The first time I ever had a Moscow Mule was at a bar in East Lansing called the Peanut Barrel. It was right across the street from my house, which later proved to be dangerous. It’s one of those restaurants that brings you baskets of shelled peanuts shoveled out of an enormous burlap sack, and you can just keep getting more of them until you’ve eaten so many peanuts you never even want to look at a peanut again. They’re also rumored to have the best long islands in town, but I never got one of those, because every time I went, I had to get a Moscow Mule.
I don’t know what about the Peanut Barrel’s mules makes them SO good—better than any other mule I’ve had—but I’ve been trying to replicate that perfect, fizzy, punch-in-the-mouth-gingery drink ever since. Kyle’s been on board the mule train for about as long as I have, and he’s decided that you can mule just about anything. Rum? Mule it. Whiskey? Mule it, duh. Tequila? MULE IT. And thus, the Moscow Mule-garita was born.
It all started one evening when we had a mishmash of cocktail ingredients lying around the house. A giant bottle of white rum in the freezer, a couple limes near their end, triple sec in the cabinet, a leftover can of ginger beer in the fridge. Kyle, a fledgling mixologist, decided that this was good enough, because those things sounded just fine together. He doesn’t measure when he pours drinks, so the original was far too strong. I’ve made and re-made this drink so many times, though, that I think I’ve got the measurements just right.
The edition that I’m bringing you today has tequila instead of rum. Kyle stands by the rum, but I’m actually not a big white rum fan. (Sorry bb.) It’s fine, but it has a cloying quality that I find rather intrusive in most drinks. I’m sure many people would say the same about tequila, but to those people I say, let’s fight.
I’ve told you before that I love tequila. Everyone has stories about how much they LOATHE tequila because it makes them do things they regret. Usually it’s prefaced by something like, “oh, me and tequila go way back. We don’t talk anymore.” Well, I talk to tequila. I talk to it regularly. Vodka might be well-loved for its ability to hide in any drink, but I love tequila for its ability to stand out. I’m not a big fan of gold tequila, but silver? My liquor of choice. Sign me up for margs. I’ll be there every time.
So this drink is a beautiful, citrusy hybrid of two of my favorite bevs on this earth. The beauty is that it tastes like you got it at a fancy cocktail bar, but it’s actually so easy to make. You can whip up a batch in 15 seconds flat. If you already have supplies on hand to make margaritas (which you should) then all you need is some ginger beer. This drink is literally just a margarita with a ginger beer float.
I prefer Barritt’s ginger beer—and trust me, I’ve tried almost every brand I can get my hands on—because it’s got more spice than sweet. If you’re not into the super-gingery thing, I have friends who prefer Cock & Bull. It’s a bit too sweet for me, but you can try different varieties until you find the one you like!
If you’re looking to ~spice up~ your next Taco Tuesday, this is the drank for you, my friend. You don’t necessarily need a copper mug, but it does make it look awful pretty, doesn’t it? If you’re not willing to shell out for a set, though, any glassware will do just fine. Coffee mug, jam jar, oversized dollar-store margarita glass, you name it. I’d drink this thing out of a shoe, honestly. Bottoms UP.
- 2 oz silver tequila
- 1 oz triple sec (or Cointreau if you’re feelin’ bougie)
- 2 oz freshly squeezed lime juice, from about 2 small limes
- 1 (12 oz) can ginger beer
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add tequila, triple sec, and lime juice. Shake 30 seconds or until completely chilled. Strain into copper mugs filled with ice, top with ginger beer, and enjoy!