Call it a Christmas mule, a Yule Mule, or a Cranberry Moscow Mule, this festive cocktail is perfect for the holiday season. This festive twist on the traditional Moscow mule cocktail of vodka and ginger beer adds tart cranberry juice and seasonal garnishes.
I love the classic version of a Moscow Mule, it's my favorite cocktail, so creating this holiday mule recipe was so much fun. The basic recipe for a Moscow mule is vodka, ginger beer, and lime.
For this pretty Christmas cocktail recipe, we'll start with the classic combination of vodka and ginger beer, but add a nice pinky-red color and tart flavor with some cranberry juice. I like black cherry cranberry juice and it's fantastic in this recipe.
If you want to make this for a Christmas party, you can't go wrong with sugared fresh cranberries and rosemary.
It's as easy as making a quick simple syrup and then coating and drying some fresh cranberries along with a few rosemary sprigs and then coating them in granulated sugar.
It gives a sparkly effect, like freshly fallen snow, and is a great addition to this holiday Moscow mule, making this perfect for this time of year.
You can also just stick to the Christmas Moscow mule recipe instead of the additional garnishes as the flavor won't change, just the looks. You could serve the drink with a lime wedge instead.
You can serve it in a copper mug like the traditional Moscow mule. The copper Moscow mule mug keeps the drink cold enhancing the flavor of the drink. I like to use a pretty cocktail glass that is see through so I can see the cocktail.
If you're a fan of Moscow mules, try this Mexican mule made with tequila.
See the recipe card for exact amounts.
To start, we'll sugar the garnishes.
- To do so, make a simple syrup which is just equal parts sugar and water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for a few minutes until it thickens slightly and the sugar has dissolved.
- Once the syrup is done, let it cool for 10-15 minutes, and then coat the cranberries and rosemary in the syrup.
- Set them on a cooling rack or wire rack to dry out a bit. They'll be sticky but the sugar will stick a bit better once the syrup has dried and really stuck to the cranberries.
- Do the same with the rosemary.
- Set the rosemary on the rack to dry out.
- After an hour, coat the cranberries and rosemary in sugar, shaking off the excess.
- Rim the glass with simple syrup.
- Stamp it in sugar.
To make this drink with a cocktail shaker, add the ice, vodka, and cranberry juice to a cocktail shake. Shake for 20-30 seconds and then strain into a glass with ice. Add the ginger beer and then the garnishes. Serve.
- To make the cocktail without a shaker, add ice to a glass. Add the vodka
- Add the cranberry juice.
- Add the the ginger beer.
- Add some sugared cranberries and a sprig of rosemary and serve.
Tips for making holiday drinks
What to serve with a Moscow Mule
To serve this drink at a holiday party or cocktail hour this Christmas season, serve them with a few appetizers or finger foods, like these pull-apart Christmas tree rolls, parmesan garlic fries, sweet and spicy Chex mix, a sliced samosa puff pastry braid, or air fryer portobello fries.
If you like mule cocktails, try a Mexican Mule, made with tequila.
Because ginger beer is carbonated, this isn't a good make ahead cocktail, so make drinks as needed.
Sugared cranberries and rosemary will last a few days either at room temperature or in the fridge so they can be made ahead.
Yes, simply omit the alcohol to make a virgin Moscow mule, or mocktail. If serving the alcohol free drink to children, you may find they'll prefer ginger ale to ginger beer which can seem a bit strong and spicy.
Christmas Moscow Mule
- 2 oz vodka
- 1 oz cranberry juice
- 4 oz ginger beer
For the Simple Syrup
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup water
- fresh cranberries
- fresh rosemary
- ⅓ cup sugar (for the cranberries and rosemary and also to rim the glass)
For the Simple Syrup
- Stir the sugar and water together and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 5 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes.
Make the Garnish
- Coat the cranberries and rosemary in the simple syrup. Set them on a cooling rack to dry for about an hour.
- Toss the cranberries and rosemary in sugar to coat. Save the rest of the sugar on a plate for rimming the glass.
Make the drink
- Swipe the rim of the glass with simple syrup.
- Stamp the glass in sugar.
- Add ice to the glass.
- Add the vodka, cranberry juice, and then ginger beer.
- Garnish with sugared cranberries and a sprig of sugared rosemary, if using. Serve.
Nutritional information is an estimate. Values vary based on products used.
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