This Caramel Apple Cider Mule is a twist on a classic Moscow mule that will take you from summer right into fall. This is the best caramel vodka drink!

Copper Moscow mule mug filled with apple cider and vodka, garnished with fresh apple slices and cinnamon sticks.

In my house, cocktails are just as seasonal as meals. Summers are spent sipping lemon margaritas and tequila mojitos on the front porch, and winters are endured snuggled up on the couch with a hot caramel coffee or brandy old fashioned.

As we transition from summer to fall (or as I like to call it, Halloween snack season) here in Michigan, I wanted to create a cocktail that will take us from one season right into the next. It’s a little lighter and brighter than my apple cider old fashioned, which I reserve for the cold, snowy days.

I love the bright flavor of a classic Moscow mule, or even a strawberry Moscow mule in the summer. And of course, when I think of autumn, caramel apples are one of the first things that comes to mind. Why not a fall Moscow mule?

So, I present you with this Caramel Apple Cider Mule.

What’s in an apple cider mule?

According to the International Bartender’s Association, a classic Moscow mule is 45 ml Smirnoff vodka, 120 ml ginger beer, and 10 ml fresh lime juice.

Truly, you can’t go wrong with that combination, but you’re certainly welcome to put your own spin on it and make it to your tastes.

And, as I’ve mentioned, I’m not at all opposed to adding some seasonal elements, like I’ve done for this caramel vodka drink!

My caramel apple cider mule is made with homemade spiced simple syrup, caramel Smirnoff vodka, apple cider and ginger beer.

I omitted the lime juice from this apple cider Moscow mule as I didn’t think it was a good pairing with the apple and caramel flavors.

Overhead shot of a wooden cutting board with cut and whole apples, nutmeg pods, bottles, cinnamon sticks, and copper mugs filled with caramel apple cider mule cocktails.

How to make this caramel vodka drink at home:

These caramel apple cider mules start with a super easy homemade simple syrup that contains the hallmark spices of an apple pie. It’s simply a heated mixture of sugar, water, cinnamon and nutmeg. 

Once the simple syrup is made and cooled, it’s time to make the apple cider Moscow mules by adding fresh apple cider, ginger beer, and caramel vodka. 

Or, feel free to use regular vodka if you don’t want to buy a bottle of caramel vodka. You could even add a touch of caramel syrup for coffee along with regular vodka. And then make a caramel iced coffee the next morning!

Just don’t forget to garnish this apple cider vodka cocktail with fresh apples for a special touch. And be sure to add this caramel apple vodka drink to your Thanksgiving recipes list!

Why are apple cider Moscow mules served in copper mugs?

Moscow mules are served in copper mugs for a few reasons!

There’s conflicting origin stories for this cocktail (isn’t that true of every cocktail?) but one version suggest that the girlfriend of the bartender who created the drink owned a copper-making company. So interesting, right?

More importantly, probably, is that copper is an excellent conductor of temperature, meaning that iced drinks like this apple cider vodka cocktail stay SUPER COLD in copper mugs!

In fact, there’s been times my caramel apple cider mules have been so cold it’s felt like my esophagus was frozen. Sip carefully, friends!

Some Moscow mule enthusiasts even say that the copper itself makes the drink taste better by enhancing the flavor of the ginger beer. I’m not sure about this, but I guess it can’t hurt!

If you’re going to be drinking caramel apple mules regularly, I do recommend investing in some copper mugs if you can. But if not, a double old fashioned glass works just fine for these caramel apple cider mules!

Wooden cutting board topped with apples and copper mugs filled with apple cider mule cocktails.

Serve some snacks with this apple cider vodka cocktail!

Who doesn’t like a little something to nibble on when they’re having a cocktail?

Meatballs are a great little party snack, with my Greek chicken meatballs and air fryer turkey meatballs being popular around here. For the vegetarians, there’s my black bean meatballs to serve with this caramel apple Moscow mule.

My favorite snacks with fall flavors are my phyllo cup appetizers with bacon and apples, and pumpkin and brie crostini with candied nuts, and they both pair well with this caramel vodka drink.

You could double down on the sweet caramel and make an apple mug cake.

But if it’s game day, my football charcuterie board is your best bet to serve with these apple cider Moscow mules!

More cocktails for fall:

Put on jeans and a cozy sweater and have a cocktail around a bonfire, because it’s fall!

Wooden cutting board topped with apples and copper mugs filled with apple cider mule cocktails.

Caramel Apple Cider Mule

Yield: Enough simple syrup for 6 cocktails
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 23 minutes

This Caramel Apple Cider Mule is a twist on a classic Moscow mule that will take you from summer right into fall. This is the best caramel vodka drink!

Ingredients

For the Spiced Simple Syrup:

  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 whole nutmeg seed
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water

For EACH Caramel Apple Pie Moscow Mule:

  • 1-1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) caramel vodka
  • 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) Spiced Simple Syrup
  • 6 ounces (3/4 cup) apple cider
  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) light ginger beer

Instructions

  1. Make Spiced Simple Syrup: In small saucepan, combine cinnamon stick, nutmeg seed, sugar and water. Cook over medium heat 3 to 5 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Remove and discard cinnamon stick and nutmeg seed.
  2. Transfer syrup to jar or container and refrigerate until completely cool. Syrup can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Makes about 3 ounces syrup (enough for 6 cocktails).
  3. To make EACH Caramel Apple Pie Moscow Mule: Place 1-1/2 ounces vodka and 1/2 ounce simple syrup in copper mug; stir until well combined. Add 6 ounces cider and 2 ounces ginger beer. Fill remainder of mug with ice; stir until well combined. Serve garnished with fresh apple slices and cinnamon stick.

Notes

Home Chef Tip: Don't have a cinnamon stick and whole nutmeg seed? 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg can be substituted in the simple syrup.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 246Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 12mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 0gSugar: 34gProtein: 0g

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