The Kentucky Mule is the official cocktail of Fall in my house. They're spicy and sweet, but not too sweet. It's a fun and delicious riff on the classic Moscow Mule cocktail.
🌟 Why You'll Love This Recipe
It's sweet and spicy. Sweet apple cider and spicy ginger beer play very well together.
It's so easy to make. Can you pour a few ingredients into a mug? Then you can totally make this drink.
This is the perfect drink for Fall. Bourbon, ginger beer, and apple cider come together to make the perfect Fall drink in a copper mug.
💭 What is a Kentucky Mule?
A classic Moscow Mule (which interestingly was invented in the U.S., rather than Russia) is made from vodka, lime juice, and ginger beer. It's typically served in a distinctive copper mug.
A Kentucky Mule, on the other hand, is a delicious riff on the classic cocktail. The Kentucky Mule swaps bourbon for the vodka and adds sweet and seasonal apple cider.
The "Kentucky" aspect of this drink is the bourbon. The state is known for bourbon production; 95% of the world's bourbon is produced in Kentucky!
I generally make them make them individually, but this would be an easy drink to make in larger quantities and serve in a pitcher. Perfect for parties! Seriously, as soon as apple cider shows up in the grocery store, it's a safe bet that I'm making and drinking these.
This cocktail only requires four ingredients. They're described below. See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
- Bourbon: Bourbon is a uniquely American product. It's a type of whiskey that, by law, must be made in the U.S. from at least 51% corn, and must be aged in new charred oak barrels.
- Apple cider: Make sure that you're grabbing apple cider and not apple juice. Though it's most prevalent in the Fall and Winter months, you can usually find apple cider in your grocery store all year round.
- Lime juice: Freshly squeezed, please!
- Ginger beer: Ginger beer is a non-alcoholic, carbonated beverage that's sweet, spicy, and full of ginger flavor. Different brands vary in terms of sweetness and spiciness, so try a few to find what you like best. I'm a Fever Tree kinda gal (though Goslings and Bundaberg are often in my fridge, as well).
- Garnish: Garnishes are always optional, but I think a thin slice of apple looks really nice when perched on the edge of your copper mug. Bonus: it's a little snack.
🔀 Substitutions or Variations
- Use flavored vodka. Use caramel-flavored vodka instead of bourbon to make a really tasty Caramel Apple Moscow Mule.
- Omit apple cider. If you leave out the apple cider, you'll have a delicious Bourbon Mule.
👩🏻🍳 How to make a Kentucky Mule
Moscow Mules are built in the glass out of which you'll drink them, so there's minimal cleanup involved (I'm always a fan of this).
Start by filling your copper mug (or whatever you plan on drinking out of) with ice. I tend to favor crushed ice for mules, but use whatever you like. You can see that I went with bullet ice in the photos. It's all good.
Pour the apple cider, lime juice, and bourbon over the ice. Top everything off with ginger beer and give it all a gentle stir.
If you're feeling fancy (and let's be honest, you are), garnish your drink with a thin slice of apple. I like to cut it so that you can see the star shape where the apple seeds live in the apple core. Just make sure to discard the seeds.
❓ Recipe FAQs
Yes, but then the drink won't be a Mule. It will, however, still be delicious.
In short, whatever you like! I often use Bulleit bourbon in my mules, but you should try a few and see what you like.
Sure! I'd recommend mixing a larger batch of the apple cider, lime juice, and bourbon (just scale the amounts up according to however many drinks that you want to make). Then, you can pour this into each individual glass and top them off with the ginger beer.
🔗 More Moscow Mule recipes
You need more mules in your life, I just know it.
I'd love to know what you thought of this recipe! Don't forget to leave a comment and ⭐️ star rating below!
- 2 ounces bourbon
- 3 ounces apple cider
- 3 ounces ginger beer
- ½ lime juiced
- apple slice for garnish (optional)
- In a copper mug over ice, add the bourbon, apple cider, ginger beer, and lime juice. Stir gently.
- Garnish the mug with a thin apple slice, if you're feeling fancy.
- Make sure to use apple cider rather than apple juice
Disclaimer: Nutritional information is a generated estimate and is not guaranteed to be accurate.