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Clementine Moscow Mules Cocktail Recipe

Clementine Moscow Mules are a perfect cocktail for these strange times. Read on to find out why.Clementine Moscow Mule Cocktail Recipe | Umami Girl(This post contains affiliate links.)

So…we’ve been thinking about Moscow more than usual, haven’t we. How’s that for a post-election icebreaker? And I’m willing to bet that some of us have been “enjoying” cocktails sliiiiightly more frequently than usual, too. I won’t lie — the idea to put Moscow Mules on the blog originated not from a sense of political activism but from a trip to Target where I spotted and promptly acquired these inexpensive and lovely copper mugs. (It’s a new America for sure, but it’s still America, so…Target. And speaking of shopping for copper mugs, I also really like these.) But the more I learned about the Mule, the more I realized it’s an appropriate cocktail for these strange times. Not just because it’s easy to make and super-delicious (though it is), and not, perhaps, for exactly the reasons you think.

Clementine Moscow Mule Cocktail Recipe | Umami Girl

I learned from this New York Times article and an Esquire piece that was too annoyingly self-satisfied to link to, that despite its current popularity, the Moscow Mule has been much-maligned by bartenders since it was introduced in the early 1940s. The disdain seems to originate from two places, first one being, in so many words, that it’s a drink ordered by basic bitches. Second one, which is actually interesting enough to talk about for a moment, is that the drink’s origins have nothing to do with Moscow or with mules and everything to do with the vodka industry’s uphill battle to get Americans to drink vodka cocktails in the 1940s. Can we just pause for a moment to imagine an America were vodka drinking *wasn’t* the province of basic Bs? There’s some kind of irony there to be sure, or a lesson even, but I’m too tired to tease it out. Also, I like vodka.

Clementine Moscow Mule Cocktail Recipe | Umami Girl

The drink’s surge in popularity in the last decade is also due to purposeful and heavy promotion by vodka companies. So it’s kind of a story of raw greed and misleading titles and manipulating the public into liking something that’s actually quite different from what they think it is.

I don’t know…something makes this story feel relevant right now.

Also. Apropos of nothing. I made it orange.

Clementine Moscow Mule Cocktail Recipe | Umami Girl

Clementine juice is a legitimately delicious addition to the Moscow Mule, and one that makes the drink seem more seasonally appropriate as we head into Thanksgiving and the winter holiday season.

That’s all I have to say about that, and I think we can all agree that it’s plenty, if not more than enough.

Talk to you soon.

Carolyn xx

Clementine Moscow Mules Recipe


  • Juice of 1 clementine
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka
  • 4 ounces ginger beer


  • In a cocktail shaker filled halfway with ice, shake clementine juice, lime juice and vodka until ice cold. Strain into a glass (preferably a copper mug) filled about 2/3 full with ice. Top with 4 ounces ginger beer and serve, garnished with clementine or lime if you like. (I like to give it a quick stir before garnishing, though I'm sure that's illegal somehow.)
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    Hi there, I'm Carolyn, and I'm delighted you're here. I'm a NYC-area food, travel, yoga, coffee, wine, running, music making and book obsessive with a great family and a love for sharing it all with you. Grab a drink and come on in. Learn more.

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