08 January 2014

Mango Moscow Mule

This year we rang in the New Year with an old drink...the classic Moscow Mule.  This traditional highball dating back to 1934 is one of my all time favorites, though it is as dangerous as it is delicious.  A perfectly zesty and fresh combination of ginger beer, lime and vodka, please allow me to introduce the favorite new drink of your cocktail repertoire.

It's kind of creepy how good of a gifter my mother happens to be.  She can always pick the junky antique that makes a darling centerpiece or the perfect accent plate for a boring white set of dishes.  But when she recently gifted the hubs with four copper Moscow Mule mugs and a book on vintage cocktails, even we were surprised at the accuracy of her present radar.  Go mom!

I first sampled the mule at Jake's in Portland, Oregon back in the good ol' days of undergraduate bar hopping.  As a girl who does not care for cocktails too fruity or frou-frou, I was hooked after the first sip.  Filled with all the delicious flavor and spice of ginger with a pop of fresh lime juice, you absolutely cannot taste the vodka.  Thus, the dangerous aspect!

This cocktail originated out of three retail duds of Los Angeles in the 1930's - vodka, ginger beer and copper mugs.  With an overabundance of all three on their hands, a couple very smart bartenders decided to combine their losses and see if together they faired any better.  And the struck gold copper.

Photo-bomb.  Gotta love fresh shiny copper!

I gave this a little fruity twist by adding a bit of fresh mango to the drink.  It doesn't change the flavor much at all, but the fruit is wonderful to chew along with sips of this spiced cocktail.  And thought the candied ginger at the bottom is optional, it's pretty much the little chunk of gold and the end of the rainbow, plus a perfect palate cleanser for your next sip of mango goodness.

Mango Moscow Mule

  • 2 oz vodka
  • fresh mango, sliced or diced
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • ginger beer or ginger ale, to taste 
  • 1 piece candied ginger (optional)
In the bottom of a glass or copper mug, combine the vodka and about 2 tablespoons of fresh mango.  Press the mango with a muddler or wooden spoon until slightly broken apart.  Add the lime juice, candied ginger and ginger beer (we use about 1/2 a bottle per cocktail).  Add a handfull of ice, stir and serve.