Kick ratings: weak medium strong
Moscow Mule, $12*
Poured into a tall, iced glass, this refreshingly effervescent beverage comes off like slightly boozy ginger ale, though it is made with genuine ginger beer.
Taster says: “This would be the perfect cocktail on a long flight.”
Moscow Mule, $6.25
This well-iced (and well-priced) concoction has a nip, thanks to top-shelf ginger beer, but still goes down smooth.
Taster says: “This is good—you really taste the ginger.”
The Village Cigar
Moscow Mule, $7
From the copper mug to the perfect blend of ingredients (including super-smooth Russian Standard vodka), this mild Mule gets everything right. Don’t like smoke? The Northside Social next door, under the same ownership, mixes a slightly more-sour drink in a silver tumbler that’s almost too chilly to hold.
Taster says: “How did we miss Moscow Mule Appreciation Night in August?”
Local Eatery & Pub
Moscow Mule, $5.75
Every sip of this light, lemonade-y Mule starts with the scent of summer from the muddled mint and finishes with a peppery burn of ginger.
Taster says: ”This is the first drink I’ve ever downed in five minutes.”
The Ball & Biscuit
Death’s Door Mule, $9
Nice and limey, this well-mixed drink in a short, chilly tumbler sets the standard for girly Mules. If only the bar would use the copper mugs it has on hand more often.
Taster says: “Vodka, ginger beer, and lime, all right on top.”
Russian Mule, $13
This manly drink scores points for authenticity: It’s served in a frosty copper mug, just as the first Mules were in the 1940s. Nugget ice rattles merrily in the cup—and whoa, Nelly, that’s a lot of vodka. Don’t bother with the bitter-tasting low-cal version.
Taster says: “Good-quality ginger beer. Some places skimp on that.”
Moscow Mule, $9*
A hair-on-your-chest pour of Svedka vodka dominates this no-frills version, leaving the ginger beer and lime wedge to act as mere garnish.
Taster says: “Give this a good stir and a squeeze of lemon before sipping—that helps the spicy fizz emerge.”
JW Marriott Lobby Bar
Italian Mule, $9
This delicious, breezy drink’s fruity aroma comes courtesy of Skyy blood-orange vodka and a curl of lemon rind on the rim. For a stronger cocktail, try the Hibiscus Cucumber Bliss, a Mule cousin made with gin instead.
Taster says: “I don’t taste much lime or ginger beer.”
Moscow Mule, $8
Sweet to the point of saccharine yet still strong, this straight-up version in a stumpy cup goes over well at Mass Ave’s martini bar, one of the few places on the strip serving it.
Taster says: “Dangerously potent. Can’t do more than one of these.”
Moscow Mule, $9.50*
The bar doesn’t have ginger beer, so ask for a Mule with ginger ale if you’re in the mood for a sweet, citrusy refresher.
Taster says: “I can hardly taste the Stoli.”
*Not on the menu, but made by special request
Photos by Tony Valainis
This article appeared in the January 2013 issue.