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Kentucky Mule

kentucky mule in copper mug with mint and lime garnish

As a bartender with countless concoctions under my belt, I can guarantee you that the Kentucky Mule is a crowd-pleaser. It is a simple yet flavorful cocktail that promises to deliver a unique taste experience. Today, I am excited to introduce you to the world of refreshing cocktails—the Kentucky Mule. This drink is fantastic for anyone who loves the spicy kick of ginger beer mixed with the smoothness of bourbon.

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Tasting Notes

The Kentucky Mule offers a delightful balance of flavors. You’ll first notice the bold, rich notes of bourbon, which then blend perfectly with the sharp, spicy taste of ginger beer. A squeeze of fresh lime juice adds a zesty tang, rounding out the drink with a refreshing citrus finish. It’s the perfect combination of warmth and refreshment.

Equipment and Glassware

To make a Kentucky Mule, you’ll need a few basic tools:

  • A cocktail shaker or a stirring spoon
  • A measuring jigger
  • A knife and cutting board for the lime

As for glassware, the Kentucky Mule is traditionally served in a copper mug, which keeps the drink extra cool and adds a touch of elegance to its presentation. If you don’t have a copper mug, a highball glass will also work well.


Here’s what you’ll need to create this delicious cocktail:

  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 1/2 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Ginger beer
  • Mint sprig and lime for garnish

Pro Tips

  • For an extra flavor boost, muddle a slice of fresh ginger at the bottom of the mug before adding the ice.
  • Adjust the ginger beer to bourbon ratio according to your taste for a stronger or milder drink.
  • Always use fresh lime juice for the best flavor.

When to Serve

The Kentucky Mule is incredibly versatile. It’s perfect for cooling down on a hot summer day, adding a festive touch to holiday gatherings, or simply enjoying a relaxing evening at home. This cocktail fits seamlessly into any occasion.

Which Liquor Brands to Choose

When it comes to bourbon, the choice can make a difference. Here are a few recommendations:

  • Bulleit Bourbon for its smooth, spicy flavor.
  • Maker’s Mark for a sweeter, milder taste.
  • Woodford Reserve for a full-bodied, rich experience.

Similar Cocktails

If you enjoy the Kentucky Mule, you might also like these similar cocktails:

  • Irish Mule – Swaps bourbon for Irish whiskey, introducing a lighter, smoother profile with a hint of maltiness, perfect for those who enjoy the heritage and flavor of Ireland.
  • London Mule – Uses gin as its base, adding a botanical complexity to the mule’s simplicity. The gin’s herbal notes beautifully complement the ginger beer’s spice and the lime’s tartness.
  • Mexican Mule – Substitutes bourbon with tequila, adding a spirited kick. The agave flavors of tequila blend seamlessly with the ginger beer, offering a south-of-the-border take on the classic mule.
  • Moscow Mule – The original inspiration for the Kentucky Mule, this classic uses vodka, offering a crisp, clean canvas that allows the ginger beer and lime flavors to shine prominently.
  • Mezcal Mule – Introduces the smoky depth of mezcal in place of bourbon, adding a layer of complexity and a smoky twist to the refreshing qualities of the traditional mule.
See also  Passion Fruit Whiskey Sour


The Kentucky Mule is a twist on the classic Moscow Mule, which originated in the 1940s. While the Moscow Mule combines vodka with ginger beer and lime, the Kentucky Mule opts for bourbon, giving it a distinctly American flair. This drink has gained popularity for its delicious taste and simplicity.

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kentucky mule in copper mug with mint and lime garnish

Kentucky Mule

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
5 from 2 votes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Bourbon, ginger beer, kentucky mule, Lime Juice
Servings: 1
Author: Paul Kushner
Discover the refreshing Kentucky Mule cocktail, blending smooth bourbon with spicy ginger beer and zesty lime. Perfect for any occasion.


  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 1/2 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Ginger beer
  • Mint sprig and lime for garnish


  • Fill a copper mug with ice
  • Add the lime juice and the bourbon and stir
  • Top off the ice with ginger beer
  • Add a sprig of mint for garnish
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment and let us know how it was!
Kentucky Mule
Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

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Paul Kushner

Written by Paul Kushner

Founder and CEO of MyBartender. Graduated from Penn State University. He always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. His restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time he turned 17 he was serving tables, and by 19 he was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, Paul opened his first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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