The Moscow Mule is one of the most popular cocktails in the world. But, as creative bartenders keep showing everyone, there’s more than one way to mule. The classic drink provides a template for countless others, from rum mules to the bourbon-spiked Kentucky Mule, plus versions that incorporate berries and herbs. And then there’s the Montego Mule, Justin Golash’s icy homage to drinking on the beach in Jamaica.
The Washington, D.C., bartender skips the mule’s typical ginger beer and instead uses freshly juiced ginger and a homemade spice syrup to flavor and lengthen the cocktail. That syrup adds complex and aromatic accents, including cardamom, coriander, ancho powder and eucalyptus, plus the fresh citrusy note of orange zest.
“It’s a great summer slushie because the heat from the ginger and ancho powder contrasts against the bright acidity of the lime juice, giving a very refreshing flavor,” he says of the blended drink.
The fresh ginger juice and DIY syrup take some forethought and will need to be made in advance. But once they’re finished, you will have large batches of both to make multiple cocktails for you and your friends. The only other ingredients you require are vodka and lime juice, which if you don’t already have on hand can be obtained at the store or through a delivery app.
About that lime: To prevent waste, Golash freezes leftover juice after service to use for additional drinks the next day. Do the same, and you can squeeze limes with abandon.
- 1 1/2 ounces vodka
- 1 ounce ginger juice*
- 1 ounce spice syrup**
- 1 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
- Garnish: cocktail umbrella
Add the vodka, ginger juice, spice syrup and lime juice into a blender with 12 ounces of dry crushed ice or pebble ice, and blend until smooth.
Pour the contents into a Collins glass.
Garnish with a cocktail umbrella.
*Ginger juice: Using either a centrifugal or masticating juicer, juice 3 ounces peeled and washed ginger, cut into pieces. Filter the juice through a chinois into a sealed container and refrigerate overnight.
**Spice syrup: Add 1 liter of water, 4 cups of demerara sugar, the zest of 2 medium oranges, 1/2 gram crushed green cardamom pods, 5 grams black peppercorns, 5 grams coriander, 2 1/2 grams ancho powder and 1 gram eucalyptus into a pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes to extract the flavors, then filter through a chinois. Allow syrup to cool before using.