Winter is here, and so is Moscow Mule season.
The famous vodka and ginger drink is expected to be on the rise this winter, so I spoke with Douglas Graham-Leigh, a Grey Goose New York brand ambassador about all thing’s Moscow Mule. From the type of mug to the perfect ingredients, here’s everything you need to know about the much-loved drink.
When you think Moscow Mules, one of the first things that probably come to mind is the iconic copper mugs, but do the mugs actually help the flavor of the drink? Graham-Leigh explained that the mug is a tradition and looks good but doesn’t do anything for the drink. He also noted that, “It doesn’t typically affect the flavor, but any metal seeping into the drink is never ideal!”
Graham-Leigh also explained to me that there is a reason why the mug came to be. He said that “The Moscow Mule was created by an English ex-pat named Jack Morgan, who owned a bar in LA called The Cock and Bull Tavern. His girlfriend at the time, Idaline Schmidt, had recently inherited a copper factory and had a surplus of mugs, so to help the drink stand out, they used these for the drink.”
Now that you know about the mug how about trying to master the perfect Moscow Mule? When it comes to making the perfect Moscow Mule, it should come to no surprise that Graham-Leigh mentioned balance is a key factor. He told me that “The ideal Mule is a balance between the fiery nature of ginger, with a hint of sharp from lime juice, balanced out with a great vodka. Be sure to use a vodka that’s rich and full-bodied—like Grey Goose—showing itself up against the boldness of the other ingredients and helping elevate those other flavors.”
When it comes to putting together the cocktail, Graham-Leigh recommends using a ginger beer, not a ginger ale. For some cool ginger beers, he suggests looking into Fever Tree and Bundaberg, an Australian brand. If you’re already familiar with the drink, he suggests experimenting with different flavored ginger beer and different garnishes. Graham-Leigh mentioned that “It’s a very versatile cocktail that you can play around with—the opportunities for adapting it to your own tastes are endless!”
If you’re already planning on making a Moscow Mule for your next dinner party or holiday party, Graham-Leigh has a few pairing suggestions for you. When it comes to pairing the drink with food, he suggests poultry dishes, lighter bites, Thai food, and a variety of curries will make the flavors really stand out. It pairs well with food that showcase lime or ginger flavors. If you’re making a ginger-themed dessert, it could pair nicely as well.
Graham-Leigh’s go-to classic Moscow Mule recipe
1.5oz Grey Goose
0.25oz of fresh lime juice
Top with a tasty ginger beer
Serve with plenty of ice and a lime wheel garnish.
Graham-Leigh suggests using candied ginger as a garnish, or if you want to do a holiday twist on the classic cocktail, he suggests following the above recipe and garnishing with nutmeg and a sprig of fresh rosemary.