Everyone loves a good Moscow Mule, right? They’re just so light and refreshing that they can really go with anything.
Of course, not everyone really loves alcohol all of the time so it’s a good idea to be able to replicate a drink without having to add the alcohol to it. It’s a great way to enjoy the classic flavors of a Moscow Mule without the added vodka!
You can use anything from non-alcoholic spirits to other great alternatives to make drinks like this, as well as many other types of drinks, made virgin style.
The good news is that you can make almost any drink a non-alcoholic drink if you want to—you just need to know how.
How do you make a virgin Moscow Mule? It’s really pretty simple. You just need to find the alternatives to the alcoholic items that won’t drastically affect the flavor. You can use a variety of alternatives to make this happen. From the ginger beer to the spirits, you’ve got options!
In this guide, we will walk you through how to make a virgin Moscow Mule. We’ll let you know just how the flavors compare, the substitutes you can use, and cover a full recipe so you can make your own. We’ve got plenty of tips to share here!
Stick with us to learn how to make a virgin Moscow mule and more.
Virgin Moscow Mule Recipe
Let’s start with the how-to. After all, our guess is that you are here to get a reliable recipe. What you will find is that there are quite a few different substitutes for ingredients out there.
What you use might very well depend on what you can find near you or online to make your drink.
A virgin Moscow Mule is very similar to a regular one. Obviously, there are some slight variations but for the most part, you shouldn’t really notice a significant difference when you compare them.
These ingredients used are all non-alcoholic. Here are the ingredients that you need:
- Non-alcoholic ginger beer
- Club soda
- Fresh mint
- Non-alcoholic bitters (optional)
- Sweetener (optional)
Now, the tricky part is actually making your Moscow Mule. We hope you’re ready for these instructions. Read them VERY CAREFULLY!
Ok—so mixing the Moscow Mule is actually not hard at all. In fact, literally all that you have to do is mix your ingredients together! Here’s a quick overview of the official recipe with the amounts for each ingredient:
- Prepare your copper mug with some ice.
- Add all of the ingredients except for the mint leaves to the cup. We recommend this order: 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice, 4 ounces of ginger beer (about 1 cup), and a splash of red bitters (optional). Add club soda to fill the cup.
- Mix all ingredients together well.
- Add a lime wedge and some mint leaves for garnishment. You can mix in a mint leaf for flavor but it’s not required.
That’s it! It’s super simple! This is a single serving so you can make one cup at a time like this.
Now, let’s talk quickly about some of the ingredients here.
Ginger beer is commonly non-alcoholic but not always. You will want to look specifically for one with no alcohol. This can be deceiving since it’s called ginger beer but the majority of them are alcohol-free.
Ginger beer is better than just using ginger ale here.
This is because ginger beer has a little bit of a bite to it, which is a quality that attracts most people to the Moscow Mule. If you use just ginger ale, you will feel like it’s missing something.
One of the most popular options out there for ginger beer is Fever-Tree. You can certainly find other options but people like this one because they have a light version that has significantly less sugar.
It also has no artificial flavor or sweetening so it’s just a healthier choice overall.
1. Fever-Tree Light Ginger Beer
Fever-Tree ginger beer has absolutely no alcohol in it. They do have an original or a light option.
The difference is how many calories and sugar are in them.
Both are made with no artificial ingredients or sweeteners. This will help you get that crisp bite of ginger in the drink!
2. Red Bitters
Bitters are completely optional but are just another way to add that little bit of a bite.
Moscow Mules can be made with or without bitters in them.
If you like bitters, check out this non-alcoholic option. It’s made in Italy and has really great aroma and flavor.
Alcoholic Vs. Non-Alcoholic Moscow Mule
The biggest difference between an alcoholic and a non-alcoholic Moscow Mule is that one has vodka and the other doesn’t. The foundations of the drink are still the same when you compare the two drinks.
A regular Moscow Mule will use vodka, ginger beer, and lime. The mint that you see in them is always just a garnish and not an actual ingredient in the drink.
A virgin Moscow Mule will use ginger beer and then use club soda or even sparkling water instead of vodka. It also has lime juice.
Both alcoholic and virgin Moscow Mules can contain bitters. Obviously, the virgin model needs to be made with non-alcoholic bitters, which are pretty easy to find.
This addition completely depends on your tastes. It adds a tiny bit of a spice above the ginger.
You will find that there are recipes that just use ginger ale instead of ginger beer. You can do this if you want to but we want to warn you that this is where you will notice a difference in the flavor.
Ginger beer just has that little extra kick to it when compared to ginger ale and will have a noteworthy flavor difference.
If you stick to ginger beer, you most likely won’t notice a difference in the flavors. Also, if you are concerned about missing the vodka in the flavor, you can always opt to use a non-alcoholic spirit to replace the vodka. It’s totally up to you!
Is A Copper Mug Required?
Technically, a copper mug is not required but it certainly is part of the traditional way to serve a Moscow Mule.
If you’re looking for the best possible non-alcoholic substitution, you better go ahead and make sure you add the garnish of mint and lime, as well as put it all in a copper mug!
Some people would tell you that the copper mug actually affects the flavor but there really isn’t much science that tells us whether or not that is true.
However, the copper mug has been the traditional way to enjoy a Moscow Mule for a lot of years so why change that aspect?
If you don’t have a copper mug available to you, the good news is that you will still thoroughly enjoy your virgin Moscow Mule in a traditional drinking glass. It’s the flavor that counts, right?
We hope that you find this guide to making your own virgin Moscow Mule to be a helpful resource.
There is certainly a little bit of an art to making these drinks and getting the flavor just right but it’s overall a pretty simple drink to make with or without alcohol.
Will I miss the vodka in a virgin Moscow Mule?
Probably not. The flavor doesn’t come from the vodka. However, if you are worried about missing the vodka, you could always get a non-alcohol alternative to vodka. There are quite a few brands out there that make non-alcoholic spirits.
Ritual Zero Proof is just one popular brand. They don’t have a vodka option but they do have many other choices. You could also try options like Wilderton, Strykk, Seedlip, or Monday.
When should I add bitters?
People that use bitters in a Moscow Mule usually add it because it helps to tone down the sweetness of the drink.
Moscow Mules are known to be fairly sweet so adding some bitters just levels that out a little bit so you can enjoy the bite of ginger without heavy sweetness in the drink. It’s totally up to your flavor preferences.