The Kentucky Mule is our new favorite mule which should be no surprise since we adore bourbon. Who knows? Maybe it will be your new favorite mule too.
Everybody knows about the Moscow Mule. It’s been a fixture in American bars since it was first crafted in Los Angeles back in 1939. Not only does it have a distinctive taste, but its copper dimpled mug is a cultural icon.
But what if we told you that there’s a better mule cocktail – one you can craft in less than five minutes at home?
After crafting and drinking a Kentucky Mule, you won’t just believe us. You’ll become a Kentucky Mule fan too.
What Is a Kentucky Mule?
In simple terms, a Kentucky Mule is a Moscow Mule crafted with bourbon instead of vodka.
There’s no debate that the two drinks are similar. However, in our opinion, the Kentucky Mule is the superior cocktail.
We don’t know why bourbon combines splendidly with ginger beer. Then again, bourbon pairs well with most mixers. Ginger beer is no exception to this rule.
Bourbon can be produced anywhere but it isn’t officially bourbon unless it’s produced in Kentucky.
Kentucky Mule Ingredients
You don’t need a lot of fancy ingredients to craft a Kentucky Mule. You probably have the following ingredients in your pantry and/or bar:
Essentially, you just need bourbon, ginger beer, lime and ice to craft a Kentucky Mule at home. However, you’ll also want some fresh mint for garnish. That being said. your Kentucky Mule will taste great with or without mint.
Don’t feel compelled to run to the liquor store to buy a special bottle of bourbon for this cocktail. Instead, you can and should use your favorite bourbon. There are no bad bourbon choices here!
We use Bulleit Bourbon due to its warm, rich flavors. This bourbon has a 45% ABV and a generous amount of rye in its mix.
Fever-Tree is our typical choice when it comes to ginger beer. This ginger beer blends fermented ginger root from Cochin, Nigeria and the Ivory Coast to create a spicy yet balanced mixer. It works well in our Kentucky Mule recipe.
Click here to buy Fever-Tree Ginger Beer from Amazon.
How To Craft a Kentucky Mule Cocktail
You don’t need any special bar tools to craft a Kentucky Mule at home. We use the following basic bar tools in our recipe:
You can improvise if you’re missing any or all of these basic bar tools. However, none are expensive.
Discover 10 necessary bar tools for lazy mixologists.
The first step is to pour freshly squeezed lime juice into a mule mug. We use a miniature angled measuring cup for this step but you can use a jigger instead.
The second step is to measure the bourbon and ginger beer. We use a Japanese Jigger for this step to ensure accurate measurements and clean pours.
Click here to purchase a Japanese Jigger if you don’t have a jigger or want an inexpensive upgrade.
The third step is to pour the bourbon and ginger beer into the copper mule mug. You’ll want to pour these ingredients immediately upon measuring each.
The fourth step is to fill the copper mule mug with ice cubes and gently stir. We use a metal straw to stir the cocktail but you can use a spoon instead.
The final step is to garnish the Kentucky Mule cocktail with a lime wheel and fresh mint sprigs.
Kentucky Mule Alternatives
Unless you’re as stubborn as a mule, consider experimenting with the following mule recipes to discover your favorite:
Kentucky Mule Recipe
- 2 ounces bourbon
- 4 ounces ginger beer
- 1/2 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
- ice cubes
- lime wheel (garnish)
- fresh mint sprigs (garnish)
- Pour bourbon, ginger beer and lime juice into a copper mug.
- Fill mug with ice cubes.
- Stir with a cocktail spoon or metal straw.
- Garnish with a lime wheel and fresh mint sprigs.
- You can use a highball glass if you don't have a copper mug.
- Adjust the bourbon/ginger beer ratio if you want a boozier cocktail or the opposite.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, we earn from qualifying purchases.
Moscow Mule Copper Mugs - Set of 2 - 100% HANDCRAFTED - Food Safe Pure Solid Copper Mugs - 16 oz Gift Set with BONUS - Highest Quality Cocktail Copper Straws, Straw Cleaning Brush and Jigger!
Japanese Jigger - Premium Double Cocktail Jigger, 1oz/2oz made from Stainless Steel 304
Manual Lemon Lime Squeezer, DZY Metal Rustproof Citrus Press Juicer - Handheld Lemon Juicer with Solid Squeezer Bowl (2.75 inch Diameter), Extracting Lemon Juice and More Fruit
Thirsty for More Cocktails?
Try our Absinthe Frappe, Amaretto Sour, Americano, Aperol Spritz, Aviation, Bee’s Knees, Bijou, Black Russian, Boulevardier, Brandy Alexander, Caipirinha, Clover Club, Creamsicle, Daiquiri, Diplomat, Dirty Shirley, Eggnog, Emerald, Espresso Martini, French 75, G+T, Gibson, Gimlet, Grasshopper, Hemingway Daiquiri, Hugo Spritz, Hurricane, Irish Coffee, Kir Royale, Last Word, Manhattan, Maple Bourbon Smash, Martinez, Mauresque, Milk Punch, Mint Julep, Mojito, Moscow Mule, Mudslide, Negroni, New York Sour, Old Fashioned, Paper Plane, Pimm’s Cup, Pink Lady, Porto Tonico, Ramos Gin Fizz, Revolver, Sazerac, Sidecar, Spicy Margarita, Tipperary, Tomate, Vieux Carré, Whiskey Ginger, Whiskey Sour, White Lady and White Russian cocktail recipes.
View the Web Story.
About the Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.