This Cranberry Moscow Mule is a slightly zippy ginger beer, lime juice, and vodka cocktail made even better with the addition of cranberry juice. Love the balance of flavors in this fizzy drink!
Usually I consider a margarita to be my favorite cocktail, but I’m starting to think that they have some competition from Moscow mules.
Both drinks have a bite to them and both feature lime juice, so it makes a lot of sense why I have a hard time choosing between the two on a cocktail menu.
What’s in a Moscow mule?
A Moscow mule is a vodka cocktail, made with ginger beer and lime juice. It’s traditionally served in a copper mug to help keep it super cold as you sip it (affiliate link: I like this affordable set of two copper mugs). While a step away from the original, a cranberry Moscow mule is all of the above, with the addition of cranberry juice. Simple as that.
If you’re unfamiliar with ginger beer, it’s a non-alcoholic, ginger-flavored carbonated beverage. It’s not ginger ale! Ginger beer has a (wonderfully delicious) bite to it and has a much bolder ginger flavor than ginger ale.
I’ve found ginger beer in liquor stores around the mixers, and supermarkets in the aisle with the alcohol and/or the soda aisle. While I haven’t tried every ginger beer brand out there yet, I’m partial to Cock’N Bull (haven’t been able to find this recently) and Gosling’s (much more common).
Usually when I make cocktails I strongly prefer “regular” varieties of the mixers. A.k.a. not the diet versions of sodas or mixers. I kinda feel like alcohol needs a support staff with more heft to it, you know? Just my personal preference.
Anyway, here though I make an exception. Diet ginger beer, if that’s your thing, works really well in this a Moscow mule. Ginger beer has such a strong flavor that when combined with 100% juice cranberry juice, I didn’t find anything to be lacking one bit.
As with many cocktail recipes (and especially homemade ones), totally zhush the ingredient quantities here to be in line with your tastes. More or less ginger beer, more or less cranberry juice…you do you.
I’ve landed on five ounces of ginger beer and three ounces of cranberry juice as my preferred amounts to really get the cranberry juice flavor to shine through. And while they look pretty as a garnish in these pictures, real cranberries aren’t involved here. I just some I had leftover from making cranberry sauce. 🙂
Please don’t shake this cranberry mule — only stir!
As ginger beer is carbonated, it’ll cause a fizzy mess when it explodes out of your cocktail shaker. Years and years ago I accidentally shook a drink that had something carbonated in it and the mess was impressive. Like change your clothes, clean your whole kitchen impressive.
Who wants to go through all that when it’s time to unwind or toast friends with a drink? Not me!
Related cocktail recipes
Switching out the juice used is a super quick way to make a drink your own. In my opinion, this pomegranate Moscow mule is just as delicious! It has a similar tart and fruity flavor.
If you have both cranberry and pomegranate juices available, it makes a fun, mini sort of Moscow mule bar where guests can pick their preferred variety.
For a brunch-ready cocktail, try these cranberry mimosas (recipe coming soon). Love this combo of tart cranberry juice and orange juice. And of course the champagne. 😉
Back to my love of margaritas. This cranberry apple margarita is a real treat. It’s great any time of year but it’s especially nice in the fall as it uses apple cider. And look at that golden sugar rim! (Super easy, it’s golden from brown sugar).
Cranberry Moscow Mule
- 5 oz ginger beer
- 3 oz cranberry juice
- 2 oz vodka
- Juice from half a lime
- Ice, for serving
- Add ice to a copper mug or highball glass (or really, whatever glass you want to use). Pour in ginger beer, cranberry juice, vodka, and lime juice and stir to combine. Garnish with a lime wedge for serving.
Nutritional information is provided as an estimate. As it can vary due to many factors (brands used, quantities, etc.), we cannot guarantee its accuracy.