Mule as a Cucumber Recipe

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By: Brian Prugalidad, Assistant Bar Manager, Bracero Cocina, San Diego, California.


  • 1 1/2 ounces Aylesbury Duck vodka
  • 1/2 ounce Ancho Reyes chile liqueur
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 3/8 ounce black pepper syrup
  • 3/8 ounce ginger syrup (see recipe below)
  • Dash of Peychaud’s bitters
  • Pinch of salt
  • Two slices of English cucumber
  • Fever Tree Premium soda water


  1. In a shaker, muddle cucumber and add all ingredients except soda water.
  2. Take one ice cube and whip until fully integrated.
  3. Pour into a copper mule mug over fresh ice and top with Fever Tree Premium soda water. Garnish and enjoy.


English cucumber slices, one coated with ground black pepper, the other coated with sea salt.

Black Pepper Syrup:

Heat 1/2 cup whole black peppercorns and two pinches of crushed red pepper flakes on medium high heat, and toast for 30 seconds, shaking often to prevent burning.

Add one cup water and one cup sugar, stirring to combine.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for a few minutes until the sugar has dissolved, then remove from the heat.

Cool to room temperature, then strain the syrup.

Ginger Syrup:

Peel and process fresh ginger root to make ginger juice. Add 3 parts sugar to 2 parts ginger juice and blend until smooth.


I knew I wanted to create a drink that wasn’t too much of a deviation from the original mule, but still had its own identity. I also know that I wanted it to have a ‘kick’ of some sort, while still being a cocktail that people can enjoy more than one of in the humid New Orleans climate. After the name came to me, the rest fell into place pretty quickly and fluidly.