Moscow Mules are a refreshing combination of ginger beer, lime juice and crisp vodka that first rose to popularity in 1950s Los Angeles and Manhattan. I’m sure more than one mug has been spotted at a bar on Mad Men. It’s that cool.
Since it’s not every bar that happens to have ginger beer stocked, nor does my own refrigerator (the horror) this version calls for a handy stand in, carbonated ginger ale. Your odds for true ginger beer increase the more old-fashioned cocktail embracing the bar is, but this one has a little help from orange bitters and gets its sweetness from fresh limeade. You could just as easily use fresh lime juice, and if you’re one for sweetness, add a little simple syrup.
Now, if you have easy access to the almost spicy Blenheim Ginger Ale (which is available at the Bye & Bye, Sweet Hereafter and a few other establishments in PDX, and sold at the International Food Supply), do upgrade, but any ginger ale will stand in just fine. I went with 365 brand.
The key element here is freshly grated ginger, which will add one heck of a little punch. One more thought before we get to shakin’….somehow, I resisted calling this the Portland Pony. Somehow.
3 ounces vodka
1 ounce limeade or lime juice (optional: add a dash of simple syrup if using straight up fresh lime juice)
1 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger – split between two glasses
1 dash orange bitters – I used blood orange here
ginger ale or ginger beer to fill glass: do not shake this part!
Suggested garnish: lime wedge, fresh mint, carved ginger animals