My friend Whit is one of those folks with seemingly effortless style. She loves to entertain and will often do so at the drop of a dime creating a space that looks like it would have taken days to prep but “it’s nothing really.” Did I mention she’s Southern? That explains the “it’s nothing really.” We Southern women will run around for 14 days planning something and then shrug our shoulders and say, “oh, this . . .” But I digress. She recently threw a fantastic little party she dubbed the Tiny Little Cocktail Party. Tiny because there were only 4 guests invited and the party focused on 1 thing: a perfect summer cocktail, the Moscow Mule.
From Wikipedia, which of course means it must be true: “A Moscow mule is a buck or mule cocktail made with vodka, ginger beer, and lime served in a copper mug. It became popular during the vodka craze in the United States during the 1950s. The name refers to the popular perception of vodka as a Russian product.” With Austin’s Deep Eddy Vodka, a gift from a friend who lives there and who also gifted Whit those lovely copper mugs, an appetizer or two provided by each of us and some Avett Brothers in the background a good time was had by all. Throw your own Tiny Little Cocktail Party with the recipe below. Very little planning, very little prep, very big fun! Just put the ingredients out and let folks loose to make their own.
* As an homage to my hometown, Durham, I made a variation featuring Fullsteam’s Cackalacky Beer which I call Mule Durham. Recipe follows the traditional one.
The Moscow Mule
2 oz. vodka
4-6 oz. ginger beer
mint sprigs, lime wedges for garnish
Squeeze the lime half into the mug and then drop it in. Add 2 or 3 large ice cubes, then pour in the vodka. Add 4 oz. of ginger beer and give a gentle stir. If it’s too strong continue adding ginger beer up to 6 oz. Garnish the drink with a sprig of mint floating on top and a lime wedge on the rim. Repeat, repeat and repeat. You can make them by the pitcher but for some folks it will be too strong, others to weak so I find one at a time is the way to go.
An entertaining tip I’ve learned from Whit, white tablecloths are a must. They don’t have to be fancy but they do have to be white. Tables need clothes.
4 mint leaves plus 2 for garnish
1/2 lemon, squeezed then dropped into the glass
2 oz. vodka
2-3 ice cubes
1 tsp. honey, I microwave the container to make it more stirrable
4-6 oz. Fullsteam Cackalacky
Put mint into the bottom of a Mason jar or other mixing vessel. Using a spoon, bruise the leaves by aggressively stirring them against the bottom of the glass. Add the lemon and honey, stir. Add the vodka, ice cubes and 4-6 oz of Fullsteam Cackalacky, to taste. Stir gently and pour into your serving glass, garnishing with a lemon wedge and mint.