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The Irish mule is a tasty spin on the classic Moscow mule: just swap out vodka for Irish whiskey! The spicy finish makes it irresistibly refreshing.

Irish mule
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Hey, Irish whiskey fans: here’s a refreshing summery way to use up a bottle. Meet the Irish mule! This spin on the classic Moscow Mule is bubbly and light, with a spicy whiskey finish. It’s a good intro drink to whiskey and a way to make any party more fun! Even better: it couldn’t be easier: all you do is pour 3 ingredients into a glass. Now that’s our kind of cocktail! (Ok, we like fancy cocktails too.) Here’s all about how to make this bubbly drink, and a few more mule variations.

What’s an Irish mule?

The Irish mule is a whiskey-based spin on the Moscow mule, a classic cocktail invented in the 1940’s. When it was first invented, this drink may have been a ploy to sell vodka, ginger beer and copper mugs. (Here’s more on that.) The mule is part of a family of cocktails called bucks: drinks made with ginger beer or ale, citrus juice, and liquor. So a Moscow mule is a vodka buck, and an Irish mule is a whiskey buck!

The Moscow mule is such a classic that it made the list of International Bartender Association’s IBA official cocktails, meaning that it has an “official” definition. Swap in Irish whiskey for vodka to get the Irish version! The ingredients in an Irish mule are:

  • Irish whiskey
  • Lime juice
  • Ginger beer
Irish mule

How to make an Irish mule (basic steps)

Making an Irish mule is as simple as pouring three ingredients into a glass: there’s really no technique or skills required. All you have to do is juice a lime: then pour! Here’s what to do:

  1. Pour ¼ cup Irish whiskey, 1 tablespoon lime juice, and ½ cup ginger beer into a copper mug or serving glass of your choice.
  2. Add ice and garnish with lime. Done!

Irish whiskey & ginger beer to use

You can use any brand of Irish whiskey for an Irish mule. The nice thing about a mule is that there’s no requirement for top notch liquor. Because the ginger beer and lime are pretty strong, you can get away with economy liquor. We used Jameson Irish whiskey, one of the most recognizable brands, but feel free to use your favorite brand. And, use up leftovers with these great Irish Whiskey Cocktails, like Irish coffee or an Irish sour.

Any ginger beer works here! We like to use Q Ginger Beer because it’s made with real ginger and comes in small cans. (Want more with ginger beer? Try Top Ginger Beer Cocktails.)

Irish mule

Serve this Irish mule in a copper mug…or not!

When you order a mule at a restaurant or bar, it’s usually served in a copper mug. You can serve it in any glass, of course! It’s still an Irish mule. But a solid copper mug is great for two reasons:

  • Drinking out of ice cold copper brings another sensory element. The copper turns ice cold with the drink, giving another sensory element to a sip. You can really taste the difference!
  • Tradition! Back in the 1940’s, the drink was originally served in copper. People in Hollywood fell in love with it, and everyone around the country saw photos of celebs drinking mules in copper mugs. It caught on, and it’s still the traditional way to drink this cocktail.

Where to buy copper mugs for mules? You can use copper mugs for any type of drink, and they make great gifts, too. Here’s a link to some solid copper mugs on Amazon.

Irish mule

More Moscow mules

There are lots of Moscow mule variations on the classic! Swap out the liquor and you have a totally new drink. Here are our favorites!

  • Mexican Mule The bite of the tequila with spicy ginger and zingy lime makes it impossible not to immediately take another sip.
  • Mezcal Mule A smoky spin…quite the party trick!
  • Gin Gin Mule A modern classic! A mashup of a bubbly Moscow mule and a minty Mojito.
  • Kentucky Mule  It’s bubbly, bright and bold: with zingy lime and a spicy whiskey finish. 
  • Dark and Stormy: Use dark rum in a highball glass, and you’ve got another classic cocktail.
  • Watermelon Mule or Apple Cider Mule Seasonal spins that let you drink the mule all year long

When to serve an Irish mule

The Irish Mule is refreshing, bold and bubbly. It makes a great signature drink and works for sipping as a:

  • Summer drink
  • Happy hour drink
  • Dinner party drink
  • Late night drinks drink
  • Guys or girls night drink
  • Cocktail hour drink
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Irish mule

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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x


The Irish mule is a tasty spin on the classic Moscow mule: just swap out vodka for Irish whiskey! The spicy finish makes it irresistibly refreshing.


  • 2 ounces (¼ cup) Irish whiskey
  • ½ ounce (1 tablespoon) fresh lime juice
  • 4 ounces (½ cup) ginger beer
  • For serving: ice, lime wedge, fresh mint


  1. In a copper mug or glass, pour in the Irish whiskey, lime juice, and ginger beer.
  2. Add ice and garnish with a lime slice. Serve immediately.
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Poured
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Syllable counter says:

    I love Irish Mules! They are so refreshing and perfect for a hot summer day.

  2. Yes Or No Spinner says:

    I really enjoyed this Irish Mule recipe! It was so easy to make and tasted great!