Best American Mule Recipes

We think you’ll agree with us when we say that any cocktail named after the United States of America must be a good one. The American Mule is no exception! In this post, we describe the 8 best American Mule cocktail recipes and discuss the interesting history of the American Mule. Read on to learn more!


It is hard to imagine summer afternoons without those icy cold, tangy, fizzy, and refreshingly delectable drinks called cocktails. There are quite a few cocktail drinks popular in America, but the American Mule drink easily takes the cake.

One of the most popular cocktail drinks, the American Mule drink is perfect for all occasions. Be it a late night party when you really want to let your hair down, an outdoor barbeque, a gathering of friends reminiscing over old times, or just a lazy afternoon you happen to spend by yourself at home catching a movie or a sitcom, the American Mule is suited to all occasions.

But what exactly is an American Mule cocktail? Where did it originate? What sort of variations does it have and which are the most popular and delicious ones? Read on for the low-down on all this.

A Brief History of the American Mule (The Provenance)

The American Mule is a variation on the classic Moscow Mule cocktail. The name of the classic Mule cocktail is a bit misleading as it seems to hint at a Russian origin of the drink. The only link between Russia and the Moscow Mule cocktail is vodka – an alcoholic beverage that originated in Russia and Poland. 

The classic mule cocktail that is now popularly known as the Moscow Mule cocktail was first mixed in the bar of Chatham Hotel in 1941. The ingredients used were two ounces of vodka, ginger beer, lemon and, of course, ice. Another story regarding the origin of the cocktail surfaced around 2007, but the Chatham version holds more water compared to the other. 

The fact remains that the first mule cocktail was concocted in America itself (not in Russia) and it caught on like wildfire. Owing to its rising popularity, several versions of the Moscow Mule were concocted and the term ‘The Moscow Mule’ slowly metamorphosed into ‘The American Mule’ though the older term still continues to be widely used for the cocktail with original ingredients. 

So, practically speaking, there is little difference in respect of the American Mule versus the Moscow Mule because both cocktails are fundamentally the same. The American Mule cocktail is now used to refer to the variations of the classic mule that either substitute Russian vodka with American vodka or other alcoholic beverages, or use some other ingredients to add a twist to the original recipe.

What Does It Taste Like?

The American Mule cocktail is a term applied to so many variations of the classic Mule cocktail that it is difficult to generalize as to what the American Mule tastes like. Different ingredients bring their own twist to this popular drink. 

However, every variation on the American Mule retains the basic spicy and tangy flavors. The spicy flavor is the constant for the American Mule thanks to the ginger beer that is the mandatory ingredient. The touch of tanginess or sourness too is ubiquitous in an American Mule, owing to the use of lime juice. 

At the end of the day, the American Mule is delicious and refreshing and guaranteed to lift your spirits.

How is the American Mule Cocktail Best Served?

Traditionally, Mule cocktails have been served in copper mugs. The reason being the cold copper has the tendency to increase the amount of bubbles in the carbonated ginger beer. The copper mugs also take on the cold temperature of the liquid.

two Moscow Muled copper mugs filled with liquid crushed ice and lime slices

However, the American Mule tastes equally good in a highball glass commonly used to serve other cocktails. More importantly, the American Mule has to be served on the rocks i.e. poured over ice (crushed ice accentuates the flavor of the drink).

The American Mule cocktail goes with a wide range of dishes and snacks that include fish, chicken, bacon, and Italian food items like pizzas and pastas. That makes it an ideal drink for all sorts of parties and get-together events.

Where Can You Grab One?

The American Mule is fast gaining in popularity and has become one of the most searched cocktails on the internet. If you’re not in the mood to make your own, here is a list of some of the popular places to look for your fix of the American Mule.

LuxBar, Chicago

The Mules are one of the most popular items on its menu. The cocktails they serve stand out because of the crushed ice used in their preparation.

Drink, Boston 

This place with rustic industrial ambience serves excellent Mule cocktails.

Ataula, Portland, Oregon

Made with local organic cranberry juice, sherry, and ginger beer, this restaurant serves a special variation of the Mule cocktail that tastes great.

Libertine Social, Las Vegas

Mule cocktails are widely served in Las Vegas. However, this restaurant stands out. Crushed nugget ice is used to serve cocktails.

Lilt Lounge, Miami

This swanky lounge serves excellent mule cocktail variations.

Four Seasons, Baltimore

The menu is dominated by variants of American Mule cocktails. One of the variations is a blackberry mule that uses whiskey, honey, lemon, and cayenne pepper.

Standard Pour, Dallas

This 1920s-styled spot serves some genuine Mule cocktails and is super popular. Food is outstanding as well. 

J-Bar, Aspen, Colorado

This bar used in Hotel Jerome uses local Woody Creek vodka.

Ascent, New York

This posh lounge offers great variations that include a Whiskey Mule. Has great views of Central Park and Columbus Circle to go with the great cocktails.

33 Degrees North, Dana Point, California

Offers great variations of the American Mule like the Dragon Mule made with orange, rhubarb bitters, fresh dragon fruit, and ginger liqueur. Stunning views of Pacific ocean add to the special flavors of the cocktail drinks resulting in a heavenly experience.

How to Make an American Mule Cocktail

As you now know, the American Mule is basically a variant of the Moscow Mule cocktail. Sometimes, the terms are even used interchangeably. In other cases, variations of the American Mule vary from tradition by:

  • Retaining vodka, ginger beer, and lime, but also adding different ingredients like syrups, grapes, cucumbers, pumpkin puree, pomegranate juice, chocolate, mint, etc. for the purpose of adding a twist to the taste of the American Mule; or
  • Replacing vodka with other alcohol like whiskey and brandy and adding other ingredients that go with the recipe of your choice. 

The basic ingredients and equipment needed to make an American Mule cocktail are listed below:

  • Vodka or any other alcohol, like whiskey 
  • Ginger beer 
  • Lime juice
  • Ice (crushed ice is an added bonus)
  • Shaker
  • Strainer
  • Copper mug or a highball glass

You can choose other ingredients depending on the specific recipe you are following or the availability of items.

Let us begin with some of the recipes that use vodka as primary ingredient.

The Traditional American Mule Recipe


  • 1 ½ oz vodka
  • 3 oz ginger beer
  • ½ oz fresh lime juice


  1. Fill a shaker halfway with ice.
  2. Add fresh lime juice and vodka.
  3. Top with ginger beer.
  4. Stir and garnish with a lime wedge and a bit of mint, and you are ready to go!

American Mule with Syrup and Lime


  • 1 ½ oz vodka
  • 1 ½ oz tonic
  • ½ oz simple syrup
  • 1 lime squeezed
  • 5 grapes (mashed)


  1. Mash grapes and mix them with vodka in a shaker.
  2. Add syrup, lime juice, and ice.
  3. Shake the mixture vigorously and strain into a glass over fresh ice.
  4. Top with tonic water, and your very own fix of a American Mule with a twist is ready!

American Mule with Pumpkin Pie Mix 


  • 2 oz vodka
  • ½ oz half & half
  • 1 tbsp canned pumpkin pie mix
  • 1/8     tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 dash cinnamon


  1. Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice.
  2. Shake and double strain into a highball glass.
  3. Garnish with a small amount of freshly grated nutmeg and there you have it – another delicious variation of the Mule cocktail is ready to be sipped!

American Mule with Apple juice


  • 1 ½ oz vodka
  • 2 oz apple juice
  • ½ oz ginger syrup
  • ½ oz lime juice
  • 4 ginger slices (mashed)


  1. Mash ginger slices in a shaker.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and ice.
  3. Shake and strain into a moscow mule mug over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with an orange slice.
  5. Sit back and enjoy a glass of this delicious Mule cocktail!

American Mule with Lemonade and Tea


  • 2 oz vodka
  • 3 oz lemonade
  • 2 oz sweetened or unsweetened tea
  • 3 oz ginger beer


  1. Fill up a mug halfway with crushed ice cubes.
  2. Stir the ingredients in a shaker.
  3. Pour the mixture into the mug and add fresh lime or slice.
  4. Voila! 

Let us now move on to the recipes that substitute spirits like moonshine and whiskey instead of vodka. Once you try these recipes, you will realize that the variants are just as delectable as the vodka-based Mule cocktails.

The Fruit Berry Mule Cocktail


  • 1 cup of fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1 oz unflavoured moonshine
  • 2 teaspoons can sugar
  • 4 oz of ginger beer
  • Fresh blueberries


  1. Mash and mix raspberries, sugar, and moonshine.
  2. Chill the mixture for one hour.
  3. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer.
  4. Add ginger beer and stir gently.
  5. Serve in a mug or a highball glass over ice with blueberry garnish.

The Mule Cocktail with Rye Whisky and Apple Brandy


  • 1 oz rye whiskey
  • 1 oz apple brandy
  • 75 oz lime juice
  • 0.25 oz honey syrup (2:1 honey: water)
  • Ginger beer
  • Angostura bitters.


  1. Combine in shaker and shake with ice.
  2. Pour into a copper mug, top with ginger beer.
  3. Add a few dashes of angostura bitters.
  4. Use lime wheel to garnish.

American Mule with Lemonade and Tea


  • 2 oz whisky
  • 3 oz lemonade
  • 2 oz sweet or unsweetened tea
  • 3 oz ginger beer


  • Fill up a mug halfway with crushed ice cubes.
  • Stir the ingredients in a shaker.
  • Pour the mixture into the mug and add a fresh slice of lime.

The Bottom Line

It must be pretty obvious by now that the American Mule recipes are easy to make. Just make sure you use the specified quantities. The ingredients for almost all recipes are readily available and you do not even need any special gadgets to make an American Mule cocktail. To take your American Mule to the next level, make sure to get some authentic copper mule mugs!

Relevant Products

Moscow Mule Copper Mug

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