If you’re looking for a perfectly refreshing cocktail to enjoy during hot weather, look no further than this Kentucky Mule!
As you can probably tell from its name, a Kentucky Mule is just like a Moscow Mule—except you use bourbon instead of vodka! You still have the crisp bite of lime and the tang of ginger beer all in a frosty, cold bourbon cocktail that’s perfect for sipping on the porch during the dog days of summer. Let’s get mixing!
What’s the difference between a Moscow Mule and a Kentucky Mule?
A classic Moscow mule is made with vodka, but a Kentucky mule is made with bourbon. Otherwise, both cocktails are pretty much the same—in each, the alcohol is mixed with ginger beer and lime juice. And both are typically served in copper mugs!
Other Moscow mule variations include:
- Dark and Stormy, where you use rum instead of vodka.
- Mexican Mule, which uses tequila for the liquor
- Gin-Gin Mule uses—you guessed it!—gin
What bourbon do I use in a Kentucky Mule?
We like to reserve our best bourbons for drinking straight and instead use a middle-of-the-road bourbon for cocktails like this Kentucky Mule. The other bright flavors in this cocktail will cover up any harsh taste in the bourbon, so you can save some cash and go middle shelf here. Woodford Reserve, Bulleit Bourbon, and Maker’s Mark all work well in this recipe.
Are bourbon and whiskey the same thing?
Not quite. Bourbon is a type of whiskey, but not all whiskeys are bourbon. Bourbon whiskey is made solely in the United States in charred-oak barrels. Bourbon tends to be a little smoother than other whiskeys as well.
What is a Kentucky Mule made of?
For this refreshing cocktail, you’ll need:
- 2 ounces bourbon
- A lime
- Ginger beer
- Simple syrup (optional)
And we definitely recommend the traditional copper mule mugs, but they aren’t absolutely necessary!
What’s this about simple syrup?
To make it, combine one cup sugar and one cup water, heating and stirring until the sugar is dissolved. You’ll only need about one tablespoon per mule cocktail, and you can use the rest in margaritas, sun tea, limoncello, or DIY soda.
Why is a Kentucky Mule served in a copper mug?
The copper mugs are optional, but they do improve the drinking experience! Thanks to copper’s temperature-conducting properties, the copper mugs adjust to the temperature of the drink, and keep it nice and chilled for you.