A blend of muddled blackberries, lime, vodka, and ginger beer create the perfect Blackberry Ginger Moscow Mule, a refreshing springtime cocktail.
When I’m out with friends or entertaining at home, wine is generally my beverage of choice. Light reds like Pinot Noir, a dry, crisp Sauvignon Blanc in the summer or of course, anything sparkling, the bubblier the better. Though martinis and mixed drinks are a fun departure from wine, they’re generally full of sugar and calories that make your teeth and head hurt.
Entertaining at home, though? That’s a different story. That’s when you can pick the ingredients you like, in the quantities you like, and mix them with the spirits that you like. For me, that means spicy ginger, tart fruit and zesty citrus for Moscow Mules. These Blackberry Moscow Mules are a great way to usher in spring with something refreshing to sip…without the accompanying sugar hangover.
The first time I had a Moscow Mule, I was visiting friends outside of Columbus, Ohio. We went to The Pearl, a restaurant and oyster bar known for its Moscow Mules. Usually served in cold copper mugs, the Moscow Mule is made with three simple ingredients: ginger beer, available at most grocery and specialty food stores, fresh lime juice and vodka.
I loved it and thought it would be easy to find an equally good Moscow Mule in Chicago. However, that isn’t so much the case.
As it turns out, the Moscow Mule is extraordinarily easy to ruin. I’ve ordered several undrinkable Moscow Mules at various bars and while I’m sure whoever mixed them had the best intentions, it would seem that “Moscow Mule” is often synonymous with ‘lime-flavored simple syrup.”
Food and Wine magazine traces the Moscow Mule’s origin to 1940’s Hollywood, when a local bar owner had extra cases of vodka and ginger beer and mixed the two to clear out his basement. The cocktail has a lot of fun history surrounding its creation, from the origin of the infamous copper mugs to how it put certain brands of vodka on the map (see: Food & Wine). A classic cocktail like this should be celebrated properly, so unless you find yourself at the highest caliber of cocktail bars, you should make your own at home.
The purist, classic Moscow Mule is always a great way to go, but if you want to take your at-home mixology to the next level, muddle some of your favorite seasonal fruit in the bottom of your beverage to give it a unique twist. I love blackberries because they’re tart, just sweet enough and their mild flavor goes well with the kick from the ginger beer.
Make sure to garnish with plenty of whole berries and if you like, a little bit of mint or basil. Enjoy!
- ¼ cup blackberries, muddled
- 1 16-ounce bottle of Ginger Beer
- 3 ounces of vodka
- Juice from one lime
- Additional blackberries, for garnish
- Fill two copper mugs (or your favorite cocktail glasses) with crushed ice. Add ginger beer, vodka and lime juice and stir to combine. Garnish with a lime wheel and additional blackberries.