Black Tusk Mule in Copper Mug

Black Tusk Mule

What you’ll need

  • 2 oz Black Tusk Smoked Vodka

  • 0.5 oz Lime

  • Ginger Beer

  • Lime wedge

Copper mug and Black Tusk Smoked Vodka infront of campfire

I’ll admit, it was a lazy day when I came up with this variation of the popular Moscow Mule. 

The Black Tusk Mule belongs to the Mule family.

I’m sure you’ve heard of the famous Moscow Mule? It’s served in its very own signature copper mug.

But do you know why? Read on to discover the legend.

Why is a Mule called a Mule?

Before we dive into that, what is a mule?

Any drink that’s built over ice directly in the glassware and calls for ginger beer, is a mule.

Ginger beer is considered to bring a kick of flavour, quite like a literal kick, that is given by a mule should you disturb them, earning cocktails that are built with ginger beer the name, Mule.

A Moscow Mule, is a mule that’s made with.. Drumrolls.. Vodka.

The Moscow Mule was invented by Americans, surprise surprise, and not the Russians. It was their clichéd nod towards the origin of the main ingredient in their drink, symbolic of Vodka being a Russian spirit.

Russian’s don’t have monopoly over Vodka, Caviar or Baikal, just like France doesn’t have monopoly over baguette, cheese and wine, and Canada neither over maple syrup, soooorry and bears.

As someone who’s gotten my hands dirty making vodka in Canada, I do not consider Vodka a Russian spirit anymore.

Copper mug in handVodka is now made worldwide. And it hurts me when I make my own vodka, and cocktail and have to call it the Moscow Mule – the truth is complicated, while clichés are stable.

A better perspective over this entire cocktail naming game is that names acknowledge the journey of a cocktail – how far it’s come, and how far it’s yet to go.

*Rant over*

Using the vodka I helped produce at Raincity Distillery, Black Tusk Smoked Vodka, I created the Black Tusk Mule, Moscow Mule’s smoky cousin.

Like all mules, I serve it in the copper mug, because copper looks way more aesthetically pleasing with an iced cold drink in it. It’s also better able to handle the heat from your hand, keeping your drink colder.

Ginger Beer – To Buy or Make?

I state this as an option because I prefer making ginger beer myself using natural ginger yeast. 

It’s a super fun process that leads to something that you just can’t buy – alcoholic ginger beer.

Wait – what?

Ginger beer is made through a process of fermentation, and should, by default, be alcoholic in nature. In fact, in Canada for example, it can’t be sold in grocery stores if it was alcoholic. So clearly, alcohol has been removed from ginger beer and made into a carbonated soft drink.

And yes, you’re absolutely right. When made at home, you’d get a product that is close to the ABV of a beer, between 3 to 6%. The range in ABV depends on how far you go in your fermentation process. 

Making ginger beer is easy and can be done within the week. Simply add ginger and sugar to water (be extra clean and use sanitized utensils). Just add a bit of ginger and sugar everyday till you find the solution starts to bubble. That’s when you’ll know that it’s alive. We call this the ginger bug.

Once it’s alive, you can focus on making some syrup. You can add flavours, spices, sweetness, whatever you want – to come up with different variations of ginger beer.

Once the syrup has cooled, add some of the alive mixture to it, and bottle it in a plastic bottle. When pressure has built, blurp, open and try it!

But hey, if you’re not into becoming a brewmaster, pick some ginger beer up at your local store, easy peezy. But if you’re interested in making your own DIY ginger beer, come to our lounge. I’d love to chat.

A Smoky Moscow Mule

I’ve chosen a very specific brand of ginger beer called Bulls-Head that pairs well with the smokiness of the Black Tusk Smoked Vodka, to make the Black Tusk Mule. 

If you want to throw in an extra spin of creativity, sparkle and flavour make these tweaks to your recipe. Substitute 2 oz of vodka for 1.5 oz Black Tusk Smoked Vodka, 0.5oz of Creme de Cassis and a squeeze of half a lime. The resulting cocktail will be less boozy, more tangy and more fruity.

Get your Hands on Our Spirits

Recipe Instructions

Step 1

Add ice to a copper mug.

Step 2

Pour in the vodka and freshly squeeze lime juice.

Step 3

Using a bar spoon, pour Ginger beer along the top of the bar spoon and let it fall into the glass as it flows from the top to the bottom of the bar spoon. 

Step 4

Fill with Ginger beer till the top of the glass and give it a gentle stir with the bar spoon.

Step 5

Throw in a lime wedge as garnish and give it a squeeze if you prefer a stronger tang.


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