Not completely sure what a Moscow Mule is? Though actually 75 years old, it’s only the trendiest hipstercratic cocktail right now. The traditional version is a mix of vodka and spicy ginger beer, kissed with lime juice, and served in a copper mug. We traipsed the city in search of some of the freshest twists. Enjoy, and make sure to extend your pinky as you drink.
Double Helix Mule
The mod, apothecary-chic, Uptown Cure definitely has a mule worth drooling over. Bartender Nick Detrich crafts the Double Helix — a rum based mule. He mixes Smith & Cross Navy Strength Jamaican Rum with El Dorado 5yr Demerara Rum shaken with muddled strawberry, lime juice, and simple syrup. This tart, strawberry delight is then double strained into a Collins glass filled with ice, and topped with Fever Tree Ginger Beer. Hop in and try this one for sure. Pun intended.
(Photo: Kevin O’Mara)
Strut on down to Bourbon Street to Saints & Sinners … this gin-based, elderflower mule is worth it (tell them Channing Tatum sent you). Bombay Sapphire Gin, St. Germain, simple syrup, cucumber wheels and ice are all tousled twice in a tin shaker and then poured into a tall glass. This is then topped with your choice of ginger beer from their selection, given a lime squeeze, and is garnished with a fresh cucumber slice. Need more? There are a few other “mule” variations to choose from, including an Irish Mule with Jameson, a Jamaican Mule with Kraken Rum, and a Mexican Mule with Cuervo Gold. Photo courtesy: Saints & Sinners
For a rooftop experience, stop in Ace Hotel’s Alto and ask for the Mayon Mule. This creative variation plays with a tropical and Asian twist having ginger and coconut notes. This Filipino-inspired delight includes a mix of Alyesbury Duck Vodka, Clement Coco Mahina, lime juice, fresh ginger syrup, and soda. All ingredients are shaken and served in a classic copper mug over ice and garnished with a beautiful orchid for a full tropical experience. Photo courtesy: Ace Hotel
For a “spicy and stormy” variation of the mule this is a must-try. The Decatur-based hot spot Cane & Table takes a darker twist than most. A pilsner glass and tin shaker mix up Cane & Table’s own house spiced rum, Avuá Cachaça, fresh lime, ginger syrup, and soda water. The glass is then floated with Cruzan Black Strap and an orange peel “pigtail” garnish.
(Photo: Kevin O’Mara)
Taste victory at this World War II Museum, downtown destination. American Sector has crafted a Midway Mule (as in Battle of Midway).
In truth, this is more or less a classic mule starting with muddled lime slices and ginger simple syrup stirred with freshly squeezed lime juice and Stoli Vodka. It is then poured over with ice, topped off with ginger ale and a lime garnish, and served in the traditional copper mug style. But don’t be fooled, the delicious secret ingredient is patriotism. Photo courtesy: American Sector
Sloe Ginny Mule
Bend your tastebuds with this gin inspired Riverbend mule. Oak offers a collision of tart and berry, making this a refreshing marriage of ingredients. A mix of Hayman’s Sloe and Citadella Gins are first swirled together and then shaken with ice and lemon. The mixture is then poured into a tall glass, topped with Barritt’s Ginger Beer, and finished with a smattering of blueberries. Photo courtesy: Oak Wine Bar
Don’t ask for a copper mug here, but Bar Tonique boasts one of the best classic Moscow Mules in the city. Their GM Mark Schettler states that the focus for this drink is to be straightforward, unpretentious, and with the freshest ingredients possible. What sets this version apart is that the ginger beer is made to order. Fresh juiced lemon and lime are mixed with house-made, fresh juiced ginger syrup and simple (or Demerara) syrup. The craft cocktail in the making is then hit with a specific gram weight of charged water to achieve brisk perfection. Served to you in a simple Collins glass with a straw. Photo courtesy: Bar Tonique
Ride The Mule
For a bold, savory and spicy take on the mule, this creative concoction will not disappoint. This version at Victory boasts an expected pho spice twist. Iichiko Korean vodka and Jamaican ginger beer unexpectedly come together as the base of this drink, but the palate play isn’t done there. These are shaken with an in-house crafted pho syrup made of pho spice base with ginger, jalapeño, green onion, and a scattering of sweet sugar to taste. Finally, the mixture is double strained over ice and served in a hammered copper presentation, garnished with fresh mint and lime. Photo courtesy: Victory