If you’re looking for a refreshing drink to finish off the week, look no further than this Kentucky Bourbon Mule. Just like its cousin the Moscow Mule, a classic cocktail made with vodka, this recipe uses ginger beer and limes but the Kentucky Bourbon Mule obviously uses bourbon whiskey. It only takes a few ingredients and 5 minutes to make this simple recipe.
Sometimes the Kentucky Bourbon Mule is just called just a Bourbon Mule or Bourbon Moscow Mule. I’ve also heard it called a Whiskey Mule. Whatever you like to call it, it’s definitely a super flavorful cocktail made with smoky bourbon, sweet and spicy ginger beer, and sour lime juice.
If you’re a huge bourbon fan like me, you’ll also want to check out some of my other bourbon cocktails, like Apple Cider Hot Toddies, Smoked Rosemary Old Fashioned, and Pomegranate Bourbon Sour. They are all easy cocktails that you’ll definitely love.
The Man O’ War Cocktail is named after a famous racehorse, so it along with Kentucky Bourbon Mules are perfect Derby day cocktails.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- If you’re a bourbon lover, this is Bourbon Mule recipe for you! It’ll be your new favorite way to enjoy bourbon.
- It’s one of the easiest cocktails with only 3 ingredients and only takes 5 minutes!
- All of the ingredients compliment each other so well – and they are served in beautiful copper mule mug making it perfect for the holiday season.
- Bourbon: All bourbons are whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon. For a whiskey to be considered bourbon, it must be made in the United States and be at least 51 percent corn.
- Lime juice: As with pretty much all citrus juice in cocktails – fresh lime juice is always going to taste best. Bottled is fine in a pinch.
- Ginger beer: Don’t use the garden-variety ginger ale that you find in massive quantities at any grocery store. Quality ginger beer will actually give you a strong ginger taste, which is essential in the spicy kick of the “Mule” cocktail. Ginger beer is generally non-alcoholic and a good mixer, but if a brand does include alcohol that will be noted on the package.
Step by Step Instructions
Steps 1-2: Combine bourbon and lime juice to the cocktail glass or mug.
Step 3: Top off with ginger beer.
Step 4: Stir very well, bring the spoon up and down as you stir to properly mix ingredients.
Step 5: Add garnishes like a lime wheel and a cinnamon stick (optional) and enjoy your Kentucky Bourbon Mule!
Don’t skimp on the bourbon in a Kentucky Mule recipe. Cheap bourbon is not good, and I would imagine the source of a pretty nasty hangover. Often the best bourbon comes from the bourbon capital of the world, Kentucky. You can also use a local-to-you high quality bourbon. There are several great bourbons local to Charleston from Cannon Distillery and High Wire Distillery.
Technically they don’t have to, but copper does a great job of insulating the mule cocktail to keep it extra cold and frosty. Plus, they are very aesthetically pleasing.
There are a few stories as to how copper mugs became associated with mule cocktails, including that the copper enhances the flavors. And, another story is that a copper-making company needed to unload a ton of copper mugs and came up with this gimmick.
If you don’t have a copper mug, you can use a double old fashioned glass.
The major difference between a Kentucky Mule and a traditional Moscow Mule is that a Kentucky Mule uses bourbon and a Moscow Mule uses vodka as the base liquor. Here are a couple of other variations of Moscow Mules:
Dark ‘n Stormy: this cocktail uses the same ingredients as a Moscow Mule, but swaps out the vodka for dark rum. If you’re looking for Dark ‘n Stormy recipe, check out my Pumpkin Spice Dark ‘n Stormy.
Gin Buck: this variation uses gin in place of the vodka in Moscow Mules. It can be made with lime juice but is often made with lemon juice.
The mule part of the name comes from the extra kick of flavor that the ginger beer gives the cocktail.
If you liked this recipe, you might want to also try:
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- 1 ½ ounces bourbon
- 1 ounce lime juice juice of about 1 lime
- 4 ounces ginger beer
- Garnishes lime wheel or wedge and/or cinnamon stick
- Add the bourbon and lime juice to a copper mug or glass filled with ice.
- Top off with ginger beer.
- Stir well and serve with extra limes and cinnamon stick, if using.