A QUICK, EASY AND DELICIOUS GIN INSPIRED MULE
Gin first made its appearance in Holland in 1269, and was initially used as medicine to stop scurvy and calm upset stomachs at sea on Dutch Royal Navy ships.
We can’t attest to whether it actually healed the sick, but we can bet that at that point in time the Royal Navy had a roster of some of the world’s happiest sailors.
Since the 17th-century, gin has made the transition from anti-nausea medication to one of the most beloved spirits in the world. In fact, global sales of gin now total nearly 60 million cases, with almost half of that being consumed in the Philippines.
This well-loved spirit gets its signature flavor from juniper berries or, more specifically, the female seed cone on juniper trees. It’s also concocted using a very similar distilling process to one of our very favorite mule ingredients — vodka!
In fact, some might argue that gin is essentially vodka with added flavor — the only major difference being the botanicals used to distill gin are always natural as opposed to the frequently artificially-flavored vodkas you see lining grocery store shelves.
As a Mulehead, you already know that one of the primary ingredients in an Original Moscow Mule is vodka. Because gin and vodka are so closely related, we thought it would be fun (and tasty!) to mix up a gin-inspired mule recipe.
A little gin, lime juice and ginger beer later, we stumbled upon a recipe that we’ll be
certain to keep in our recipe book. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
The Gin Moscow Mule Recipe
Makes 1 cocktail
- 10 mint leaves
- 1 ½ ounces gin
- ½ ounce simple syrup
- ½ ounce lime juice
- 2 ounces chilled ginger beer
- Add the mint into a copper mug. Muddle gently.
- Add the simple syrup, lime juice and gin and stir.
- Fill the copper mug with ice and top off with ginger beer.
Those this site may purport to be pretty stalwart when it comes to the production of a traditional Moscow Mule, even we will cede that many delicious options can be built off this recipe, and today we’re focussing on the increasingly popular Gin Mule.
Though for the Mule purist this may seem borderline sacrilegious, it’s important to remember that both Vodka and Gin are extreme common in all aspects except for one quality: it lacks the infused components that give gin its signature herbaceous flavour. .
As we all know vodka is essentially a distilled pure alcohol that is then diluted with water to produce a spirit that essentially lacks smell, flavour, and taste. Gin differs from Vodka fundamentally in this aspect. The flavor of gin is imparted by adding some spice extracts to the neutral spirit; , in most cases from things such as juniper berries, lingonberries, pine boughs, and cedarwood. So in terms of mixing, vodka and gin – aside from nuances in additional flavoring – are almost identical. This makes them perfect for creating new and exciting versions of the mule that showcase all the nuances and subtle flavours of these spirits.
Much like vodka, gin is an alcohol distilled mainly from grains such as barley and rye. One a neutral liquor is distilled (this would effectively be vodka), a mixture of herb and spice extract called ‘botanicals’ consisting of juniper, cardamom, coriander, aniseed along with orange and lemon zests is added to raw spirit. After distillation, gin it is diluted to a strength of 76 to 90 proof. There are a huge variety of flavours that can be found in gin: from earthy, to medicinal, to citrusy. For those that know their way around a traditional mule, gin is a great way to brighten up the same old drink and impress your guests.
Here’s a lay-of-the-land in terms of how many gin’s taste, and how they might influence the taste and profile of a traditional mule.
- Hendrick’s: this gin is known for it’s more medicinal notes, thanks to the addition of cucumber and rose in the flavoring process. It also has a noted pepperiness, so beware when mixing with a particularly strong ginger beer.
- Bombay Sapphire: This is probably what most people would consider the archetypal ‘gin’. STrong notes of juniper, cedar and citrus abound. It’s not over peppery, and none of the individual botanicals overwhelm, so it’s great for mixing.
- St George: This is far and away the most ambitious gin on this (albeit short) list, featuring a stunning 19 botanicals in its recipe. Elements as eclectic as cilantro and cascade hops have been none to present themselves on the nose of this intriguing spirit. Mix with care.
The cocktail prepared by using gin instead of Vodka is generally known as Gin Mule. Garnishing with mint adds a special touch to this refreshing drink. The botanicals in gin are cut nicely by the presence of fresh mint, helping your guest ease their way into these new flavors. Make sure when experimenting with gin to not forget the type of ginger beer you use matter, as you don’t want to overpower a cocktail with a spicy – over the top – ginger beer and a heavily botanical gin. The key here is to experiment until the result is as nuanced and as a traditional mule, and not an unrecognizable departure from this copper-mugged classic.
And for the perfect mule-drinking experience, always mix your mule in a pure copper mug.
Don’t have one? No worries!
And if you’ve got leftover gin, lime juice and ginger beer on hand, why not try out a few different mule varieties?
Grab a copy of our Mulehead recipe book for over 75 more creative takes on the classic Moscow Mule.
Your taste buds will thank you!