We recently received some complimentary Moscow Mule mugs from Buxxu. (See our Samples policy for what it means that we’re talking about them). With that as an excuse, we decided to try some different ginger beers/ales in a Moscow Mule to see which one we liked the best. Read on to find out which ones we enjoyed and which ones left us wanting.
We usually have Reed’s ginger beer lying around for purposes of mixing cocktails, and we swung out to the local mega-mart to pick up a few more likely contenders. With those in hand, we mixed up a set of Moscow Mules.
FWIW, we would have included Rachel’s ginger beer, a local favorite, but we didn’t get any at the farmer’s market yesterday and there wasn’t time to order it online since this theme only occurred to us this morning 😉 But we highly recommend it if you can lay your hands on it.
- 2 oz vodka
- 1/2 oz lime juice
- 4-6 oz ginger beer/ale, to taste (ginger beer is more traditional)
Mix ingredients in the mug, add spent lime shell and several ice cubes, stir gently.
- Nose: Faint lime and ginger
- Palate: Smooth rich brown sugar sweetness to start. Mid-palate has a nice bite of ginger with a little bit of lime acid and bitter lime peel which balances the sweetness very nicely. Finish is a nice warm ginger tingliness on the throat and palate.
- Nose: More lime, less ginger than the Reed’s.
- Palate: Tastes like limeade with some ginger in it. Good sweet-tart balance. Faint mineral notes on the finish. Fresher, lighter, slightly sweeter and less gingery than the Reed’s.
- Nose: Lime is about the same as the Hotlips. Faint ginger. Slight jolt of cayenne up into your sinuses. (Not surprising seen as this is a common additive to ginger ale)
- Palate: Very dry. More like a not-too-bitter tonic with a tiny bit of ginger. Lime provides a good acid balance throughout. More cayenne than ginger notes – pleasantly tingly, but not what you’d expect for a Moscow Mule in terms of sweetness and ginger flavor.
- Nose: Clear sugar/caramel notes. Lime is very faint. Ginger almost unnoticeable.
- Palate: Quite sweet on the intro with some fruity banana notes. Little bit of lime on the mid-palate with an unexpected bitter bite on the finish. Almost no ginger anywhere.
Our favorites were Reed’s and Hotlips. Both are very different, with the Reed’s bringing lots of gingeriness and the Hotlips making a nice boozy limeade. The Q was nice if you’re looking for something very dry and a little out of the ordinary for this drink’s profile. The Knudsen was drinkable, but we’d only reach for it if we didn’t have other options.
But what about the mugs? The Buxxu mugs are quite nice. They’re very pretty and are fantastic for warm weather iced drinks as they insulate the drink quite well. Our biggest complaint is that the soldering job on the handles could be a bit cleaner, but that’s a purely aesthetic thing and doesn’t impact the overall enjoyment of the mugs. Oh, and be warned that these mugs are sized for doubles, so you’ll be downing lots of drinks if you’re not paying attention. 😉