I would dare to call myself a ‘mixed-drinkie’ (yes, I’m making that one happen). I like mixed drinks, and I’m not apologetic about it. They’re fun! I’ll try anything at least once (so long as there’s no pineapple anything in it). As experimental as I am willing to get, my standby is always my faithful mojito. Never lets me down. Rarely disappoints me. Designed in such a way that disappointment is truly unlikely.
We’ve been together a long time.
But sometimes, a girl likes a little excitement. A little variety, you might say. I like to venture outside my comfort zone and allow my eyes to drift away from my darling for a moment, and take a look at the other delectables on the drink menu every once in a while.
While out at dinner one night with friends, I was beside myself with joy when I spotted it on the drink menu! Right there, printed in ink: Moscow mule. The mojito’s Russian cousin, Moscow mules are basically lemonades infused with ginger, and with vodka instead of rum.
Now, imagine my excitement at actually seeing it on a menu, only to then be met with complete and total disappointment when I got it and it was… bland. Forgettable. Watered down. There was nothing thrilling or remotely delicious about it.
I had never wished I’d just stuck with my usual more.
With all that said, I’ve been on the hunt for a good Moscow mule for quite some time. Who doesn’t love lemonade on a summer afternoon? This is the I’m-pretending-to-be-a-grown-up version (c’mon… vodka).
Had I actually given some thought to how easy they are to make, I would’ve made them myself a long time ago and saved myself an entirely too emotional experience. Lesson learned.
Below you’ll find the recipe for these Moscow mules, an excellent remedy for the scorcher we have in store for us this year. The candied ginger mentioned in the ingredients is adapted from this recipe by Alton Brown, veritable god of simple and delicious things. If you try this recipe, leave a comment and let me know how it turned out. Exciting variations welcome!
- Ginger beer
- 1 1/2 oz. (or as much as you'd like to make your day exciting, really) of vodka
- 1 lime
- Sugar to taste
- Seltzer water
- Sprigs of mint, to garnish
- Homemade candied ginger, to garnish
- Pour the vodka into your glass of choice.
- Cut a lime in half, squeezing the juice into the glass. You may or may not drop the exhausted lime half into the glass.
- In another glass, make a simple sugar solution with a teaspoon or two (depending on how sweet you like your drinks) of sugar, and enough seltzer water to dissolve it. Add this to the vodka and lime mixture.
- Add ginger beer to fill your glass.
- Garnish with mint and/or candied ginger. Sit out on your verandah and enjoy!
Photography by Edward Downer and Natasha Leiba.