Y’all, we made it!
We made it past election season. We made it past Thanksgiving. We survived Black Friday!! Yes, Lort! Thank ya!!
My goodness, I felt like the end was near. My social media was annoying the piss out of me, my oven debacle was threatening to send me over the edge. A looming deployment is antagonizing me…and in all the chaos I was still expected to go out and co-exist with people who still don’t know how to operate their turn signals!! It was getting to be to much, friend. Too. Doggone. Much.
But, I persevered.
And created a new libation. Because that was the only way I could persevere without acquiring a rap sheet.
Like most of the drinks I’ve enjoyed in my lifetime, the Moscow Mule was introduced to me by a Soldier. His version was heavy on the lime juice and added a splash of 7-up and ruined me. I’m never happy with Moscow Mules in bars because they don’t taste like my inaugural cocktail, so when I spotted a brew called Cock and Bull, I swiped some determined to re-create my beloved drink. I mean, how can you resist a name like Cock and Bull when you’re dealing with people these days?
After reaching nirvana with my own version of the Mule, I set out to impart a little variety to the beverage. I decided the autumnal favorite “Pumpkin Spice” would be an interesting avenue to drunkingly bumble down. Not that I get drunk or anything…or that you get drunk. We’re definitely not those people.
Once you’ve learned the basic recipe for a libation, you have become the Puppet Master *insert evil laugh here*. You can alter and manipulate ingredients to create variations of the drink to suit seasons, themes and meals. My goal for this fall version was to enhance the prominent ginger flavor found in the Cock and Bull with the addition of the typical spices that make pumpkin spice so well-loved. I also needed to switch out the lime juice found in the original Mule, and while my first thought was apple cider and apple cider alone, I realized it would probably make it cloyingly sweet. The addition of cran-apple remedied that perfectly. A homemade cinnamon simple syrup and some high-quality vodka, and I was good to go.
Speaking of simple syrup (can you sense that see my eyes are rolling?): when it comes to simple syrup, I refuse…utterly and unequivocally refuse to purchase it pre-made. Guys, it’s sugar water!!! At the most flavored sugar water, but sugar water nonetheless. I first learned about the uses of simple syrup in my Classical Pastries class in culinary school. Simple syrups were flavored all sorts of ways to add moisture and essence to our cakes. Take equal parts of sugar and water (e.g. 1/2 cup water to 1/2 cup sugar) and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve. Like, literally, that’s it. You want flavor? Add a tbsp of vanilla, or orange extract, or lemon extract or boil the cinnamon stick in the water. For real. Don’t waste your money on that bottled stuff- instead, buy me an amazing Christmas gift!
So, with the approaching holiday season, I’m bound to create a winter version of this Mule- I totally just said, “Hold my mule!” in my head (jus’, jus’ google it), just because I know someone’s going to try me and I’m going to need a way to prevent receiving silver bracelets and a beautiful mugshot of myself for the holidays. When I do, I’ll be sure to let you know. In the meantime and in between time, I do hope your holiday season is merry and bright!
Before you go! Share with me. What is your favorite holiday drink? Mine would have to be my family’s secret recipe for coconut-rum “eggnog” or Coquito.
Pumpkin Spiced Moscow Mule
- 2 fluid oz high-quality vodka
- 1/4 cup cran-apple juice cocktail
- 3 fluid oz ginger beer
- 1 tbsp cinnamon simple syrup
- dash of nutmeg
- cinnamon stick garnish
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
Pour the vodka, cran-apple juice and simple syrup over ice and shake well.
Strain into a copper mule mug or a highball glass and top with ginger beer. Stir to mix.
Sprinkle the nutmeg over and garnish with a cinnamon stick.