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Here’s how to make a Mezcal mule! This smoky version of the Moscow mule is a tasty Mexican style twist on the classic.

Mezcal mule in copper mug.
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Love mezcal? Then you must try a mezcal mule! This spin on the classic Moscow mule has a hint of smoke is full of bubbly, tangy flavor. Using the tequila-based smoky liquor infuses an irresistible sharpness to every sip!

Why we love this recipe: Alex and I love making Moscow mule variations because the gingery, bubbly flavor is so simple to mix up right in the mug, making it perfect for entertaining or just a quick happy hour drink. Infusing the classic mule with smoky flavor is such a fun way to use mezcal and always wins over mezcal afficionados (like ourselves!).

Ingredients in a mezcal mule

The mezcal mule is spin on the Moscow mule, a classic cocktail from the 1940’s. The original features vodka, lime and ginger beer, traditionally served in a copper mug. While most mezcal mule recipes simply switch out the vodka for smoky mezcal, we mixed ours with tequila for a balanced flavor.

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 mezcal and tequila for vodka to get this Mexican style spin. The ingredients in a mezcal mule are:

  • Mezcal
  • Tequila
  • Lime juice
  • Ginger beer

A mix of mezcal and tequila adds depth and balance

Some mule recipes use only mezcal and skip the tequila. In our recipe testing, we found a mule with straight mezcal tastes very strong and overpowers the delicate bubbles of the ginger beer. Even as smoky flavor lovers, Alex and I were a bit overwhelmed by a straight mezcal drink.

Mix in some tequila and it’s the perfect balance to the flavors. If you prefer a strong smoky flavor to your mezcal mule, feel free to use equal parts mezcal and tequila here (1 ounce of each).

How to make a mezcal mule: step by step

The mezcal mule is one of the easiest cocktails you can make! You don’t even have to use a cocktail shaker: just mix it all in the glass. Here’s how to make a mezcal mule (or jump right to the recipe):

  1. Step 1: Pour ½ oz mezcal, 1 ½ oz tequila, ½ oz lime juice, and 4 oz ginger beer into a copper mug.
  2. Step 2: Add ice cubes, and garnish with lime. It’s that easy!
Mezcal bottle with limes.

More about mezcal

Mezcal is a type of alcohol made from the agave plant. Only one type of agave plant (blue agave) makes tequila, but mezcal can be made from 11 different varieties of agave. What gives mezcal its signature smoky flavor is cooking the agave in pits in the ground. It brings a depth and smokiness you don’t find in tequila!

Want more drinks with this liquor? Try all our mezcal cocktails, like the Mezcal Paloma, Mezcal Negroni, Mezcal Sour, and Mezcal Margarita.

Copper mugs for mules

Moscow mules are traditionally served in copper mugs. Why? It’s partially because of tradition, since this is how the drink has been served since the 1940’s. But there’s also a functional reason: copper mugs immediately takes on the temperature of the drink. The sensation of taking a sip of the drink with a cool copper rim makes it taste even colder and more refreshing!

It’s a fun sensory element that’s totally worth finding the real thing for serving. But it’s not required: you can use any sort of chilled glass to serve a mule.

Where to buy copper mugs for mules? After spending years without real copper mugs, Alex and I splurged and got a set. You can use them for any type of drink, and they make great gifts, too. Here’s a link to some copper mugs.

Mezcal mule in copper mug with lime and mint garnish.

Best ginger beer for mules

For the best flavor for a Moscow mule, look for ginger beer made with real ginger, without artificial flavors or sweeteners. Q Ginger Beer has great flavor and is made with real ginger. It comes in small cans so you don’t have to open a large bottle. Fever Tree Ginger Beer also has great flavor; it’s made with real ginger and has no artificial sweeteners.

More Moscow mule variations

There are so many great Moscow mule variations to try! If you love a mezcal mule, then you’ll love these tasty spins on the classic:

Frequently asked questions

What’s the difference between a Mezcal Mule and a Moscow Mule?

They’re very similar! The main difference is the base spirit. A Moscow Mule uses vodka, while a Mezcal Mule uses mezcal, a smoky spirit made from agave. This swap adds a complex smokiness to the drink.

Can I use ginger beer in a can?

Yes, using a good quality canned ginger beer is perfectly acceptable. The small cans are helpful so you don’t have to open a large bottle!

What can I garnish my Mezcal Mule with besides lime?

A sprig of fresh mint, a cucumber slice, or a few slices of jalapeno can all add interesting flavor and visual appeal to your cocktail.

Do I need a copper mug?

A copper mug is traditional for Moscow Mules, but it’s not essential for a Mezcal Mule. Any chilled glass will work. However, copper mugs can help keep your drink colder for longer.

Is this a smoky cocktail?

The smokiness will depend on the type of mezcal you use. Espadin mezcal will offer a subtler smokiness, while other varieties can be quite smoky.

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Mezcal mule

Mezcal Mule


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x

Description

Here’s how to make a Mezcal mule! This smoky version of the Moscow mule is a tasty Mexican style twist on the classic.


Ingredients

Scale
  • ½ ounce (1 tablespoon) mezcal*
  • 1 ½ ounces (3 tablespoons) tequila
  • ½ ounce (1 tablespoon) fresh lime juice
  • 4 ounces (½ cup) ginger beer
  • For the garnish: lime slice, mint sprig (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a copper mug or glass, pour in the mezcal, tequila, lime juice, and ginger beer.
  2. Add ice and garnish with a lime slice. Serve immediately.

Notes

*If you’re a mezcal lover and would like a strong smoky flavor to the drink, try 1 ounce mezcal and 1 ounce tequila.

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stirred
  • Cuisine: Cocktail
  • 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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