The VVC Cocktail Lounge: Moscow Mule

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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.

Moscow Mule

Makes 2 cocktails
2 small mugs or tall cocktail glasses
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!
Also optional: 2 straws

Add a couple of ice cubes and fresh ginger to both glasses. Place the glasses in your refrigerator (if you have the room, consider me impressed) or freezer (I’m even more impressed) to chill while you mix the cocktail part. Combine ice, limeade or juice, vodka and bitters in your cocktail shaker. Shake well, and divide between the two chilled glasses. Top with ginger ale or beer, as desired, and garnish. Insert a straw, if using, and give a quick stir.

Suggested garnish: lime wedge, fresh mint, carved ginger animals

Who's down for some Russian Wolf vodka?

2 thoughts on “The VVC Cocktail Lounge: Moscow Mule

    Sarah said:
    October 24, 2011 at 11:02 am

    This looks so delicious! I’ll have to give it a whirl.

    Jojo said:
    October 24, 2011 at 11:35 am

    That sounds so good right now! I’ll keep a look out for it next time I’m at a pub with a cocktail menu!

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