This cranberry moscow mule recipe puts a fun twist on the classic drink. Flavored with cranberry juice and lime and finished off with spicy ginger beer, this is the perfect cocktail for the holiday season.
This post was originally published in December 2020 and has been updated for content.
I will never get tired of festive drinks during the holidays. All of the flavors and smells of the holiday season is one of my favorite things about that time of year.
This cranberry moscow mule is perfect for holiday gatherings. It's one of my favorite cocktails to get me in the Christmas spirit and is the perfect thing to sip, while you sit around the Christmas tree.
🍹 Ingredient notes
- Vodka - Vodka is the alcohol used for a traditional moscow mule cocktail. For a non-alcoholic version of this cranberry mule, replace the vodka with extra cranberry juice.
- Ginger Beer - Despite the name, this is not actually beer, but a non-alcoholic fizzy drink. It is a key ingredient in the classic cocktail that adds that signature gingery flavor. It can usually be found in the soda or mixer aisle at your local grocery store, however ginger ale may also be used as a substitute. It will make a sweeter cocktail, but will still have that great ginger flavor.
📋 Substitutions and variations
- For a crowd - Serve this easy recipe for a party by mixing a 750 ml bottle of vodka with 3 cups unsweetened cranberry juice and ¾ cup fresh lime juice in a punch bowl or beverage pitcher. Top with ginger beer and garnish with fresh whole cranberries and lime wheels. This festive punch will serve approximately 12 guests.
- Alcohol - Swap out the vodka in this delicious cocktail for rum or bourbon for a different variation.
🍸 Step by step instructions
First, fill cocktail glass or traditional moscow mule mug with ice half way. Next, pour in the vodka, along with the fresh lime juice, and pure cranberry juice.
Lastly, top the cranberry juice cocktail with ginger beer and stir gently to combine. Garnish with fresh berries, a lime wheel or lime wedge, if desired!
If you ever don't recognize a tool or skill that I mention, be sure to look it up in the Glossary of Cooking Terms and Definitions for more information.
⭐ Expert tips
- Make sure to add the ginger beer to the cranberry cocktail last, to prevent it from fizzing up when the other ingredients are added.
- For best results, stir the drink only gently so that it doesn't fizz up and spill out of the cocktail glasses.
- If making this cranberry moscow mule recipe as a punch for holiday parties, freeze fresh cranberries and lime slices to serve as "ice cubes" in it.
💭 Frequently asked questions
A classic moscow mule cocktail is traditionally served in a cold copper mug. Copper is an excellent temperature conductor and so putting the ice cold drink in the copper mug helps to keep it colder for longer. Put your mugs into the freezer before hand so when you are ready to serve, you have a frosty copper mug to keep your drink extra cold!
It's said that a moscow mule gets its name because of America's association with vodka and Russia. The mule part comes in because the flavor of the ginger beer gives the drink a kick.
⏲️ Make ahead instructions
The vodka and juices for this cranberry moscow mule recipe can be mixed up to 24 hours ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. This is helpful for a party or when serving a crowd so you aren't making fresh cocktails constantly. At serving time, pour over ice and top with ginger beer!
🍸 More holiday cocktails recipes
If you loved this festive cranberry moscow mule recipe, check out these other holiday cocktails that I know you will love too!
Cranberry Moscow Mule Recipe
- ice cubes
- 2 ounces vodka
- 2 ounces cranberry juice
- ½ ounce lime juice
- 4 ounces ginger beer
- fresh whole cranberries for garnish (optional)
- lime wheels for garnish (optional)
- Fill a glass or moscow mule mug halfway with ice.
- Pour vodka, cranberry juice, and lime juice over the ice.
- Top off with ginger beer and stir gently to combine.
- Garnish with fresh whole cranberries and lime wheels.
- Add the ginger beer last and stir the drink gently so that the drink doesn't fizz up.
- When making this drink as a punch for a crowd, freeze fresh cranberries and lime slices to serve as "ice cubes".
Substitutions and Variations
- For a crowd - Mix a 750 ml bottle of vodka with 3 cups of cranberry juice and ¾ cup of lime juice in a punch bowl or beverage pitcher. Top with ginger beer and garnish with fresh whole cranberries and lime wheels. Serves approximately 12.
- Ginger Beer - Ginger ale may be used and will make the cocktail a bit sweeter and less "spicy".
- Alcohol - Swap out the vodka for rum or bourbon.
- Mocktail - Replace the vodka with extra cranberry juice.