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Basil

Strawberry-Basil Moscow Mule

This Strawberry-Basil Moscow Mule is a fruity twist on the classic! Mixed with vodka and spicy ginger beer, it’s a perfect cocktail for a hot summer afternoon.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink

You know that drink you sometimes see when you’re out at a bar, the one served in a copper mug? That’s a Moscow Mule.

A classic Moscow Mule has just three ingredients—vodka, lime juice, and ginger beer—and while that’s delicious (yes) and easy to put together (yes again), I wanted a fruity twist on this classic.

It may involve a little extra preparation, but I think it’s worth it!

OUR SUMMER TWIST ON THE MOSCOW MULE

Our summertime version of the Moscow Mule adds strawberry and basil to the mix—a flavor combination just as classic as vodka and ginger!

In this drink, the sweetness of the strawberry and the herbal tug of the basil are especially good mixed with vodka and ginger beer, the traditional ingredients, which add lightness and a bit of spice.

WHICH VODKA TO USE

I like Tito’s. It’s not too expensive, and it’s made in Texas, which pleases this Texan. That said, any moderately-priced vodka will do. Since you’re pairing it with strawberry and ginger beer, this is not the time to showcase a pricey brand.

WHICH GINGER BEER TO USE

My preference here is for a spicier ginger beer, especially because you’re getting a little extra sweetness from the strawberry. Fentimans makes a ginger beer with a nice spicy kick, as does Fever Tree. Gosling’s is a bit easier to find and still makes a very nice drink.

Resist the temptation to substitute ginger ale for the ginger beer—you lose out on a lot of the flavor, and the drink will be very sweet.

A NOTE ON THOSE COPPER MUGS

The ones pictured here are from Moscow Muled, but you can find copper mugs in many places. I like how the mugs develop a nice frost after sitting out for a bit.

It’s debatable whether or not they actually make your drink colder, but they sure look good!

MORE FRESH AND FRUITY COCKTAILS YOU’LL LOVE

  • Sparkling Strawberry Sangria
  • Pomegranate Paloma
  • Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri
  • Blueberry Pitcher Margaritas
  • Cranberry Apple Sangria

The proportions for this drink are designed for a Moscow Mule mug, which is typically 16 ounces. If you don’t have a copper mug, you can make it in a regular glass—just make sure it’s around 16 ounces for the best results!

This drink is also very good with tequila, should you feel so inclined.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 4 or 5 strawberries (5 for medium-to-large strawberries, 4 for truly enormous ones)
  • 5 basil leaves
  • 3/4 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • Crushed ice
  • 2 to 3 ounces ginger beer, or to top

Special equipment:

  • Cocktail shaker or mixing glass with Hawthorne strainer
  • Muddler or spoon
  • 16 ounce copper mug (strongly recommended)
  • Tea strainer (optional)

Method

1 Muddle the strawberries and basil: Add strawberries and basil to the bottom of a shaker. Pour the lime juice on top, then muddle them with a muddler or the back of a spoon. Do this enough to gently smoosh the strawberries, but not completely pulverize them.

2 Add the vodka and shake: Add the vodka to the shaker, then the ice. (I find that 4 or 5 large cubes per drink works well.) Cover and shake for about 30 seconds.

3 Strain: Strain directly into a copper mug full of crushed ice or double strain by pouring the drink through a tea strainer, which will catch the finer particles. A single strain is also fine.

4 Add ginger beer: Fill the cup with ginger beer. Drink on a patio in the sunshine!