Warm spices pair perfectly with crisp cranberry vodka to create this festive, refreshing Spiced Cranberry Mule.
Benefits of Drinking from Copper
One of the reasons we love a good mule - besides the obvious fact that they are delicious - is that we get to use our Moscow Mule Mugs - and not just because they make for a great presentation.
Copper Enhances Flavor
There are a number of bonafide benefits to drinking your mule from a good copper mug. Not only do copper vessels keep drinks colder; but they accentuate and heighten the flavors of whatever else they hold.
If you are the kind of person who can perceive the subtle differences between drinking soda or beer from a glass bottle versus aluminum can, you will likely notice a similar difference when you drink a mule in a copper mug.
Copper naturally enhances the flavor of beverages made with ginger beer, vodka, lime, and mint (among other things). This happens through a chemical reaction that takes place when you pour liquids into a copper vessel. As the liquid makes contact with the sides of the mug, the copper begins to oxidize. According to experts, it is this oxidation process that enhances the aroma and the taste of the drink.
Cold copper will increase the production of bubbles in anything carbonated, creating more fizziness than a glass or plastic vessel might. It also affects the character of citrus juices (i.e., lime, orange, cranberry, etc.) by intensifying citrus flavor as it reduces the acidity.
Health Benefits of Copper
In addition to the flavor benefits, copper drinking vessels have long been thought to carry some impressive health benefits; including antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory properties.
If you don't have your own mule mugs, consider making this the year that you give yourself a set.
The mugs we have are solid and sturdy; made of hammered solid copper, they have a nice, heavy feel in your hand. Our advice is, when you decide to purchase a set of mule mugs, don't go cheap! Quality makes a big difference when it comes to mule mugs. Plus, if you get good ones, they'll last forever.
What Goes into this Recipe
Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
★ Mint Leaves: We usually make these mules using spearmint leaves. Any fresh mint will work though.
★ Ginger Ale: Craft ginger ales, with their more intense flavor, work best for this cocktail.
★ Cranberry Vodka: If you don't have cranberry vodka on hand, you can use plain vodka and a splash of cranberry juice instead.
★ Simple Syrup: We came up with these Spiced Cranberry Mules while we were experimenting with our (amazing!) Spiced Simple Syrup, and we highly recommend using it! However, you can use a plain simple syrup for this cocktail as well.
★ Sugared Cranberries: These tasty little treats are perfect for holiday snacking a beverage garnishing. You can also sub in plain or rehydrated dried cranberries.
How to Make this Cocktail
Spiced Simple Syrup
In a small saucepan, heat ½-cup sugar, ½-cup water, cinnamon sticks, star anise, sliced ginger, and whole cloves over medium until it comes to a boil.
Reduce heat to low-low and barely simmer uncovered, stirring frequently, until it begins to boil.
Remove syrup from heat, and use a small wire sieve to remove solids.
The syrup portion of this recipe makes enough for about 3 Moscow mules. If you anticipate needing more, use a ratio of 1:1 sugar to water, and additional spices for each cup of water you add to the mix. (i.e., A triple batch would have 1½ cups each sugar and water, plus 2 cinnamon sticks, 2 star anise, 2 inches of ginger, etc.) Simple syrup will keep up to three weeks in the refrigerator.
Muddle two large mint leaves in the bottom of a Moscow Mule mug or tumbler.
Fill a large copper mug with ice.
Pour in 2 ounces of vodka, 1 ounce of prepared spiced syrup, and and 4 ounces of ginger ale. Stir gently.
Garnish with Sugar & Spice Cranberries and mint leaves.
FAQs & Expert Tips
At its basic, a mule is a cocktail made with ginger beer or ginger ale, some kind of citrus or acidic juice, and any kind of spirit.
This Cranberry Mule recipe is a riff of a Moscow Mule. Moscow mules are made with vodka; likely so named because of the Russian-vodka association.
More Cranberry Recipes
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Spiced Cranberry Mule
- 1 muddler
Spiced Simple Syrup
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup water
- 1 4-inch cinnamon stick
- 1 whole star anise
- 1 inch fresh ginger thinly sliced
- 4 whole allspice
- 4 whole cloves
- 2 large Mint leaves
- 2 ounces Cranberry vodka
- 1 ounce Spiced Simple Syrup
- 4 ounces ginger beer or strong ginger ale
- Sugar & Spice Cranberries
- Fresh mint leaves
Spiced Simple Syrup
- In a small saucepan, heat ½-cup sugar, ½-cup water, cinnamon sticks, star anise, sliced ginger, and whole cloves over medium until it comes to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low-low and barely simmer uncovered, stirring frequently, until it begins to boil.
- Remove syrup from heat, and use a small wire sieve to remove solids.
- Muddle two large mint leaves in the bottom of a Moscow Mule mug or tumbler.
- Fill mug with ice.
- Pour in 2 ounces of vodka, 1 ounce of prepared spiced syrup, and and 4 ounces of ginger ale. Stir gently.
- Garnish with Sugar & Spice Cranberries and mint leaves.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.
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What a fabulous winter drink. I love ginger and cranberries, so I'll bet this combination is perfect for me.
These are so pretty and sound great. Love the idea of making standard cocktails with a festive twist! Happy holiday, Renee!
Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine says
Your sugared cranberries are beautiful- what a festive drink idea!
This looks like such a festive beautiful holiday drink..Loving those mugs you served them in!
Debi at Life Currents says
Oh my, these are beautiful pictures. That rosemary is lush. My rosemary plant needs to be cut back, but that's another topic! And that little mouse is adorable!
Renée ♥ says
Our rosemary went nuts this year!
I've always loved Moscow Mules, but your spiced cranberry version is even better for the holidays. Sounds so yummy! I saw some mule mugs at a store recently, but didn't get them. After seeing this recipe, I'm starting to regret it.
Renée ♥ says
Our mule cups are getting more and more use. I even drink my ice water in mine!
Such a gorgeous and refreshing holiday cocktail! Merry Christmas!
Renée ♥ says
Thank you! Merry Christmas to you too!
Sandhya Nadkarni says
What a perfect drink for the season. Love the perfect hammered copper mugs for serving the Cranberry Mules.
Liz @ I Heart Vegetables says
I love moscow mules so this cranberry mule sounds delicious!! And this one is so festive!
I love Moscow Mules in warmer weather with the refreshing flavors of the ginger, and so am loving this idea of a spiced version for the holidays. I agree that mug does add an important something to the flavor of the drink
Erin @ Platings and Pairings says
Moscow Mules are one of my favorite cocktails. And, for the season, and this weather we're having, I need this cranberry mule in my life tonight! Yum!!!
Michele Francisco says
Beautiful photos and I love the spiced simple syrup recipe! And I've got to know- how did you get the sugar to stick on the cranberry garnish?