One Drink, 10 Ways: The Moscow Mule

Three simple ingredients—vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice—go into the Moscow Mule, yet every bar makes this trendy cocktail its own. Our stubborn Mule aficionados found the best.

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The Libertine
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.”
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Wellington
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.”
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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?”
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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.”
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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.”
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1933 Lounge
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.”
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Mesh
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.”
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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.”
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Tini
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.”
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Nicky Blaine’s
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.”
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*Not on the menu, but made by special request

 

Photos by Tony Valainis

This article appeared in the January 2013 issue.

 

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