Treat yourself to the BEST Cranberry Moscow Mule this holiday season!
This refreshing Cranberry Cocktail is a fun twist on the classic drink that super easy to make and so festive ... the perfect holiday drink for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's!
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I don't know about you, but looove a good Moscow Mule. Nice and spicy, please ... I want my nose to tingle on that first sip!
While the classic will always be a fave, there are so many ways to have fun with this cocktail. I have a few Mule recipes coming your way soon, but since it's the holidays, I thought I'd start with this Cranberry Moscow Mule.
You are going to love this drink! Tart cranberries are the perfect counterpart to zesty ginger. It's just so delicious, and gorgeous, too!
The best thing about this cocktail (besides its wonderful zippy flavor) is that it takes minutes to whip up. Plus, you can make it by the glass or by the pitcher ... perfect for a relaxing night at home or a holiday party!
Ready to start sipping? Then keep reading for all the fun details!
About the Drink
This delicious cocktail couldn't be more perfect for the holidays!
The bright cranberry-ginger flavors are seasonal and festive, and the presentation is beautiful ... those pretty copper mugs and the easy garnish are just so cute.
I love a classic-with-a-twist, and this delicious holiday cocktail is exactly that! It has everything you love about a Moscow Mule, but the cranberry juice adds an extra layer of flavor that's so tasty.
Serve this festive cocktail all throughout the holiday season (and beyond). It makes a wonderful addition to Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any seasonal get together.
Wondering what's in a Cranberry Mule? If you've never made this drink before, you might be surprised by how basic they are! Here's what you'll need:
- Lime Juice - Fresh juice is a must for this drink! Do not use bottled juice.
- Vodka - Feel free to use your fave vodka for this drink. The vodka is really in the background here, so something basic, but good quality is fine. New Amsterdam is my usual standby, but I also like Tito's and Deep Eddy.
- Cranberry Juice - Make sure to use sweetened cranberry juice for this recipe, otherwise your drink will be super tart and the flavors will be off. I prefer to use cranberry juice that's made with 100% juice. It's sweetened with other juices, rather than added sugar.
- Ginger Beer - It's important to use a really good quality ginger beer (NOT ginger ale) for this recipe. I love a Moscow Mule that makes my nose tingle with spicy ginger flavor, which is why I used Fever Tree for this recipe. It has that bold ginger flavor that you look for in this cocktail, and it's not overly sweet.
- Garnish - Serve this cocktail as-is or add an easy garnish, like fresh cranberries and a sprig of rosemary.
Simple, right? One of the things I love about this festive holiday Mule is just how quick and easy it is to make.
Can You Substitute Other Spirits for the Vodka?
Vodka is the perfect choice for this Christmas Moscow Mule. It has a neutral taste that lets the bold flavors of the cranberry juice and ginger beer shine.
That said, you can definitely make this drink with other liquors besides vodka. Try substituting whiskey, rum, or gin, if you'd prefer.
You'll Also Need
Here are a few other things you'll need to make this drink:
- Moscow Mule Mugs - Copper mugs are not required to make this cocktail, but they certainly make the experience more fun! It's possible to purchase 100% copper mugs, however acids (like lime juice) can cause copper to leach into your drink, and that isn't good for you. To be on the safe side, I'd recommend getting a set of beautiful lined copper mugs instead.
- Jigger - To measure this drink properly, you'll need a jigger. If you're making this Cranberry Mule by the pitcher, then you'll use a set of liquid measuring cups instead.
- Bar Spoon - A bar spoon is optional, although it will certainly make you feel like a bar tending pro! Use a long, slender spoon (like an iced tea spoon) or a stir stick instead if you don't have one.
Don't have cooper mugs? You can use a large rocks glass, highball (or Collins) glass instead.
How to Make a Cranberry Moscow Mule
This cocktail is so simple to make, which is why it's perfect for entertaining guests at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other holiday parties!
You can find a printable recipe at the end of this post with detailed directions, but here's a quick overview ... you should be able to make one drink in about five minutes!
- Fill your mug about ¾ full with ice.
- Squeeze in ½ ounce of lime juice. This is going to be about half a good sized, juicy lime. Feel free to throw the lime in the mug when you're done, or if you prefer, you can discard it.
- Add with two ounces of vodka.
- Follow the vodka with two ounces of cranberry juice.
- Finally, add four ounces of ginger beer. This is what gives the cocktail its signature flavor! I really like spicy ginger beers, like Fever Tree.
- Stir well, then add your garnish.
That's all there is to it ... simple, right? So gorgeous, too! The mugs make this cocktail so cute, and it's so festive with the green and red garnish. Most importantly, this is one super tasty drink ... you'll want to sip these throughout the holiday season, and possibly beyond!
Non-Alcoholic Cranberry Mule
Don't drink? Simply replace the vodka with sparkling water, club soda, or more ginger beer. You'll have a festive drink that anyone can enjoy!
Make this Cranberry Mule extra festive by garnishing it with fresh cranberries and a sprig of rosemary. The rosemary also adds a wonderful, wintery fragrance.
You could also leave out the rosemary and just use fresh cranberries, or you could add a lime wheel or wedge.
Just a word of wisdom ... raw cranberries, while pretty, are not edible. I mean, you can eat them, but they're pretty unpleasant and bitter. I think most people know this ,but if you see anyone going in for a bite, you may want to stop them. Ha!
Making Mules for a Crowd
Are you throwing a holiday party? It's really easy to make this Christmas Moscow Mule by the pitcher. Simply use these proportions to scale the recipe:
- ¼ part lime juice
- 1 part vodka
- 1 part cranberry juice
- 2 parts ginger beer
For example, let's say you're starting with 1 cup of vodka. To that, you'd add 1 cup cranberry juice, 2 cups ginger beer, and ¼ cup lime juice. This would make four drinks, by the way ... for eight drinks, you'd start with 2 cups vodka (for 16 drinks, 4 cups, etc.).
If you want make a pitcher of Moscow Mules for a party, I'd recommend mixing everything together ahead of time except the ginger beer, which is carbonated. Stir the ginger beer in right after your guests arrive, so it doesn't go flat.
Tip: To cut down on the mess at your party (and to make things easier to measure), squeeze the lime juice ahead of time.
For an easy party, try serving these Mules with my addictive Baked Ricotta Dip, Baked Brie, Gorgonzola Pear Pizza, Cream Cheese Dip, or Parmesan Pepper Popcorn.
If you enjoyed this festive drink, here are some other cocktail recipes you'll like!
- Apple Cider Moscow Mule
- Cranberry Mimosa
- Irish Coffee
- Cuba Libre
- Rum Old Fashioned
- Classic Mojito
- Raspberry French 75
Craving more cranberries in your life? You can find all of my cranberry recipes here!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Still have questions about this popular drink? Check out these FAQs or leave a question in the comments!
The Moscow Mule was invented in the 1940s as a way to get more Americans to drink vodka. While the inventor himself is disputed, it's thought that the name was inspired by the combination of Russian vodka and ginger beer, which gives the drink its signature kick.
There really isn't any good substitute for ginger beer when making Moscow Mules. In a pinch, you can use ginger ale, but the finished cocktail won't have the characteristic spicy flavor the drink is known for.
You don't have to serve a Moscow Mule in a copper mug, but it's certainly most traditional way to serve the drink. It's also thought that copper mugs keep drinks colder, but according to an actual scientist, this is a myth.
If you don't have cooper mugs, you can serve a Moscow Mule in a large rocks glass or even a highball (or Collins) glass instead.
Cranberry Moscow Mule
- ½ ounce fresh lime juice
- 2 ounces vodka
- 2 ounces cranberry juice
- 4 ounces ginger beer
For Garnish (Optional)
- fresh cranberries
- Fill a copper mug about ¾ full with ice.
- Add lime juice to mug, followed by vodka, cranberry juice, and ginger beer.
- Mix well, then garnish with cranberries and rosemary, if desired.
- Serve immediately. Enjoy!
- ¼ part lime juice
- 1 part vodka
- 1 part cranberry juice
- 2 parts ginger beer
What is your favorite holiday cocktail?