Classic Cocktail : The Moscow Mule

by Pamela

moscow mule, classic cocktail, vodka drink, ginger beer

Time for another classic cocktail – the Moscow Mule.  This vodka drink has something for everyone to love.

Back in the 1940’s vodka was not the popular spirit it is today.  Seriously, the major spirit of the day was gin.  In case you’re feeling nostalgic you might want to try the more modern take on the classic cocktail – the gin fizz I posted last week.  But either way, the Moscow Mule is believed to be the marketing fuel that was needed to introduce the Russian spirit to the American palate.

Okay, enough with the history lesson and back to me. (kidding…I kid…but seriously, back to me)  I encountered the great vodka drink, the Moscow Mule, at Thomas Keller’s restaurant and bar Bouchon in Beverly Hills.  The drink was perfectly mixed and chilled.  But the even more impressive bit of the drink was that they served it in a traditional copper cup.  I totally geeked out and clicked my food loving heels.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t  enjoy the entire libation, as the Moscow Mule was ordered by Craig.  Ordinarily I would have still continued to finish this bright and sparkly beverage (with a kick that’s not quite as brutal as said mule) but since I was drinking champagne I thought that I would let Craig finish his ordered drink (sometimes I’m nice like that).

In all seriousness, the Moscow mule is a vodka drink that really should please everyone regardless of the time of year.  It’s vodka based (as previously discussed), has a nice bit of tangy lime and a spicy kick of ginger from the ginger beer.  Astute alcoholics classic cocktail aficianados will recognize the moscow mule to be similar to a dark and stormy – the chief difference being the substitution of vodka for rum.

We served the Moscow mule at our recent party to rave reviews.  While this cocktail is perfect for hot and steamy days, it goes equally well on cooler days due to the spicy aspect the ginger brings to the glass.

Relationship Advice

Whether or not you believe in aphrodisiacs (a substance that increases sexual desire)…ginger is considered one of the major aphrodisiacs, not to mention the nickname of people bearing lovely red hair and the aphrodisiac that they are (slight bias 😉 ).  Alcohol is also considered to be one of the top 10 aphrodisiacs.  So feeding the Moscow Mule to your date should definitely do the trick.  Well, alcohol merely lowers inhibitions (which some would consider an aphrodisiac).

Ginger has been known to aid in digestion, it alleviates indigestion, gas pains, diarrhea, nausea, motion sickness and morning sickness.  Of course if any of those things were going on when ginger was ingested, you’d probably be ready to go…but I digress.  The history of ginger as an aphrodisiac goes back to 500 BC.  Writings from China talk about how ginger has physical affects on sexual relations.  Arab physicians talk about ginger being able to “increase lustful yearnings.”  Greek and Roman medical philosophers agreed on the the fact that it has aphrodisiac effects on the male sex organ.  French legend says that Madame du Barry would feed ginger to all of her lovers, including the King to which she was his mistress, and it would drive them all to submission.  The be all end all writings of sex, the Kama Sutra, even dedicates some of its precious pages to ginger and its aphrodisiac effects.

There are two reasons that ginger is considered an aphrodisiac.  The first is the odor.  The smell of ginger has the ability to increase circulation in the body.  This is thought to make erogenous zones hypersensitive.  Additionally, ingesting ginger has a similar effect as eating hot chili’s, it makes the body warm up an perspire.  The increase in heart rate and body temperature simulates what occurs during sex.

So what are you waiting for?  Mix up a pitcher of these Moscow Mules and have yourself a party!


Moscow Mule

Makes 1 drink


  • 1 Ounce Vodka
  • 1 Ounce Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice (the lime juice is critical to the overall flavor of the drink)
  • 3 Ounces Ginger Beer


Fill a highball glass with ice.

Pour ingredients into glass and stir.

Serve garnished with fresh mint and a lime wheel.


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lisaiscooking September 18, 2010 at 12:59 pm

Somehow, I thought a Moscow Mule was more complicated than that, and I’m already a fan of the dark and stormy, so I’m sold. Good to know that ginger is an aphrodisiac too (and I have red hair)!

Barbara | VinoLuciStyle September 17, 2010 at 12:25 pm

I’m seeing more and more cocktails with Ginger Beer. I don’t have a clue what it tastes like, but you had me at vodka and lime juice. I love margaritas but for me, they are a summer only beverage…so love finding something heavy on the lime; I love it!

sippitysup September 17, 2010 at 9:19 am

I have been a Dark and Stormy man for years (no that’s not my thoughts on relationship advice). Now, thanks to you, I can proudly tally a Moscow Mule in the “done that” column! GREG

Brian @ A Thought For Food September 17, 2010 at 8:30 am

The moscow mule is one of my favorite beverages… in fact, I’m a big fan of doing it with tequila… the flavors work beautifully.

Great post, my friend and happy drinking!

Pamela September 17, 2010 at 8:50 am

Thanks Brian! Oooooh tequila sounds really good with that. Gonna have to try that since I’m a bit over margarita’s at the moment. Have a great weekend! Off to torment Kevin.

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