This Cranberry Moscow Mule is a slightly zippy ginger beer, lime juice, and vodka cocktail made even better with the addition of cranberry juice. You'll love the balance of flavors in this fizzy, easy-to-make 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 bar menu!
This cranberry Moscow mule features the tart sweetness from cranberry juice to add an easy and fun twist on a cocktail classic (much like apple cider does in an apple cider mule). Plus with the green lime and red cranberry garnishes, doesn't it make a perfect Christmas cocktail?
What is 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. It's as simple as that.
Cranberry juice: I recommend using either cranberry juice cocktail or '100% juice' cranberry juice in a cranberry mule. Both of these varieties are sweetened (the former with sugar, the latter with mild-flavored fruit juices such as apple and/or white grape). Pure, 100% cranberry juice is unsweetened and will likely be too tart for a mixed drink like this.
Ginger beer: This is a carbonated beverage with a much larger (and wonderfully delicious) bite than ginger ale. Used here as a mixer it's non-alcoholic, though there are some alcoholic varieties out there. 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). Diet or regular work great.
Lime juice: Freshly-squeezed is best in a drink like this over the bottled variety.
How to Make This Drink
- Add ice to a copper mug (or really, any glass). If you don't have a crushed ice dispenser or bags of it, simply add regular ice cubes to a sealable plastic bag and crush with a mallet or meat tenderizer.
- Pour in the ginger beer, cranberry juice, and vodka.
- Squeeze half of a lime into the drink.
- Stir to combine. Garnish with lime wedges and/or fresh cranberries if you like.
- Important: Please don't shake this cranberry mule -- only stir! Ginger beer is carbonated, so it would cause a fizzy mess and explode out of your cocktail shaker.
- 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...make this cranberry Moscow mule your own. 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.
- Non-alcoholic option: The stronger flavors of ginger beer, cranberry juice, and lime juice means this cranberry mule makes a really wonderful mocktail when you omit the vodka. And if you have limes on hand and are looking for more citrus-y mocktails, then you might like to check out this virgin mojito, too.
Yes. Ginger beer is often found in the cocktail mixers section of the store (as it's non-alcoholic), or it can also be stocked in the soft drinks aisle. Some supermarkets will have it in both places.
While traditionally served in a copper mug as copper keeps the drink chilled really well, you don't have to use one. A highball glass (or, really any kind) works just as well. If making a pitcher to serve these to a crowd, they make hammered copper pitchers that would be very on-theme (and more practical than procuring many copper mugs).
Yes. To make a pitcher of four full glasses, use 20 ounces (2 ½ cups) of ginger beer, 12 ounces (1 ½ cups) of cranberry juice, 8 ounces (1 cup) of vodka, and 2 ounces (¼ cup) of freshly-squeezed lime juice. This can be further scaled up if your pitcher is even larger.
If you’ve enjoyed this recipe, I’d love for you to leave a star rating in the recipe card and/or a comment review below!
Cranberry Moscow Mule
- 5 ounces ginger beer
- 3 ounces cranberry juice
- 2 ounces vodka
- Juice from half a lime (about half an ounce)
- 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, and/or fresh cranberries.
- 20 ounces ginger beer (2 ½ cups)
- 12 ounces cranberry juice (1 ½ cups)
- 8 ounces vodka (1 cup)
- 2 ounces lime juice (¼ cup)
Nutritional information is provided as an estimate. As it can vary due to many factors (brands used, quantities, etc.), we cannot guarantee its accuracy.Food Safety and Nutrition Disclaimer