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A Mezcal Mule, beaded with condensation, is a beautiful thing.
Especially when the weather is oppressive.
It’s been so hot and humid these last few weeks that when I step outside it feels like the air around me is sweating.
My naturally wavy hair, which I straighten these days, has developed a persistent swoop that no amount of round brushing and product will coax flat. In this kind of weather, I feel the need to change my clothes at least three times a day and usually shower at least twice.
It is mid-August, which is when we come to expect this kind of weather in Chicago. But this year has had what feels like a longer than average run of it with little relief.
Mostly, I’ve tried to avoid going outside. Which is, uh, an unrealistic strategy.
A better strategy, I’ve found, is treating myself to a cold drink after I’ve made one of those inevitable forays into the unpleasantness.
Which brings me back to the Mezcal Mule. It’s a variation on the classic Moscow Mule, which is traditionally a vodka drink.
I’m not much of a vodka person. I tend to think any vodka drink would be more interesting with gin or just about any other base spirit, pretty much all of which have more character.
(But if you’re a fan of the classic, by all means drink it that way.)
This Mezcal Mule uses mezcal, ginger ale, and lime. And it’s so completely refreshing.
Mezcal, if you don’t know it, is an agave-based spirit with a much smokier, richer flavor than the more familiar agave-based tequila. I love the way the smoky flavors and the bracing salinity of mezcal play with the sweetness and spice of the ginger ale.
It takes a familiar drink and makes it feel fresh and new. (For a similar trick, try substituting mezcal for the tequila in a Paloma.)
Use a good ginger ale or ginger beer that you like. My favorites are from Fever Tree, Fentiman’s, and Q (the brand).
Then all you need is some fresh-squeezed lime juice (don’t use the pre-bottled stuff) and some ice.
I like to garnish this with a bunch of mint for an herbaceous fragrance on the nose. I think it smells nice and makes the drink look pretty, but it’s a totally optional flourish.
It’s a simple drink that you build in the same glass you drink it in, which removes the need for anything in the way of fancy equipment.
And you don’t need a bar stocked with all of the most obscure liqueurs either. (Not that there’s anything wrong with having that…)
While Moscow Mules and mule variations are traditionally served in copper mugs, the only real benefit of using a copper vessel, besides the aesthetic value, is that it helps to keep the drink nice and cold.
There’s some question about the safety of acidic ingredients like ginger ale and lime coming into contact with copper. (In Iowa, they’ve outlawed serving Moscow Mules in unlined copper mugs.)
There’s a concern that ingesting too much copper can make you sick. (I love the look of the copper cups in the photos here, but I no longer drink anything acidic out of them since learning more about the potential for a bad reaction.)
So you may want to look for mugs that are lined with stainless steel. But you can also just served it in whatever glassware you have.
So really, you have no excuse not to make one. Like right now.
- 2 ounces mezcal
- 1/2 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice
- 4 ounces ginger ale (or ginger beer)
- Fill your glass with ice, add the mezcal, lime juice, and ginger ale. Stir until cold. Garnish with mint if using. Serve.
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Fever-Tree - Premium Ginger Ale Mixers - 4 Pack
Fentimans, Ginger Beer 4pk/9.3oz.
Q Drinks, Soda Ginger Beer, 7.5 Fl Oz, 4 Pack
Cocktail Kingdom Teardrop Barspoon - Stainless Steel / 30cm
SodaStream Fizzi Sparkling Water Maker Starter Kit with 60L CO2 and 1L Bottle, Black
IMUSA USA VICTORIA-70007 Lemon Squeezer, Yellow
Hiware Reusable Glass Drinking Straws - 10" L x 10 mm W - Smoothie Straws for Milkshakes, Frozen Drinks, Smoothies, Bubble Tea - Environmentally Friendly
Tovolo Perfect Cube Ice Trays, Sturdy Silicone, Fade Resistant, Stratus Blue, 1.25" Cubes - Set of 2
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 147Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 9mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 0gSugar: 11gProtein: 0g