Bartenders Tell Us Which Vodkas To Pour On National Moscow Mule Day


No masterwork in history has quite summed up the importance of the end of the work week like Loverboy’s “Working For The Weekend.” The stresses of our 9-5 jobs fade away the second the time comes to head home on Fridays. Weekends are designed as a respite from the anxiety and fatigue of the week — it’s time to unwind with a glass of wine, a frosty beer, or a delicious cocktail.

The only thing that could make the weekend better is a food and drink-related holiday. This Sunday (March 3) is National Moscow Mule Day. To celebrate, we asked some of our favorite bartenders to tell us their favorite vodkas to add to the famed combination of ginger beer and lime.

Wheatley Vodka

Melinda Cooper at Brasserie by Niche in St. Louis

“Lately I’ve been working with Wheatley Vodka from Buffalo Trace Distillery. It’s crisp, bright qualities are enough character to make the other components pop, without overpowering the lime and ginger beer in the cocktail.”

Hangar 1 Vodka

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Jesse Cyr, bartender at The Fog Room in Seattle

“My favorite vodka for just about any vodka-based drink is Hangar 1. It’s big and decadent with a highly viscous mouthfeel and a recognizable flavor profile – something that’s not always the case with vodka. The pro move is to skip the copper mug and mix your mule in a long, slender highball glass over crystal clear ice using a really high-quality ginger beer like Q that’s made with real ginger, chili pepper for an extra kick, and has tons of bubbles.”

Absolut Elyx Vodka

Daniel Condliffe, bartender at JSix in San Diego

“What’s my favorite vodka to add to a Moscow Mule? Absolut Elyx. This single estate vodka is perfect on its own or mixed together with ginger beer and lime.”

St. George Green Chile Vodka

Casey Lyons, bartender at Pacific Hideaway in Huntington Beach, California

“I love the St George Green Chile Vodka. Adds a fruity spice that plays well with most ginger beers. Do yourself a favor- muddle a couple of jalapeño slices in the bottom of your favorite copper mug — you’ll thank me later.”

Kalak Vodka

Meredith Barry, beverage manager at Grand Tavern by David Burke in St. Louis

“What’s my favorite vodka to add to a Moscow Mule? Kalak Vodka. It’s an Irish Single Malt Vodka. Great texture, beautiful dark chocolate notes that play fantastically with bright spicy ginger.”

Tito’s Vodka

Nikki McCutcheon, Beverage Director at Moxy Times Square Hotel in New York City

“What’s my favorite vodka to add to a Moscow Mule? I use Titos. It’s always stocked at my home bar and great for cocktails.”

Caskwerks Vodka

Kevin Ferguson, beverage manager at Wrigley Mansion in Phoenix, Arizona

“What’s my go-to vodka for a Moscow Mule? Caskwerks Vodka is made from wheat is delicious and makes for a good mule mixer. And Caskwerks is in Tempe, just 20 minutes’ drive from us.”

J. Rieger & Co Midwestern Premium Vodka

Brock Schulte, bar director at The Monarch in Kansas City

“What’s my favorite vodka to add to a Moscow Mule? J. Rieger & Co Midwestern Premium Vodka. It’s smooth, local, and the perfect addition to a Moscow Mule.”

Reyka Vodka

Sam Vause, general manager at Brim House in Toledo, Ohio

“To build a great Moscow Mule you really want to seek out a vodka that has a well-balanced flavor profile. If you use a vodka that’s too “clean” you’ll feel like you’re just drinking ginger beer with a lime wheel in it. Reyka, a small batch Vodka that’s handcrafted in Iceland, is what I’ll reach for every time behind the bar at Brim House. Distilled from Wheat and Barley then filtered through Icelandic lava rocks, this vodka has a ton of character.”