Anyone can serve a drink. However, when you learn mixology basics, practice regularly and serve your guests cocktails, then you will show them that you are a prepared and caring host.

Part of being a sophisticated adult, a part that should be mandatory anyway, is learning how to properly mix cocktails.

The keys to mixing the perfect cocktails are knowing your ingredients, the proportions of the ingredients used and how they are prepared. Some ingredients can be substituted for others, but there is almost always a main ingredient. Knowing the difference between such distinctions is also crucial when making cocktails.

In this article, I will breakdown the Moscow Mule, its main ingredient ginger beer, and the best ginger beer for Moscow Mule cocktails.

I will also reveal to you the ten best ginger beer brands on the market plus the best and worst ginger beer that you can buy on Amazon.

It’s time to learn how to make a Moscow Mule cocktail and we got you covered. At Aspiring Gentleman, we’re good like that.

5 Reasons Ginger Beer is For Gentleman

  • Flavor: Ginger Beer offers a deep and complex gingery, spicy flavor profile, while Ginger Ale has a subtle flavor that’s more appropriate for a simple spirit mix where you want a much sweeter finish, like a Rye and Ale. If you seek a drink with complexity and a flavor sensation, then you’ll want to use Ginger Beer.
  • Ingredients: Ginger Beer has historical roots that date back to England in the 1800s. A true Ginger Beer is made with fresh ginger, not ginger essence or syrup. A great Ginger Beer will also use natural cane sugar to complement the spice of the drink and to give a smoothness you can’t achieve with the high fructose corn syrups found in most Ales.
  • Brew: A true Ginger Beer follows a very similar brewing process to that of craft beers. It is made with yeast through a natural fermentation process. The folks at Bundaberg are one of the few to brew their drinks and this small batch method provides a crafted, premium, taste that can’t be replicated by mass-produced sodas.
  • Versatility: Ginger Beer is ideal for balancing out other flavors like citrus or alcohol. My personal favorite is a twist on the Moscow Mule called a Mexican Mule, made with Tequila and lime juice. And, I have found that Ginger Beer works with everything from gin to whiskey, providing the depth of flavor those sorts of cocktails need.
  • Elevated non-alcoholic option: Bundaberg’s stubby glass bottle and depth of flavor provide a refreshing, premium and adult non-alcoholic option, which you should always have on hand for those choosing not to imbibe.
  • Moscow Mule Recipe

    A Moscow Mule is generally made by mixing Smirnoff vodka with ginger beer and freshly squeezed lime juice. Remember to use ginger beer and not ginger ale, which are two different drinks. Ginger ale is a kind of carbonated soda. Ginger beer is a carbonated, naturally sweetened, nonalcoholic and fermented mixture of fresh ginger root, yeast, sugar and water.

    Ingredients for mixing a Moscow Mule:

  • Two ounces of Smirnoff Vodka
  • Four to six ounces of ginger beer
  • Half of an ounce of freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Lime wedges for garnish
  • Crushed ice
  • Stir all ingredients together and then serve in a copper mug

    Personally, I like to crush a mint leaf in the bottom of my mug before making the rest of the drink. That is my little secret to you to make your cocktail just a little better than the local water hole.

    What is the origin of the Moscow Mule?

    Moscow Mule Origins - Best Ginger Beer for Moscow Mules and The Worst – Includes My Favorite Recipe

    It may interest you to know that the origin of the Moscow Mule cocktail has absolutely nothing to do with Moscow or any load-bearing beasts of burden as its attention-grabbing moniker might otherwise suggest. In fact, the Moscow Mule is an all-American concoction.

    According to legend, businessman John G. Martin found himself with an excess of Smirnoff vodka after buying a distillery. His friend, Jack Morgan, owner of famed Los Angeles bar called Cock ‘N Bull, sometimes referred to as Cock and Bull, was selling his own ginger beer brand. With the help of a bartender named Wes Price, the Moscow Mule was borne out of inspiration and a need to liquidate various diversified inventories.

    The cherry on top of the tale is that an associate of Morgan’s who owned a copper goods business, may have played a part in birth of the Moscow Mule’s signature serving style, which is in a copper mug.

    When making a Moscow Mule, you might substitute the copper mug for glass if you must. Although a Moscow Mule just isn’t a Moscow Mule without its signature copper mug. You may substitute the Smirnoff vodka with gin, rum or tequila if you like. Still, using Smirnoff vodka makes the drink official. However, there is absolutely no substituting the ginger beer, which is the main and crucial ingredient. One of the best ginger beer brands available is the original sold by Cock ‘N Bull.

    Here, at Aspiring Gentleman, we tried out ten varieties of ginger beer, including the original Cock ‘N Bull brand, that you can buy on the open market. This way you will have a variety of choices to help you pick out the best ginger beer brands substitutes for your Moscow Mule.

    10 Best Ginger Beers For Your Moscow Mule

    1. Fever Tree Ginger Beer
    2. Cock 'n' Bull Ginger Beer
    3. Bundaberg Ginger Beer
    4. Powell and Mahoney Blood Orange Ginger Beer
    5. Q Ginger Beer
    6. The Ginger People’s Bottoms Up Ginger Beer
    7. Reed’s Extra Ginger Beer
    8. Fentiman's Ginger Beer
    9. Gosling’s Ginger Beer
    10. Stoli Nonalcoholic Premium Mixer Ginger Beer

    1. Fever Tree Ginger Beer

    This all-natural ginger beer was crafted with the use of three different ginger sources. Fresh green ginger from the Ivory Coast, Nigerian ginger and Cochin ginger sourced from South West India. This ginger beer has a refreshing and distinct ginger flavor accent that is coupled with a mild, but memorable sweetness.

    The particulates of natural ginger sediment in Flavor Tree Ginger Beer is flavor-infusing and distinctly signature. For best results, turn the bottle upside or very gently shake to diffuse ginger particulates.

    PROS

    1. Great if you like sweet drinks
    2. Associated with great vodka brand

    CONS

    1. Too sweet
    2. Minimal ginger flavor
    3. Cost for quality

    2. Cock ‘n’ Bull Ginger Beer

    The original recipe tonic mixer for the Moscow Mule. The ginger flavor notes in Cock ‘N Bull ginger beer have a potent, extra-spicy and candy-like kick to them. Your tongue and taste buds will experience a strong, spicy after-taste of ginger and a little cola-like sweetness after a guzzle.

    PROS

    1. Great if you like sweet drinks
    2. Associated with great vodka brand

    CONS

    1. Too sweet
    2. Minimal ginger flavor
    3. Cost for quality

    3. Bundaberg Ginger Beer

    This is an Australian ginger beer that is cloudy and full of ginger particulates, so it will help to hold it upside down. However, the actual ginger flavor in this ginger beer is extremely mild. It is concocted with cane sugar, so a penetrating sweetness does come through with each sip. Its sweetness actually overpowers its ginger flavor.

    This wasn’t one of our favorites. This Aussie brand is fresh and sweet, but there’s no ginger heat. It’s weak and overall too similar to Cola. Bottles do feature a pull-off tab, so there is that.

    PROS

    1. Great if you like sweet drinks
    2. Associated with great vodka brand

    CONS

    1. Too sweet
    2. Minimal ginger flavor
    3. Cost for quality

    4. Powell and Mahoney Blood Orange Ginger Beer

    This Powell and Mahoney ginger beer is made from real cane sugar, ginger juice, ginger extract, & a bit of capsicum extract for the bite you look for in high-end ginger beer. I love that this one is a little different with the blood orange flavoring on top of the wonderful ginger taste.

    PROS

    1. Great if you like sweet drinks
    2. Associated with great vodka brand

    CONS

    1. Too sweet
    2. Minimal ginger flavor
    3. Cost for quality

    5. Q Ginger Beer

    Q Ginger Beer is extremely fresh and expertly crafted. It is flavored with agave nectar and has a powerful, black pepper like flavor finish coupled with its ginger spiciness. Q Ginger beer is marketed specifically as a mixer and not a standalone drink. It is very strongly carbonated. Along with plenty of ginger, there’s also coriander, cardamom, and lime.

    PROS

    1. Great if you like sweet drinks
    2. Associated with great vodka brand

    CONS

    1. Too sweet
    2. Minimal ginger flavor
    3. Cost for quality

    6. The Ginger People’s Bottoms Up Ginger Beer

    The ginger beer features a simple list of natural ingredients; citric acid, fresh single origin ginger, cane sugar, and water. This ginger beer definitely warms your throat and packs a milder ginger spice flavor kick. It also has a nice citrus flavor aftertaste. Bonus: If drinking Moscow Mules has worked up your appetite, try one of The Ginger People’s delicious ginger candies.

    PROS

    1. Great if you like sweet drinks
    2. Associated with great vodka brand

    CONS

    1. Too sweet
    2. Minimal ginger flavor
    3. Cost for quality

    7. Reed’s Extra Ginger Beer

    This ginger beer, a Jamaican export, features a very slight ginger flavor and spiciness that is buttressed by its other flavors. Reed’s Extra Ginger Beer features a mix of spices, honey, and juice from a lime, lemon, and pineapple. For a ginger beer labeled as having, “extra ginger,” its flavor is very tart-sweet and ginger slight, relatively speaking. Great on its own but may be too ginger-flavor light as a tonic for a Moscow Mule.

    PROS

    1. Great if you like sweet drinks
    2. Associated with great vodka brand

    CONS

    1. Too sweet
    2. Minimal ginger flavor
    3. Cost for quality

    8. Fentiman's Ginger Beer

    Fentimans is a British ginger beer concoction that is fermented with ginger root and pear juice. It is 4% alcohol by volume and features a fruity aftertaste that is combined a mildly spicy ginger flavor kick. consists of a mix of botanicals that have been fermented into a low-alcohol beer with a hint of ginger. This may be better sipped on its own than as a mixer. Also, buying this stuff will leave an appreciable void in your wallet.

    PROS

    1. Great if you like sweet drinks
    2. Associated with great vodka brand

    CONS

    1. Too sweet
    2. Minimal ginger flavor
    3. Cost for quality

    9. Gosling’s Ginger Beer

    Gosling’s ginger beer is a great budget choice for ginger beer. It is very sweet however. In fact, its sweetness flavor factor definitely over-competes with its mildly spicy ginger tanginess. Its fizzy, carbonation is also slight. This is satisfactory for mixing in a Moscow Mule though might be more enjoyable on its own.

    PROS

    1. Great if you like sweet drinks
    2. Associated with great vodka brand

    CONS

    1. Too sweet
    2. Minimal ginger flavor
    3. Cost for quality

    10. Stoli Nonalcoholic Premium Mixer Ginger Beer

    You would think that a renowned vodka producer, Stolichnaya, would make an excellent mixer explicitly marketed for use in a Moscow Mule, but, no dice. Stoli’s ginger beer is fermented with cane sugar and ginger extract. Instead of ginger beer, it tastes like sugar water flavored with a hint of citric acid. Also, this pricey and unremarkable ginger beer will set you back a few bucks.

    PROS

    1. Great if you like sweet drinks
    2. Associated with great vodka brand

    CONS

    1. Too sweet
    2. Minimal ginger flavor
    3. Cost for quality

    Overall, we at Aspiring Gentleman highly recommend to you Fever Tree ginger beer, Q Ginger Beer, The Ginger People’s Bottom’s Up, Gosling’s, and, of course, the original Cock ‘n’ Bull ginger beer.

    Moscow Mule Ginger Beer - Best Ginger Beer for Moscow Mules and The Worst – Includes My Favorite Recipe

    However, because mixing the perfect Moscow Mule is important, here is a listing of the top five best and worst-rated ginger beers brands available on Amazon.

    My 5 Worst Ginger Beers

    1. Royalty Ginger Beer Drink
    2. Old Jamaica Ginger Beer
    3. Gosling’s Diet Ginger Beer
    4. Bruce Cost Ginger Beer
    5. Belvoir 100% Organic Ginger Beer Presse

    How to Make Your Own Ginger Beer

    Of course, you can always buy your ginger beer, but if you have more of a DIY spirit, then you can easily make lightly alcoholic ginger beer at home. Then, all you have to do is count on your own signature homebrew instead of buying ginger beer when you want to make a Moscow Mule.

    Brewing Homemade Ginger Beer

    Brewing your own ginger beer is not rocket science, but you must pay attention to what you are doing. Pressure explosion is possible as the yeast sets, so pay attention to what you are doing.

    Ginger Beer Recipe Ingredients List

    • 2 and ½ to 3 pounds of fresh ginger root
    • 12 cups of fresh water
    • 1 ½ cups (or less) of sugar or brown sugar
    • 1 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice (store bought is fine as well.
    • 1 package of yeast, preferably champagne yeast
    • 1-gallon capacity glass jug with a fermentation-proof snap-lock and gasket

    Your glass jug must be immaculately cleaned and sanitized. You should fill the jug and add one tablespoon of bleach to disinfect it for about half an hour. Clean thoroughly with very clean paper towels and allow to completely air dry. Your fermenting mix of ginger beer will become disgustingly smelly, and undrinkable if any dirt or bacteria survive.

    Scrub-wash and clean the ginger root while leaving the skin intact.

    Chop your ginger root into small pieces, mix into one cup of clean water. Put the mix into a food processor or blender until you have a fine pulp.

    Bring 11 cups of water to a boil in a very clean pot. Add the sugar until it is dissolved completely, your ginger pulp mix and the lemon juice. Allow this complete mix to cool down for about 2 hours.

    Then, pour this mix into your immaculately clean 1-gallon capacity glass jug.

    When the sugar and ginger break down during the fermentation process, you may wind up with a 4%, or less, alcohol by volume content.

    Now, it is time to prep the champagne yeast, the main ingredient in this process. Heat up one cup of sugar and ginger pulp infused water to a mild boil and stir in the yeast. If it is too hot it will kill the yeast.

    Set the covered yeast water mixture aside for an hour. When it begins foaming and bubbling, then the yeast has been activated. Add the cup of yeast water to your 1-gallon glass jug. Make sure there is an air cavity space of an inch or two at the top of the jug. Lock it securely.

    Store your 1-gallon jug in a cool dark place for up to a week. You will see bubbling in the jug, a sign of the fermentation process. When the bubbling slows down, you will know that the fermentation process is slowing down. You may want to carefully open the jug slightly while wearing plastic gloves to alleviate the pressure if you notice overacting bubbling so as to avoid an explosion.

    At the 7-day mark, open the jug. Place a fine sieve, cheesecloth or terry cloth over a very clean pot large enough to hold a gallon of liquid. Pour your ginger beer mix into the pot through the sieve, cheesecloth or terry cloth. The ginger pulp and particulates should be strained and separated from the original mix.

    Prepare a new 1-gallon capacity glass jug with a snap-lock and gasket or thoroughly clean out the one you used. Pour the liquid from the pot into the jug. There will be less liquid than when you started out with. You can top it off with water poured through the ginger pulp mix and sediment you just removed from the mix. Make sure that you leave an inch or two of air cavity space in the jug.

    The ginger beer will now ferment for an extra two weeks.

    When you open the jug, there will be liquid and a sludge-like mixture. Pour as much of the liquid as you can into a clean pot. If it is cloudy, that is ok.

    Now we are going to sweeten the brew. Use a non-fermenting sugar like Xylitol sugar alcohol. Add as much as you like until you reach your preferred taste.

    Make sure that you use a non-fermenting sugar, or the remaining yeast will keep breaking it down, increasing the alcohol content.

    To create carbonization, heat one cup of water with a fourth or a fifth of a cup of sugar. Heat to a mild boil while stirring and dissolving the sugar. Allow to cool to room temperature for an hour or so.

    Add the sugar water mixture to your ginger beer mix and stir. It will just be enough to kick start the carbonization process.

    Prep your reception bottles. Use European-style bottles with swing-top lids and mini-gaskets if possible, but you can also just use mason jars.

    Place your ginger beer bottle receptacles in the refrigerator to halt fermentation. You can drink it now. You can also store it in the fridge for four to six weeks to allow the flavors to firmly set.

    Rome wasn’t built in a day, and likewise, it will take time and practice to brew homemade ginger beer worthy enough for your Moscow Mule cocktails.

    Featured image provided by Shari’s Berries