RECIPE: Kentucky Mule Cocktail | The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures - The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures RECIPE: Kentucky Mule Cocktail | The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures
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RECIPE: Kentucky Mule Cocktail

We saw this Kentucky Mule at Del Frisco’s Steakhouse and thought: what a nice harvest color for Thanksgiving cocktail. Then we went back to research the drink.

A Moscow Mule is a more familiar drink: vodka, ginger beer and lime, often served in a copper mug.

The Kentucky Mule substitutes bourbon for the vodka and is appropriate for Thanksgiving: an American-made spirit for the most American of holidays.


Ingredients Per Drink

  • 1-1/2 ounces bourbon
  • 4 ounces ginger beer
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
  • Ice
  • Optional garnish: lime wedge for garnish

    A Kentucky Mule. Photo courtesy Del Frisco’s.

  • Alternative garnish for Thanksgiving: whole cranberries, halved kumquats

    1. FILL a glass with ice. Add bourbon and lime juice; top with ginger beer.

    2. GARNISH and serve.


    A Moscow Mule, cleverly garnished with
    crystallized ginger in addition to the
    traditional lime wedge. Photo courtesy Arch
    Rock Fish Restaurant | Santa Barbara.


    “Mule” and “buck” are old-fashioned names for a family of mixed drinks that include ginger ale or ginger beer and lime or lemon juice.

    Adding lime to a Dark ‘n’ Stormy creates a Rum Buck (also called a Jamaica Buck or a Barbados Buck). You can have a Gin Buck (a.k.a. London Buck), a Bourbon Buck (Kentucky Mule), a Tequila Buck or a Whiskey Buck.

    A buck is the male of a number of different animals, including the antelope, deer, goat, hare, mule, rabbit and sheep.

    Buck cocktails have been around for as long as ginger ale. The Gin Buck was a popular summer cooler during the Roaring Twenties (1.5 ounces gin, 4 ounces ginger ale, juice of half a lemon or lime).

    The Moscow Mule was invented in 1941 by John G. Martin of G.F. Heublein Brothers, Inc., a spirits distributor; Rudolph Kunett, president of Heublein’s vodka division; and Jack Morgan, President of Cock ‘n’ Bull Products (which produced ginger beer) and proprietor of a restaurant of the same name, on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles.


    According to one citation, the three friends were in the Chatham Hotel bar in New York City, and wondered what would happen if a two-ounce shot of vodka—then a relative novelty in the U.S.—was combined with ginger beer and lime. Four or five drinks later, the new cocktail was christened the Moscow Mule. (Source: Wikipedia)

    The name “Moscow” was conferred in honor of the vodka. In terms of why “Moscow Mule” instead of “Moscow Buck”: We can only imagine that they liked the alitteration.


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