Enjoy these Christmas Moscow Mules this holiday season as a festive twist on the classic cocktail. It’s made sweet and slightly tart with fresh cranberry juice, lime juice, and ginger beer. Garnish with rosemary sprigs and fresh cranberries to make this mule the ultimate holiday drink!
📋 About the Recipe
- The perfect holiday Moscow mule - If you love classic Moscow Mules, you’ll love this holiday twist! Adding fresh cranberries, cranberry juice, and sprigs of rosemary is a fun change this time of year.
- No bar tools needed - If your bar tools are limited or non-existent, don’t worry! All you’ll need to prep homemade Moscow mules is a cocktail shaker or a mason jar with a lid.
- Can be made non-alcoholic - Simply skip the vodka and enjoy a fizzy cranberry juice!
- A unique twist on a classic - Just like my vanilla fig old fashioned and mango mojito, these moscow mules are a delicious twist on a classic drink.
A few notes about the ingredients:
- Vodka - Any brand of vodka will do, so use your favorite here!
- Cranberry juice - Look for a cranberry juice that is pure, 100% cranberry juice with no added sweeteners. Most cranberry juices in stores are blended with other juices or made with added sugars to balance the tartness of the cranberry, but your local grocery store should have 1 or 2 pure cranberry juices to choose from. Or, at the very least, a lightly sweetened option.
- Orange juice - Traditional Moscow mules don’t include orange juice, but to balance the tartness of the cranberry juice, I recommend adding freshly squeezed orange juice for the perfect, natural sweetness. Freshly squeezed orange juice is optimal, but store-bought orange juice will work in a pinch.
- Lime juice - Please only use freshly squeezed lime juice. Pre-bottled lime juice is watered down and contains preservatives. It also has a different taste.
- Ginger beer - Despite its name, ginger beer is a non-alcoholic fizzy beverage that is strong and spiced in flavor. Find the perfect ginger beer for you from this roundup: The 11 Best Ginger Beers for Moscow Mules and Beyond. My personal favorite brand is Bundaberg! Note: ginger beer and ginger ale are not the same, so keep that in mind when grocery shopping!
⁉️ Substitutions and Alterations
- Vodka substitutes: Try swapping the vodka for dry gin and make a “Gin Buck.” You could also use a cranberry flavored vodka if you have it!
- Ginger beer substitute: For a more mild, less spicy Moscow Mule, use ginger ale instead of ginger beer.
- Make it sweeter: If you prefer a sweeter cocktail, add ¼ to ½ teaspoon of a liquid sweetener like homemade simple syrup, maple syrup, agave, or honey.
- Cranberry substitute: If you can’t find pure cranberry juice, use pomegranate juice and make a pomegranate Christmas cocktail!
- Non-alcoholic alteration: Substitute the vodka with 3 tablespoons cranberry juice and 1 tablespoon orange juice.
- Fill the cocktail shaker. Fill with ice, then pour in vodka, cranberry juice, orange juice, and lime juice.
- Shake. Screw on the lid and shake vigorously until the flavors blend together.
- Strain into mule mugs. Strain into copper mugs (or other glasses) filled with ice. Top with ginger beer and give a gentle stir to combine.
- Garnish. Fresh cranberries, a lime slice, and a rosemary sprig are the perfect finishing touch.
❄️ How to Store
To store: Moscow mules are best enjoyed immediately once poured over ice. If you are planning to make Christmas Moscow mules for a holiday party and want to prep in advance, follow steps 1 and 2, then strain into an airtight jar like a mason jar (no ice!), instead of a mug.
Store in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours, then when ready, pour over ice into mugs, add ginger beer, and garnish.
To freeze: Freezing this cocktail is not recommended, but storing your vodka in the freezer is a great way to preserve its quality.
The only reason copper mugs are a popular choice for serving Moscow Mules is because copper conducts temperature and keeps the Moscow Mule extra cold and frosty for a longer period of time than another drinking glass. If you don’t own copper mugs, no problem! Use any mug or glass you’d like.
The Moscow mule got its name from Americans’ associating vodka with Russia (Moscow). The “mule” is in reference to the zesty "kick" from the lime juice. It is debated whether Moscow mules were invented in New York or Los Angeles. Either way, the Moscow Mule is said to have become popular in the 1940s.
They can be! Most people consider them both sweet and spicy, but by making them at home, you can adjust the sweetness to your personal taste.
💭 One More Tip
Don’t add ginger beer to the cocktail shaker! The carbonation will cause the cocktail to explode out of the cocktail shaker. Simply top off your cocktails and give it a stir.
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Christmas Moscow Mules
- 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) plain vodka
- 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) cranberry juice
- 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) fresh squeezed orange juice
- ½ ounce (1 tablespoon) fresh squeezed lime juice
- 3 ounces ginger beer
- slice of lime for garnish
- fresh cranberries for garnish
- fresh rosemary for garnish
- Add ice to a cocktail shaker. Pour in vodka, cranberry juice, orange juice, and lime juice.
- Shake vigorously until the flavors blend together. Strain into copper mugs (or other glasses) filled with ice.
- Top with ginger beer and give a gentle stir to combine.
- Garnish with fresh cranberries, a lime slice, and a rosemary sprig.
- Make sure to use fresh lime juice and fresh orange juice for the best flavor.
- Buy a good quality cranberry juice with as little preservatives and added sugar as possible.
- For a sweeter drink, add a splash of pure maple syrup, agave, or simple syrup to your cocktail shaker, along with the other ingredients.
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