We know. A Moscow Mule does not, strictly speaking, contain simple syrup, or sugar for that matter.. But whether purists like it or not, recipes all over the world are slipping in this sweet concoction. And believe us, we are on your side – after all, we helped invent the darn drink. But just like parents who have to accept the decisions of adult children, we at Moscow Copper know that the mule has come into its own. Rather than turn a cold back on our seemingly wayward offspring, we’re going to keep an open mind on this one and find out what’s been getting into our mule.
For those who haven’t the foggiest sense of kitchen know-how, it may come as a surprise that not all syrup is designed for pancakes. The term syrup simply means a viscous, sugary water solution. And this is, in fact, all that a simple syrup is: one part water, one part sugar.
So just what does simple syrup do to the Moscow Mule? Other than the obvious task of sweetening it, it also changes the texture of the drink ever so slightly. Certain camps even argue that it helps to balance out the flavor profile. For those who aren’t keen on the bite of vodka (particularly lower quality brands), just a spoonful (even one teaspoon) of syrup makes the medicine –er– mule go down, in a much more delightful way.
Some establishments have taken to infusing ginger in their simple syrup, which can help increase the kick of flavor, especially if the ginger beer they have on hand is on the milder side (because what’s a mule if it doesn’t kick?). There are other infusions happening as well, involving all manner of unconventional flavors…but we aren’t emotionally ready to discuss those yet. It’s hard watching your drink grow up.
So the choice is yours. Embrace simple syrup as part of the Moscow Mule family, or avoid making eye contact at the holiday party. Either way, know that it is there, a silent partner in the Moscow Mule’s spread to newer, and sweeter, markets.