One of the most wonderful things about the Moscow Mule is it’s so easy, breezy to riff on. As long as ginger beer is near, you can mess around with the base spirit, the choice of citrus, and even extra little additions, like another little pop of flavor you’d like to taste or color you’d like to see, presuming you forego the traditional chilly copper mug.
That’s bartender Simon Rosso’s choice at Lulu Kitchen & Bar in this drink he made just for us over here at southforker (thanks, Simon!).
Like so very many cocktails, the Mule’s origins can’t exactly be verified, but a Los Angeles bartender named Charles “Wes” Price was one who liked to take credit for it. Fair play to him—apparently, he created the vodka-centric concoction in the early 1940s at the Cock ‘n Bull where he slung sippables for the famous and not-so. Vodka certainly was on the rise then, and this creation in its frosty, pretty copper mug turned heads.
But see, we know for a fact that Rosso made this particular version up just for us, so there you have it: a real, live East End cocktail origin story. What we love about it is not only how refreshing it is (hello, spring!), but that it gets some extra layers of flavor from Rosso’s use of vanilla vodka, a pop of cranberry for tartness and color, and the swap out of lime for lemon. Also: He uses a tall, clear Collins glass—a vessel that not only lets you see the pretty sunset hue of the drink, but is also a wonderful harbinger for the warm days ahead.
Head on over to Lulu, order a dozen Montauk Pearls and ask him to make you one. Or try your hand at the recipe he so nicely gave us right here.
Lulu’s South Fork Mule
- 2 oz vanilla vodka
- 1 1/2 oz cranberry juice
- 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
- ginger beer
- 1 mint sprig for garnish
- 1 dehydrated lime wheel (optional)
- Fill a Collins glass with the vodka, cranberry juice and lemon juice.
- Add crushed or pebbled ice. Give it a little stir.
- Top with ginger beer.
- Garnish with the mint sprig (and dehydrated lime wheel, if choosing to do so). Cheers!