Kentucky Mule Cocktail Recipe

Kentucky Mule Cocktail Recipe

There's a cocktail in town that's making waves, and it's known as the Kentucky Mule, born for the creative and adventurous. This enticing libation takes the classic Moscow Mule, and infuses it with a spirited twist. The familiar, effervescent ginger beer now dances with rich, full-bodied bourbon, resulting in a symphony of flavors.

Served chilled in a copper mug and adorned with a sprig of mint, it's a charming sight to behold. One sip, and you'll find the Kentucky Mule by Fat Baby Bourbon is more than a drink—it's an experience. Here is the Fat Baby Kentucky Mule cocktail recipe.

How to make a Kentucky Mule

The weighty profile of bourbon melds beautifully with the sharpness of ginger beer, making the Kentucky Mule a drink that truly stands out. Served traditionally in a copper mug and garnished with a sprig of mint, this whiskey-based cocktail promises a refreshing and unique drinking experience. With a Kentucky Mule in hand, you're set to explore an enticing blend of tradition and innovation in every sip.


  • 2 ounces Fat Baby Bourbon
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
  • Ginger beer to top
  • Garnish: sprig of fresh mint
  • Ice cubes


  1. Begin by filling a copper mug or a highball glass with a handful of ice cubes.
  2. Pour in 2 ounces of Fat Baby Bourbon, ensuring to measure it accurately for the perfect balance of flavors.
  3. Follow up by adding a half-ounce of freshly squeezed lime juice, introducing a tangy complement to the bourbon's rich complexity.
  4. Top up the glass with your chosen ginger beer, filling it up to create a delightful fizz.
  5. Garnish the drink with a sprig of fresh mint, adding a refreshing aroma and a touch of elegance to your cocktail.

Recipe Notes

The beauty of the Kentucky Mule lies in its balance of rich bourbon and zesty lime against the spicy-sweet backdrop of ginger beer. For a remarkable experience, we recommend using high-quality ginger beer with a bold, spicy flavor. If you're feeling adventurous, you can even make your own ginger syrup and use club soda for the fizz. Remember, whether you're using a copper mug or a highball glass, ensure it's chilled to maintain the cocktail's cool temperature longer. Enjoy your Kentucky Mule responsibly, savoring every sip of this sophisticated twist on the classic Moscow Mule.

Suggested bourbons

  1. Fat Baby Bourbon: Fat Baby Bourbon stands tall as an excellent choice for a Kentucky Mule due to its distinct and rich flavor profile. This bourbon brings a unique depth to the cocktail, perfectly complementing the spice of ginger beer and tang of lime. Its smooth and warm finish is ideal for this classic mix.
  2. Maker's Mark: Known for its signature sweetness and full-bodied flavor, Maker's Mark adds an appealing depth to the Kentucky Mule, striking a balance between the sharp ginger beer and lime.
  3. Buffalo Trace: With its complex and rich flavor profile, Buffalo Trace adds an appealing hint of caramel and spice to the Kentucky Mule. This well-rounded bourbon is a crowd-pleaser.
  4. Woodford Reserve: This high-quality bourbon is renowned for its rich, full-bodied, and slightly fruity flavor, which pairs well with the spiciness of ginger beer.
  5. Bulleit Bourbon: Offering a unique blend of rye, corn, and barley malt, Bulleit Bourbon brings a bold and spicy character to the Kentucky Mule, giving it an extra kick.

The best bourbon for your Kentucky Mule may depend on your personal preference. Whether you prefer a smooth and sweet bourbon or one with more spice and oak, there's a bourbon out there for your perfect Kentucky Mule.

Suggested ginger beers

The quality of the ginger beer can significantly impact the taste of your Kentucky Mule. Here are some of the best ginger beers that you might want to consider:

  1. Fever-Tree Premium Ginger Beer: Known for its natural ingredients and robust flavor, Fever-Tree makes a ginger beer that can truly stand up to the strong taste of bourbon in a Kentucky Mule.
  2. Barritt's Bermuda Stone Ginger Beer: Barritt's is another well-loved choice among cocktail enthusiasts. It has a less sweet, more ginger-forward taste that complements bourbon well.
  3. Reed's Strongest Ginger Beer: As the name suggests, this ginger beer packs a punch. It's perfect if you're looking for a beverage with a strong ginger bite to balance the smoothness of bourbon.
  4. Q Mixers Ginger Beer: This ginger beer offers a spicier flavor profile with less sweetness, allowing the rich flavor of bourbon to shine through.
  5. Bundaberg Ginger Beer: Bundaberg is a popular choice that provides a sweet and tangy flavor, nicely rounding off the sharper notes of the bourbon.

The choice of ginger beer largely depends on your personal preference. Some people prefer a sweeter, more mellow ginger beer, while others opt for a spicier, more robust version to counter the strong bourbon flavors.

What is a Kentucky Mule?

The Kentucky Mule is a twist on the classic Moscow Mule, a cocktail first crafted in 1940s Los Angeles, known for its refreshing blend of vodka, lime juice, and ginger beer. Despite its Russian-inspired moniker, the Moscow Mule is distinctly American, and so is its bourbon-based cousin. The Kentucky Mule gets its name from the American state synonymous with bourbon, swapping vodka for this Southern spirit.

This change brings a richer, more robust flavor profile that wonderfully complements the spiciness of the ginger beer and the tartness of the lime. As part of the wider family of 'buck' cocktails which feature ginger beer and citrus, the Kentucky Mule stands as a testament to the creativity and innovation in the world of mixology, consistently winning over new fans with its flavorful, easy-to-make recipe.

Related: Bourbon Cocktails

What does a Kentucky Mule taste like?

A Kentucky Mule is a refreshing burst of harmonious flavors that dance on your palate. The warmth and full-bodied depth of bourbon is at the heart of this cocktail, providing a robust base that anchors the drink. Accompanied by the bright, tart punch of fresh lime juice, it offers a delightful contrast that elevates the richness of the bourbon.

The spicy kick of ginger beer intertwines with these flavors, adding an effervescent complexity and a refreshing, tangy edge. Lastly, the mint sprig garnish introduces a hint of cooling freshness to the mix. Altogether, the Kentucky Mule presents a well-balanced blend of warmth, spice, tanginess, and sweetness that makes for a lively and invigorating cocktail experience.

Recipe Final Thoughts

the Kentucky Mule stands as a delightful reinterpretation of the classic Moscow Mule, swapping vodka for the richness and depth of bourbon. Its beautiful balance of tangy lime, spicy ginger beer, and robust bourbon creates a cocktail that's not only refreshing but also complex and enjoyable. This drink encapsulates the spirit of Kentucky with its use of bourbon, making it an embodiment of tradition with a unique twist.

Whether it's a hot summer day or a chilly winter evening, the Kentucky Mule is a cocktail for all seasons, deserving of its place in the pantheon of great American cocktails. So, why wait? Grab a copper mug, some high-quality bourbon, a spritz of lime, and a spicy ginger beer to experience the magic of a Kentucky Mule today.

Kentucky Mule cocktail FAQs

What's the difference between Kentucky and Moscow Mule?

The primary difference between a Kentucky Mule and a Moscow Mule lies in the spirit used. The Kentucky Mule uses bourbon, typically associated with the U.S. state of Kentucky, while the Moscow Mule uses vodka. This substitution gives the Kentucky Mule a more robust and complex flavor, as bourbon's depth and character contrast nicely with the spicy ginger beer and tangy lime.

Why is it called a Kentucky Mule?

The cocktail is called a Kentucky Mule because it is a variation of the original Moscow Mule that uses bourbon instead of vodka. The name "Kentucky" refers to the origin of bourbon, which is predominantly produced in Kentucky, U.S. So, the "Kentucky Mule" essentially means a "bourbon Mule".

Why is a Kentucky Mule served in a copper mug?

The Kentucky Mule is traditionally served in a copper mug for several reasons. First, the copper keeps the drink colder longer, making it more refreshing. Secondly, some believe that the copper enhances the individual flavors of the bourbon, ginger beer, and lime. Lastly, serving it in a copper mug pays homage to the original Moscow Mule presentation, providing a touch of tradition and aesthetic appeal.

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