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Celebrate the Season with Holiday Mules

Celebrate the Season with Holiday Mules

by Linda Stewart

While looking for a holiday cocktail that was festive, yet different, for entertaining this season, I decided to try variations of the classic cocktail, the Moscow Mule.  Made with vodka, ginger beer, and lime, and served in a copper mug, this classic cocktail was the perfect drink to refashion with holiday flavors – cranberry, pomegranate, orange, and apple. 

The Moscow Mule cocktail was created in the early 1940s, when vodka became popular in the United States.  Although there are east coast and west coast seminal versions, most accounts credit a bar owner with an over abundance of his ginger beer product and two vodka representatives devising the drink and having it served in a copper mug.  The copper mug makes a beautiful presentation, it photographs well, and it keeps the cocktail cold.  However, it is now recommended that the copper mugs be lined with food-safe material. has a large selection of this beautiful barware.

The following cocktail recipes make one drink, but if you are entertaining a group, you may want to make a large batch.  Multiply the ingredient amounts by the number of guests.  Combine all the ingredients except the ginger beer into a large pitcher and keep chilled.  This can be made ahead of time for convenience.  As your guests arrive, fill copper mugs with ice, and then pour enough of the cocktail mixture to fill mugs about half full.  Top with ginger beer.

Holiday Cranberry Mule 

2 ounces vodka

2 ounces cranberry juice

½ ounce lime or orange juice

ginger beer

garnish: cranberries and rosemary

Pour vodka, cranberry juice, and lime juice into a copper mug filled with ice.  Top with ginger beer; stir gently.  Garnish:  Thread fresh cranberries on a cocktail pick and dip in lime or orange juice; sprinkle with sugar.  Place on top of drink; add rosemary sprig.

Holiday Pomegranate Mule

2 ounces vodka

2 ounces pomegranate juice

½ ounce lime juice

ginger beer

garnish: pomegranate arils (seeds) and mint

Fill copper mug with ice.  Add vodka and juices.  Top with ginger beer and gently stir.  Garnish with pomegranate arils and a sprig of mint.

Holiday Orange Mule

2 ounces vodka

2 ounces orange juice

½ ounce lime juice

Italian Blood Orange Soda

garnish: orange slices and rosemary

Pour vodka and juices into a copper mug filled with ice.  Top with Italian Blood Orange Soda; stir gently.  Garnish with orange slices and rosemary sprig.

The following mule variation embraces the spices of the season and replaces the vodka with rum.

Holiday Apple Mule

2 ounces Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum

2 ounces apple cider

½ ounce lime juice

ginger beer or sparkling apple juice

garnish:  cinnamon stick and apple slice

Add ice to copper mug.  Pour in rum, apple cider, and lime juice.  Top with ginger beer or sparkling apple juice; gently stir to combine.  Garnish with apple slice and cinnamon stick.


Posted by Susan Montgomery on Nov 15, 2018