The Irish Mule
There are few sights as refreshing, when the intent is to imbibe, as the sweating copper glow from a freshly prepared Irish Mule. Many mules, many mules indeed. Some from the moscow descent. Others, from Mexico.
All with lime, mint, ginger beer, ice, and the ever so valuable and imperative copper mug.
Only one type of mule has the bragging rights to Irish heritage. Ah, yes. The finest alcohol professionals of the world. Steadfast in research, mixologists have provided an outstanding expression of a classic cocktail. Irish Mule is also commonly referred to as a Jameson Mule or a Dublin Mule.
The following is the path to choosing the finest ingredients for the recipe, and a how-to build and enjoy your beverage responsibility.
Still thirsty? The end of the article discusses the cocktail’s origin.
2 oz Irish Whiskey
7 Fresh Mint Sprigs (2 for garnish)
¼ oz. of simple/agave syrup, or a pinch of cane sugar
¼ oz. freshly squeezed lime juice (1 lime wheel cut for garnish)
4 oz of Bundaberg Ginger Beer
1 Copper Mug
● Irish Whiskey is not all the same. The go to, of course is Jameson. Referred to as “Jay-mo,” by cocktail and shot enthusiasts
● Take whiskey serious? Try a more peeted mash build for the smokey flavor. Connemara Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey, is an excellent choice
● Fresh mint. Two words, both equally as important
● Be positive you purchase ginger beer and not ginger ale. The sweetness will not pair well with the whiskey
● Bundaberg ginger beer is recommended for an excellent level of dryness and spice. Other varieties include:
○ Cock N’ Bull
● Finally, the imperative copper mug. Without it, no mule experience
○ Note: copper plated mugs are not recommended unless hand washed. Some alloys can have poisoning effects
○ Styles can differ, as long as it’s copper
If every resource for building cocktails is not available. Don’t stress building cocktails is 50% improvisation. If there is no strainer, use cheese cloth instead. A large glass, or even a bowl, can be a substitute for a mixing tin. No muddler, use something blunt to emulsify.
“Don’t stress building cocktails is 50% improvisation.”
1. Muddle- Add sugar, half a lime squeezed, and six of the mint sprigs into the mixing tin. Enjoy the aromatic effect.
a. Emulsifying the juice from the lime, oil from the mint, and dissolved sugar.
b. Use a decent amount of energy while grinding the ingredients. This is add to the consistency of the flavors
2. Add- Incorporate your chosen spirit and ice into the mixing tin
3. Stir- gently stir the mixture
a. Why stir? You don’t want to bruise, or break up, the ice and watering it down
4. Strain/Pour- transfer the concoction into the mug already filled with ice
a. Why already have more ice in the mug? To make the cocktail as fresh as possible
b. Why strain? You don’t want mint stuck in your teeth or a half squeezed lime resting on top of your cocktail
i. When using mint. Double straining is recommended.
5. Fill- use the ginger beer to fill to the top
a. Don’t bother measuring the ginger beer. Less full beverages look atrocious
b. Because of the carbonation, never shake or stir once a carbonated agent is introduced. Flat drink never go over well.
6. Garnish- Add one mint sprig. Preferably laying on top, not inside. Use a lime wheel to sit on the lip of the mug.
a. A drink is never complete without the final touch. The garnish
b. Also, garnishes can always be applied according to preference.
7. DO NOT DRIVE– Party safe, so you can party again
The popularity of mules began in the states circa 1941, according to the good people at Food and Wine . Many trends can be traced back to an individual’s necessity. In this case a bar name the Cock N’ Bull.
Bars are generally assumed to have everything for any drink requested. This of course leads to extra inventory. The mule’s big bang moment was result of a bar owner in Los Angeles with too much ginger beer.
The heavens sent copper mugs from Russia to the west coast of the states. Vodka sales skyrocketed. Many mugs were stolen. In fact, many are still stolen because of the expensive material and how great they transform the imbibing experience.
Given the popularity of the Moscow variation, using vodka, people enjoyed the sweetness from the ginger beer, the zest from lime, and the exhilarating mint.
Patrons wanted more. More flavor, complexity, and bite. There is only one answer. Whiskey, but not just any moonshine from around the globe. The spirit enjoyed as Irish whiskey.
Enjoy yourself after all this hard work. You have chosen all of those ingredients, muddled till you couldn’t muddle no more, strained everything including your eyes, and poured everything into glorious copper. The reward is your drink and this Irish toast:
“May the wind always be at your back and the sun upon your face. And may the wings of destiny carry you aloft to dance with the stars.”