Our Ginger-Blackberry Twisted Mule Cocktail is ginger forward, with a pleasing, bright finish of sweet vinegar and white rum for lighthearted sass.
As soon as you lift the chilled mug to your lips, fresh mint introduces gingery-citrus flavor to quench summer’s hottest days.
A Moscow Mule is appreciated for its stylish presentation the simplicity of only three ingredients—vodka, lime juice, and ginger beer—served in a copper mug.
Our daughter Kayla brought the inspiration to use a ginger shrub made with honey, apple cider vinegar, and a mountain of freshly grated ginger in this twisted version of a popular classic. Club soda provides the fizz and white rum lets the jewel-toned blackberry juice sparkle.
Of course, we tip our hat to the original and serve our Twisted Mule in these gorgeous artisan Moscow Muled Copper Mugs, which makes any summer cocktail better.
Three reasons we love copper mugs:
1. That first-sip cooling sensation from the copper mug is what keeps us reaching for them again and again when summer temps rise.
2. The handle gives hot hands something to hold on to instead of warming the drink.
3. Stylish, beautiful vessels enhance our dining experience–as the saying goes, the first sip is with the eyes.
As much as we love the copper look, it does hide the gorgeous ruby-hued blackberries, so serving in clear glassware has its advantages too.
But are copper mugs safe?
Yes. However, some are better than others.
The FDA’s Model Food Code prohibits copper from coming into direct contact with foods that have a pH below 6.0. Examples of foods with a pH below 6.0 include vinegar, fruit juice, or wine.
While it is unlikely your drink will sit in the copper mug long enough to really be unsafe, mugs with an interior lining of nickel or stainless steel are the best choice for any cocktails with acidic ingredients.
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Do I need special equipment?
No. You do not need a fancy bar tool set for this drink. However, there are a couple of tools that will make it easier to get the best results.
- Simple juicer with measuring cup
- 6-ounce measuring glass
The photo below shows a simple juicer and 6-ounce measuring glass I picked up at our local grocery store. A simple juicer will get as much juice as possible out of the lime and measures it all in one step. The measuring glass is one measure instead of multiple with a jigger.
Can I make this without alcohol?
Yes, of course. Increase shrub and club soda, to taste, following the notes in the recipe.
What is a cocktail shrub?
A shrub is a cocktail syrup made with sugar and vinegar, sometimes referred to as drinking vinegar. Unlike simple syrups, the subtle tang of vinegar in a cocktail shrub adds complexity and balanced acidity so drinks taste refreshing and vibrant to the last drop.
Vinegar-flavored drinks have been part of America’s culinary experience since the eighteen century, known to slake your thirst.
Want to take homemade shrubs to the next level? In the book Shrubs: An Old-Fashioned Drink for Modern Times by Michael Dietsch, you’ll find myriad ways of making the most of bruised or aging summer fruit to enhance your summer drink menu.
How to make a cocktail shrub:
You’ll notice in the photo I used what I had on-hand to make my shrub–a mason jar and blue tape label–so don’t worry about fancy equipment. Stores in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
TIP: Apple cider vinegar (I like Bragg) is best for making shrubs for its complex flavor and it isn’t harsh like white distilled vinegar.
Of course, you can buy cocktail shrubs already bottled too!
Ginger Honey Shrub
- 1 cup honey
- 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup grated fresh ginger (large, 5-6 inch knob, 2-inches wide)
- Scrape the peel off the ginger with a spoon until most of it has been removed. No need to be perfect here, a little peel won't hurt the mix.
- Grate or microplane the ginger.
- Stir the ginger with honey and apple cider vinegar in a glass jar or container. Refrigerate for 24 hours.
- Strain the ginger, pressing to release as much liquid as possible. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Ginger-Blackberry Twisted Mule Cocktail
For the Drinks:
- 12 whole blackberries (plus more for garnish (about 2.5 ounces))
- 6 ounces Ginger Honey Shrub (recipe above)
- 6 ounces white rum
- 2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice (2 plump limes, plus more for garnish)
- 8 ounces club soda
For the Garnish:
- Mint leaves
- Extra blackberries
- Lime slices
- 24 ounce mason jar
- pitcher (for self-serve)
- long spoon
- copper mugs (or 8 ounce glasses)
- 4 (6-inch) straws (or longer straws trimmed)
- Prep Garnishes: Gently twist the straw to thread through the middle of the blackberry. Use your fingers to press the pulp out of the straw, if desired. Make a small cut in the middle of a lime slice and thread it under the blackberry--this will rest on the top of the mug. Pinch a small section of mint with enough stem to poke between the blackberry and lime, as shown in the photo. Set aside.
- Fill mugs or glasses 2/3 full with ice, crushed or cubed, it's your choice.
- Mix: In a shaker or mason jar, muddle blackberries to release juices. Add the ginger shrub, rum, lime juice, and club soda. Stir well and pour over ice in mugs (do not strain).
- Garnish with prepped straws and serve.