Bartenders have proven that there’s more than one way to make a Mule. The Moscow Mule, with vodka, ginger beer and lime is the most common version of the cocktail, while other iterations feature mezcal, bourbon and gin. This particular riff takes the classic recipe up a notch, with mezcal and grenadine.
“I wanted to do a simple variation on a Moscow Mule that featured one of the ingredients common in the Levant,” says Los Angeles bartender Michael Nemcik, referring to the Eastern Mediterranean region that encompasses Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria.
To do so, he makes his own pomegranate grenadine, eschewing any rosewater or orange blossom water, which are common additions but ones that he says don’t play well in the drink. Instead, Nemcik uses a smaller amount of sugar to retain the tart flavor of the pomegranate juice. It’s all balanced out by savory mezcal, fresh lemon juice and the sweeter, more ginger-forward profile of Fever-Tree ginger beer. Top with a mint sprig and candied ginger for a fragrant bouquet with each sip.
2 ounces mezcal
3/4 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
1 ounce grenadine*
5 ounces Fever-Tree ginger beer, to top
Garnish: mint sprig
Garnish: candied ginger
Fill a Collins glass with ice, then add the mezcal, lime juice and grenadine.
Top with the ginger beer and stir briefly and gently to combine.
Garnish with the mint sprig and 2 skewered pieces of candied ginger.
*Grenadine: In a pot over medium heat, combine pomegranate juice and cane sugar in a 3:2 ratio by weight, heating to almost boiling (do not allow to boil). Remove from heat when the sugar has dissolved and allow it to cool. The syrup will keep, refrigerated, for up to 3 weeks.
Moscow Mule: The traditional cocktail made with vodka, ginger beer and lime.
Mezcal Mule: Jim Meehan’s recipe features mezcal, passion fruit and cucumbers.
Kentucky Mule: Sub bourbon for vodka.
London Mule: Sub gin for vodka.
Gin-Gin Mule: Created at NYC bar, Pegu Club, this modern classic includes gin, homemade ginger beer and mint.