Kentucky Bourbon Mule Recipe
A Kentucky Mule is a Moscow Mule with a twist – it’s made with bourbon whiskey instead of vodka. This tangy and fizzy cocktail is easy to stir together in a copper mug.
This Kentucky Mule Recipe might just change your life!
I think in the past decade or so, we’ve all become quite familiar with Moscow mules. I’ve certainly published my fair share here, with everything from a strawberry mule for summer to a grapefruit mule for winter and a caramel apple mule for fall.
Are you ready to elevate your cocktail game with a twist on a classic Moscow mule that is great all year ’round?
This Kentucky bourbon mule recipe is a refreshing concoction that is the perfect balance of sweet, spicy and tangy in every sip.
What is a Kentucky mule?
The Kentucky mule is a variation on the classic Moscow mule, where bourbon is used instead of vodka.
The warm, caramel notes of the bourbon give the drink a more complex taste profile.
Moscow mule vs Kentucky mule
While both Moscow mules and Kentucky mules are served in copper mugs and have the refreshing flavor of ginger beer, the difference is in the alcohol.
The Moscow mule has the light, clean taste of vodka, while the Kentucky mule recipe as a deeper, richer taste from bourbon.
Why you’ll love a Whiskey Mule
- Takes only a couple minutes to stir up.
- No fancy equipment. No need for a muddler or a juicer; the lime can just be squeezed with your hands because you don’t need a ton of it.
Kentucky Mule ingredients
- bourbon – choose a high-quality bourbon based on your own taste preferences. More on this below!
- lime juice – each mule needs 1/2 ounce of lime juice, which is about half of one good, juicy lime.
- aromatic bitters – this enhances the depth of flavor in the drink, and brings out the subtle complexities of the bourbon.
- ginger beer – this provides the signature spiciness and fizz. More on how to choose one below!
- lime wedge and mint sprig, for garnish – these are optional, but add a pretty finishing touch.
Best bourbon for Kentucky mule
In my opinion, the best mule for a Kentucky mule (and almost all bourbon cocktails, really) is Bulleit bourbon (the classic orange label variety). It has a very clean and smooth flavor, and is versatile for just about anything you want to make with it.
Some other great choices for this whiskey mule recipe are Woodford Reserve, Maker’s Mark, Buffalo Trace and Four Roses. All of these are distilled in Kentucky, and are also delicious in a apple cider bourbon cocktail.
Best ginger beer for Kentucky mule
Look for a high-quality ginger beer (not ginger ale) that’s made with real ginger root.
Some brands I’ve personally tried and liked are Fever-Tree, Reed’s and Q Mixers.
How to make a Kentucky Mule
- Grab a copper mug and add the lime juice, bitters and bourbon to it.
- Stir it up!
- Add the ginger beer.
- Fill the rest of the mug with ice and stir again
- Serve the drink garnished with lime and mint.
Home Chef Tips for making the best Kentucky Mule
- For a stronger bourbon flavor, increase the bourbon to 2 ounces.
- Adjust the sweetness by using more or less ginger beer according to your preferences.
- Add a few slices of fresh ginger for an extra kick!
How to serve this Bourbon Mule Recipe
This Kentucky bourbon mule recipe is best served in a classic copper mug to keep the drink ice cold. However, if you don’t have a copper mug, a highball glass will do just fine.
More importantly, let’s talk snacks. Who doesn’t like a little something to nibble on when they’re having a cocktail?
- Meatballs are always great, whether they’re chicken meatballs or pork meatballs. For the vegetarians, there’s my black bean meatballs.
- Phyllo cups and corned beef egg rolls are some other delicious snack options.
- You can really never go wrong with spicy chips.
- If it’s game day, try a football charcuterie board.
Whiskey Mule storage
Bourbon mules are meant to be enjoyed fresh. It’s best to prepare them just before serving so the ginger beer retains its fizz.
However, one part of this drink that you can prep in advance is juicing the limes for lime juice. You can juice limes up to 2 days in advance and keep the juice in a covered container in the refrigerator.
Bourbon Mule FAQs
The exact origin is unclear, but the Kentucky Mule likely emerged as a regional twist on the Moscow Mule in the mid-20th century.
The Kentucky Mule is also known as the Whiskey Mule or Bourbon Mule.
There’s one origin story where the bartender who invited the mule cocktail had a girlfriend who owned a copper-making company.
But practically, copper is an excellent conductor of temperature, meaning that iced drinks like bourbon mules stay SUPER COLD in copper mugs!
While the Moscow Mule traditionally features vodka, the Kentucky Mule uses bourbon or whiskey for a more robust flavor.
The name “mule” comes from the kick of the ginger beer being likened to the kick of a mule. This Kentucky mule recipe definitely has kick!
- Juice of 1/2 lime (about 1/2 ounce)
- 2 dashes aromatic bitters
- 1-1/2 ounces bourbon
- 4 ounces ginger beer
- Lime wedge and mint sprig, for garnish
- Place lime juice, bitters and bourbon in copper mug; stir until well combined. Add ginger beer. Fill remainder of mug with ice; stir until well combined. Serve garnished with lime and mint.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 162Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 9mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 0gSugar: 16gProtein: 0g
This website provides estimated nutrition information as a courtesy only. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.