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.
Discover our favorite bourbon cocktails.
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.
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 either of these basic bar tools. However, neither is expensive.
Discover 10 essential bar tools for home mixologists.
The first step is to pour freshly squeezed lime juice into a Moscow 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.
Purchase a Japanese Jigger from Amazon 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 Moscow Mule mug.
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 bar 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 FAQs
A Kentucky Mule is a Moscow Mule crafted with bourbon instead of vodka.
Similar to how the Moscow Mule is named after vodka’s homeland, the Kentucky Mule is named after bourbon’s homeland.
Bourbon, Ginger Beer, Lime and Crushed Ice
Your favorite Kentucky bourbon will work great in this cocktail.
The Kentucky Mule is stirred, not shaken.
Yes. The Moscow Mule mug completes the Kentucky Mule cocktail.
Kentucky Mule Recipe
A Kentucky Mule is similar to a Moscow Mule but better. Learn how to craft one at home in just three minutes.
- 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.
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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
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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.
Original Publication Date: March 22, 2022