Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Bourbon Cocktails

Henderson’s Mule

A faceted copper mug sitting on a metal bar top glistens with condensation. In it is a dark black drink over ice.

Bayou Bar

When it comes to making an original cocktail, home team pride can be a great starting spot. The New Orleans Saints’s victory in the 2010 championship season served as inspiration for the Henderson’s Mule, which comes from a bar well-familiar with the sports team. “Fifty years ago, the New Orleans Saints franchise was first announced right here at The Bayou Bar,” says Benton Bourgeois, who created the drink at the Pontchartrain hotel bar.

While the Saints would go on to defeat the Indianapolis Colts 31 to 17 at the Super Bowl, the name of the drink is an homage to the announcer who first made the call that the Saints would be going to compete in the championship game. “Having been a Saints fan my entire life, one moment stands in my memory above all others: announcer Jim Henderson’s iconic call at the end of the 2010 NFC Championship game,” says Bourgeois. “‘Pigs have flown! Hell has frozen over! The Saints are on their way to the Super Bowl!’ I’ll never forget driving home down St. Charles Avenue after the game, every horn in the city honking, high-fiving the wall of exuberant fans that lined both sides of the street, listening to local radio station WWL replay Jim’s call over and over. This drink is for you, sir.”

A fairly straightforward variation on a Kentucky Mule, the Henderson’s Mule includes Buffalo Trace, a popular, affordable bourbon, as well as a dark roast cold brew coffee to keep you going while watching the big game. Because of the coffee, there’s also a bit of extra sugar in the form of simple syrup to balance things. For the ginger beer, Bourgeois uses his own brand, Huhu’s Ginger Brew, made in New Orleans just like the Saints. Admittedly, this makes it difficult to find outside of Louisiana, so substitutions are acceptable if not entirely accurate.

However, an unusual addition in this mule is that of an activated charcoal tablet. This gives it an even darker shade of black that the cold brew would alone; together with the copper mug that normally serves as a vessel for mules, the drink bears the black and old gold colors of the New Orleans Saints.


  • 1 1/2 ounces Buffalo Trace bourbon
  • 2 ounces dark-roast, cold-brew coffee*
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 3 ounces Huhu’s Ginger Brew
  • 1 activated charcoal tablet


  1. Add the bourbon, coffee, simple syrup and ginger brew to a mixing glass.

  2. Open the charcoal tablet carefully, empty it into the glass, discard the capsule, and stir until the charcoal has dissolved, turning the drink black.

  3. Pour the mix into a copper mug filled with ice.

*Dark roast cold brew: use your favorite bottled cold-brew coffee or make some yourself by soaking 140 grams of ground dark roast coffee beans in a coffee filter and 32 ounces water for 12 hours. After steeping, remove grounds in coffee filter.

Activated Charcoal Warning

Consuming activated charcoal poses potential health risks.