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.
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.
Where did the Moscow Mule Come From?
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 Ginger Beer Brands to Try in a Moscow Mule
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.
Cost: About $40 for a 24-pack of 6.8-ounce bottles on Amazon.
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.
Cost: About $25 for twelve 12-ounce bottles on Amazon.
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.
Cost: About $15 for four 375 milliliter (12.6 ounces) bottles on Amazon.
4. Crabbie’s Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer
Crabbie’s, a British export, is the only alcoholic ginger beer on our list and it boasts a 4.8 percent alcohol content. It features a spicy ginger and vanilla-like flavor that tastes great together yet is greater than the ginger flavor by itself. By itself, it’s pretty good, but there’s just not enough ginger to make it a worthy mixer.
Cost: About $6.60 for four 440 milliliters (14.87 ounces) cans or $2.20 for one 500 milliliter (16.90 ounces) bottle on Amazon.
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.
Cost: About $51 for a 24-pack of 6.7-ounce bottles on Amazon.
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’s also have 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.
Cost: About $50 for a 24-pack of 12-ounce bottles on Amazon.
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 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.
Cost: About $50 for a 24-pack of 12-ounce bottles on Amazon.
8. Hollows – Fentimans Ginger Beer
Hollows and 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.
Cost: About $132 for an 8-pack of 500 milliliter (16.90 ounces) bottles on Amazon.
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.
Cost: About $30 for a 24-pack of 12-ounce cans on Amazon.
10. Stoli Nonalcoholic Premium Mixer Ginger Beer
You would think that a renown 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.
Cost: Routine out of stock on Amazon. Check your local supermarket and larger liquor stores.
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.
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.
The Top-5 Best Rated Ginger Beers on Amazon
Fever-Tree Premium Ginger Beer – Over 2,000 positive Amazon reviews
An 8-pack of 16.9-ounce glass bottles costs about $15 on Amazon.
Q Spectacular Ginger Beer, 12-ounce Slim Can – Over 420 positive reviews
A 12-pack of 12-ounce slim cans costs about $20 on Amazon
Q Spectacular Ginger Beer – Over 315 positive Amazon reviews
Check Amazon or local grocery, sells out a lot online.
Gosling’s Ginger Beer – Over 178 positive Amazon reviews
A 24-pack of 12-ounce cans costs about $30 on Amazon
Bundaberg Ginger Beer – over 110 positive Amazon reviews.
A 4-pack of 375 milliliter (12.68 ounces) bottles costs about $14 on Amazon
The 5 Worst Rated Ginger Beers on Amazon
Royalty Ginger Beer Drink – Over 50 positive Amazon reviews
A 24-pack of 10.1-ounce cans costs about $32 on Amazon
Old Jamaica Ginger Beer – Over 22 positive Amazon reviews
A 24-pack of 330 milliliter (11.15 ounces) cans cost about $42 on Amazon
Gosling’s Diet Ginger Beer – Over 14 positive Amazon reviews
A 24-pack of 12-ounce cans cost about $30 on Amazon
Bruce Cost Ginger Beer – Over 5 positive Amazon reviews
A 24-pack of 8.4-ounce cans cost about $40 on Amazon
Belvoir 100% Organic Ginger Beer Presse – One positive Amazon review
One 24.5-ounce bottle costs about $5 on Amazon
For the home brewers or if you are just interested to see if you can make something better than you can buy at the grocery, here are the directions to make your own ginger beer from home, and this comes out to about 4% alcohol.
By A. A. Francis