I was introduced to the Moscow Mule four summers ago at the Standard Hotel in New York where it was served to me in its traditional copper cup. I took my first sip and reveled in what was to become my new favorite drink. It was subtly spicy and effervescent from the ginger beer, yet light and refreshing. As an adherent fan of ginger, I was hooked.
I'm usually pretty late to the party when it comes to practically everything (have you heard of this new thing called instagram?) so was not surprised to learn that what I thought to be a newly invented cocktail was actually born in the 40's when vodka was first being marketed in the United States.
The cucumber does nothing more than add a light cucumber flavor and provides a pretty garnish if you don't have a copper cup (it also makes this drink closer to a Pimm's Cup sans Pimm's) so feel free to omit for an equally delicious drink.
If you aren't a fan of vodka, there are different variations: add tequila for a Mexican Mule, bourbon for a Kentucky Mule, or gin for a Mississippi Mule.
Recipe (makes 1 drink)
1/4 cup vodka
10 cucumber slices + extra for garnish
juice from half a lime
1/2 - 3/4 cup of ginger beer (I used Fevertree)
Add cucumber slices, vodka, and ice to a cocktail shaker. Shake for about 20 seconds or until the shaker gets frosty.
Add fresh ice and extra cucumber slices to a glass. Strain the vodka into the glass, squeeze in half a lime and pour enough ginger beer to fill the glass.