meh,” and at worst will kill you.
Accept no substitute. Tito’s Handmade Vodka is the one and only acceptable vodka to use when creating The Perfect Moscow Mule (TM). A corn-based, Texas distilled, artisan’s spirit, Tito’s continues to amaze me with it’s taste far superior to the likes of expensive imports, with a price that puts it well within reach of even the most budget-conscious customers. Trust me, this is the only vodka you want, and I say this having been a sworn Absolut Red drinker throughout college, and then a believer that Ketel and Grey Goose really did taste better before I grew up enough to know better. If you haven’t tried Tito’s yet, you’re in for a treat.
Here’s where the magick starts. Stirrings Ginger Liqueur is where it starts to show that this isn’t just any Moscow Mule recipe. It adds that extra kick that makes a mule a mule, and not some mamby-pampby unicorn sneezing rainbows.
In the background you should hear a choir of angels singing “Ah Sweet Mystery of Life.” Don’t know what that song is? Go watch Young Frankenstein you barbarian!! Q Ginger Beer is the absolute best Ginger mixer money can buy. And while it is non-alcoholic and fans of either Crabbie’s or Cock and Bull may scoff, remember we are going for the perfect Moscow Mule, not the perfect Ginger Beer. Frankly, Ranga is the best hard Ginger Beer if that is what you are drinking. But for mixing, there is nothing better than Q. If there is a Target near you, you can get this in four pack cans, which are the perfect size to complete this creation.
Finally, it’s time to get down to creating perfection in a mug. Ready? Let’s go.
The shopping list
- Tito’s Handmade Vodka
- Stirrings Ginger Liqeuer
- Rose’s Sweet Lime Juice
- Q Ginger Beer
- Fill your properly chilled, steel-lined, copper mug with cubed ice. If it didn’t spend the night in the freezer, it’s not properly chilled.
- Add one ounce Rose’s Sweetened Lime Juice.
- Add one ounce Stirring’s Ginger Liqueur.
- Add one ounce Tito’s Handmade Vodka.
- Swish the mug around gently to blend.
- Fill to the top with Q Ginger Beer.
- Garnish as you will.
Then find a comfortable spot, with a suitable horizontal surface equipped with a quality coaster, sit back, sip, and bask in the glow. Cheers!