Moscow mules in copper mugs

Spicy Moscow Mule: The Perfect Summer Drink

A classic Moscow mule packs a flavorful punch thanks to the fresh lime juice, mint leaves, and ginger beer that go into the drink’s telltale copper mug. But if you crave an even bolder Moscow mule to sip on during the summer (or anytime, really), pair the cocktail’s tangy and zesty flavors with muddled jalapeños for a spicy upgrade. It’s an easy way to add a kick of heat, similar to how you’d make a spicy margarita.

You can easily upgrade any version of the mule cocktail with muddled jalapeños, including Look’s easy Moscow mule, a creation of recipe developer Jaime Bachtell-Shelbert. Our recipe includes a homemade mint simple syrup, but you could swap that with a jalapeño-infused simple syrup to deepen the spicy flavors in your next cocktail. No matter the technique you choose, the flavor combination of ginger and jalapeño pairs well because the pepper’s spiciness melds with the mildly sweet and warm earthy notes of fresh ginger or bottled ginger beer.

Muddle jalapeños with fresh mint and limes to meld the flavors of a spicy Moscow mule

Jalapeños and knife on cutting board

If you want to keep it simple, just muddle the peppers and throw them into the cocktail. When you muddle jalapeños, it will crush them and release their natural juices and flavors — and, therefore, their spiciness. For every four Moscow mules, 1 sliced jalapeño is enough; of course, you can always kick it up to be on par with your spice tolerance. But to really create a more layered flavor profile in the boozy drink, muddle the jalapeño slices together with the limes and mint. Fresh ginger provides stronger and sweeter flavors for a double dose along with the ginger beer (which is quite different from ginger ale).

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Muddled jalapeños are a surefire way to add spice to a Moscow mule, but that’s not the only option when it comes to cocktails. Limes and jalapeños pair quite nicely with tequila, so you could make a version of the cocktail known as a Mexican mule, which uses tequila instead of vodka. You can even make homemade jalapeño-infused tequila to really step up your at-home cocktail game. Other ways to spice up your drink include making a flavorful cocktail rim and swapping the jalapeños with serrano peppers for even more of a kick. If things get a little too spicy, temper the heat with honey or a splash of either freshly-squeezed grapefruit or orange juice.

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