Ain't No Cure for the Summertime Mules

The Moscow Mule has been around since 1941, but it is only in the last couple of years that it has gained a prominent place in the pantheon of must-make summer refreshers. One of the reasons for its popularity is its ease of readiness: a basic Mule involves pouring vodka, ginger beer (not ginger ale — two different things), and lime juice into a copper mug filled half-way with ice. Mix it all up, accent with a lime slice and/or mint sprig, and while away your summer days. We here at ABV don’t like to do anything nice and easy, however, so we asked several Bay Area bartenders to give us their unique local twist on the Moscow Mule. — Jake Speed


Hair of the Mule
Created by Kevin Goleman, Bar Manager, Silver Creek Valley Country Club, San José

1-½ oz. vodka (we recommend Hangar 1 Vodka)
¼ lemon
1 tsp. honey
1 pinch cayenne pepper
3-5 pieces pickled ginger
Ginger beer, to top
Directions: Muddle all the ingredients in a copper mug, add ice, and fill with ginger beer. Stir the cocktail to allow the goodness from the bottom to reach the top. Trust the bartender, this helps.


Moscow Mulada
Created by Hamei Hamedi, bartender and owner, Café Venezuela, Berkeley

½ oz. fresh pineapple
1-¾ oz. vodka (we recommend Charbay Vodka)
¼ oz. coconut rum liqueur (we recommend RumHaven, out of Hayward)
¼ oz. fresh lime juice
2 oz. ginger beer
4 drops kava extract
Slice of pineapple and lime, for garnish

Directions: Muddle the pineapple or give it a quick spin in the blender before adding it to the shaker. In the shaker, add the pineapple, ice, vodka, coconut rum liqueur, and lime juice. Shake briefly and pour into cold copper mug. Top off with ice and ginger beer. Using a medicine dropper, add four drops of kava extract. Garnish with pineapple and lime.


Haitian Mule
Created by Justyn Myers, bartender, The Interval, San Francisco

5 medium slices fresh young ginger
¾ oz. fresh lime juice
¾ oz. honey syrup
2 oz. Rhum Barbancourt White Rhum (distilled in Haiti, hence the name of the cocktail)
5 medium basil leaves, plus 1 for garnish
2 oz. brut cava (for a local substitute, try Schramsberg Mirabelle Brut)

Directions: Muddle the fresh ginger with the lime juice, honey syrup and Rhum in a shaker. Add the basil leaves, ice, and shake. Add the cava and double strain everything into a mule mug over fresh ice. Garnish with sprig of basil.


Paradise Mule
Created by Shane McKnight, founder Craft on Draft Cocktails and Top Hat Provisions, San Francisco

1-½ oz vodka (we recommend Golden State Vodka)
1 oz. ginger beer craft concentrate (available at Top Hat)
4 oz. club soda
1 large wedge sliced lime
2 dashes Paradise Bitters
Star anise, for garnish

Directions: Fill a copper mug with ice, then build the mule with all the ingredients except the club soda. Top off with the club soda, then finish with the wedge of freshly sliced lime and bitters. Garnish with star anise.


Pedal Tone
Created by Marisa Miller, bartender, Local Edition, San Francisco

1-½ oz. Hibiscus-infused gin (we recommend any of the local gins featured elsewhere in this issue, except for maybe the Sea Gin…)
1 oz. lime juice
¾ oz. Giffard Ginger of the Indies
½ oz. Raft Hibiscus Lavender syrup
½ oz. Top Note Indian Tonic syrup
2 dashes The Bitter Housewife Lime Coriander Bitters
¾ oz. Club soda
Lime wheel, approx., ¼ -inch thick, for garnish

Directions: Add all the ingredients, except the club soda, to a copper mug. Fill the mug about three-quarters full with crushed ice. Stir briefly to incorporate the ingredients. Add soda, then top off with more crushed ice. Garnish with lime wheel.

What's your favorite Moscow Mule recipe? Share in the comments below!