Cucumber adds a cool, refreshing twist to a fizzy summer beverage in this simple Moscow mule recipe. Much like the classic variation, this cucumber mule cocktail has a bright, crisp flavor with a gingery kick, making it a perfect easy-drinking option for warm weather and a true crowd pleaser!
If your ideal summer day involves lounging in the sun and sipping on an ice-cold cocktail, this fresh cucumber mule recipe definitely needs to be added to your regular rotation. It’s relatively simple to make - you won’t even need a cocktail shaker! - and sits right in that sweet spot of being neither too sugary nor too strong. Like, margaritas, mojitos and other quintessential summer cocktails, it has a fresh, pleasantly tangy, and well-balanced flavor, but its distinctly spicy ginger heat makes it great for cooler months as well.
If you’re already familiar with the basics of a Moscow mule, you can skip straight down to the ingredients section below to gather what you’ll need. But in the event that this cocktail is new to you, allow me to give you a short introduction!
What’s in a Moscow Mule?
A mule is categorized as a buck cocktail, which includes a number of drinks made from a combination of liquor, ginger beer (or ale), and citrus juice. Similarly, the classic Moscow mule ingredients are nothing more than vodka, ginger beer, and fresh lime juice.
The difference between a Moscow mule and any other variety of mule is simply the liquor being used - while Moscow mules are always made with vodka, mules can also be made with whiskey, rum, etc. And while mules are traditionally served in copper mugs, that's certainly not a requirement! A double rocks glass or highball glass will work just fine.
Ingredients for a Cucumber Mule
This classic recipe begins with the staple ingredients mentioned above and adds just two others - simple syrup (for a touch more sweetness) and fresh cucumbers. Here’s a quick look, with some helpful details below:
- Cucumbers: I used what’s typically called a “garden cucumber” or “slicing cucumber”, which is the long, smooth-skinned cucumber with dark green skin that you can find in most grocery stores. One large cucumber should give you enough cucumber juice for about 3 cocktails.
- Limes: I always recommend using fresh ingredients when making cocktails, and that includes citrus. Bottled lime juice never has the same flavor, and when it comes to recipes with just a few ingredients, quality makes a huge difference!
- Vodka: In true Moscow mule style, we’ll make this cucumber mule with vodka, since it’s neutral flavor is mellow enough to let the cucumber shine through. For the best results, use a quality vodka; I usually opt for Prairie or Grey Goose. You can also use cucumber-infused vodka for added flavor.
- Simple syrup: You can buy this nearly anywhere that sells liquor, but it’s easy and inexpensive to make simple syrup at home. All you need is sugar and water!
- Ginger beer: No two varieties of ginger beer are the same, so I recommend experimenting with brands until you find one you love; while I prefer a spicy ginger beer, some tend to be sweeter and more mild. Although I used Bundaberg ginger beer in these photos, my favorite brand is Fever Tree. Keep in mind that ginger beer is not the same thing as ginger ale, which is sweeter and has less heat.
How to Make a Cucumber Mule
Making a Moscow mule with cucumber is nearly identical to the process of making a classic mule. There’s only one extra step required to juice the cucumber. For this recipe, you’ll need a mule mug or other cocktail glass, a jigger (or a similar tool to measure your ingredients), a spoon, a piece of cheesecloth, and a grater with large holes.
Start by peeling your cucumber. Grate the flesh and transfer it to the cheesecloth. Wrap the cheesecloth around the grated cucumber to make a small pouch, and squeeze the cucumber juice into a small glass (or any vessel with a pour spout).
In your serving glass of choice, combine 1 ½ ounces of cucumber juice with vodka, lime juice, and simple syrup. Add ice and give it a little stir.
Top your cocktail off with about 4 ounces of ginger beer (or to taste), stir again briefly, and enjoy! You can also add cucumber slices or a lime wedge as a garnish.
Tips for Perfecting this Cocktail
- Pre-chill your vodka and ginger beer. Starting with cold ingredients will keep the ice colder longer, preventing your drink from getting watered down as quickly.
- Copper mugs - while not required - will also do a great job of keeping your cucumber Moscow mule colder longer.
- If you don’t want to bother with making fresh cucumber juice, try muddling 3-4 slices of cucumber directly into your serving glass instead. Or, keep things really simple and make this Moscow mule recipe with cucumber vodka! The latter would be a great option if you want to make a larger batch for multiple cocktails.
- For an added twist, try muddling fresh basil or mint leaves into your drink; both of these herbs tend to pair well with cucumber cocktails.
- To turn this into a cucumber mule mocktail, substitute the vodka with club soda.
This cucumber Moscow mule recipe is light, crisp, and refreshing, with a kick of warmth thanks to spicy ginger beer. Although it's perfect for summer, its complex flavors make it a great option for cooler seasons as well!
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 1 cocktail 1x
- Category: beverages
- Method: stir
- 1 ½ ounces fresh cucumber juice (see recipe for details)
- 2 ½ ounces vodka
- ¾ ounce freshly-squeezed lime juice
- ¼ ounce simple syrup
- 3-4 ounces ginger beer, to taste
- sliced cucumber and/or lime wedge, for garnish
- Peel skin from cucumber and grate flesh using a large-hole grater. Transfer to a piece of cheesecloth and squeeze cucumber juice through cheesecloth into a small glass or container.
- Combine 1 ½ ounces of cucumber juice with vodka, lime juice, and simple syrup in a Moscow mule mug or double rocks glass. Add ice and stir.
- Top off with 3-4 ounces ginger beer, to taste, and stir again briefly. Garnish with cucumber slices, a lime wedge, or even a mint sprig. Serve immediately.
- I typically make this drink with "garden" cucumbers or "slicing" cucumbers (the basic variety found in most grocery stores). One large cucumber should make enough cucumber juice for about 3 cocktails.
- Cucumber flavored vodka can be used to amplify the flavors in this cocktail, or in place of the cucumber juice for a simplified recipe.
- To make this as a non-alcoholic drink, substitute the vodka for club soda.
Keywords: cucumber mule, moscow mule cucumber, moscow mule with cucumber, cucumber moscow mule, cucumber vodka cocktail