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Derby Mule: A Moscow Copper Co. Whiskey Mule Recipe

Derby Mule: A Moscow Copper Co. Whiskey Mule Recipe

This Creative Whiskey Mule Recipe Combines a Classic Moscow Mule with a Refreshing Mint Julep

Love Moscow mules? Love whiskey? Well, you're in for a treat. We'd like you to meet the Whiskey mule.

Sometimes called a "Kentucky mule," this drink adds the smokiness of your favorite whiskey to the bright, bracing flavors of a classic mule. We're sharing one of our favorite takes on this cocktail for you to try for yourself.

What makes a good Moscow mule with whiskey?

While you could just make a Moscow mule with whiskey, a few smart ingredient swaps help transform your drink into something sublime. In fact, we feature a dozen different versions of a whiskey mule recipe in our signature recipe book, Mulehead: 75 Unique Variations of the Classic. Dubbed "the holy grail for Moscow Mule lovers," this collection of cocktail recipes has inspired recipes from cocktail artists all over the country.

We're excited to share one of our favorites with you today! Taken straight from Mulehead, this inventive whiskey mule is perfect for a derby party, hot summer day, or to take advantage of your favorite bottle of whiskey.

Derby Mule: A Moscow Copper Co. Whiskey Mule Recipe

Mixologist James Cleland created his take on a Kentucky mule, dubbed the "Derby Mule," as a “midway point between a light, easy-drinking Moscow Mule and a strong but still refreshing Mint Julep."

Cleland's version does more than just swap out the liquor. His creation makes a couple of smart adjustments to bring all of the ingredients together for a whiskey mule that's beautifully balanced.


Derby Mule Recipe

Created by James Cleland, excerpted from Mulehead: 75 Unique Variations of the Classic.


  • 2 ounces Bulleit Bourbon
  • ¾ ounce lemon juice
  • ¾ ounce cinnamon syrup
  • 1 dash Bittermens ‘Elemakule Tiki Bitters
  • 4-6 mint leaves
  • Maine Root Ginger Brew
  • Fresh mint, for garnish


Combine the bourbon, lemon juice, cinnamon syrup, bitters and mint leaves in a shaker. Add ice and shake. Strain over crushed ice in a mule mug. Fill with the ginger beer and garnish with fresh mint.


Combining two summer favorites in one, this marriage of the Mint Julep and Moscow Mule is a Kentucky Derby special.


Why We Love This Whiskey Mule

To marry these two iconic cocktails, Cleland combines the signature ginger flavor of a Moscow Mule with refreshing mint. Lemon juice and cinnamon-flavored simple syrup help marry the brightness and depth of the drink; in a pinch, you could swap for freshly squeezed lime juice and simple syrup instead.

Speaking of substitutions: While the tiki bitters could be swapped for angostura bitters, it's definitely worth the trouble to hunt down a bottle of Elemakule if you can. Tiki bitters beautifully harmonize the flavors of this spin on a Kentucky mule.

Quick and Easy Whiskey Mule Recipe

Want a quick and easy alternative? You can whip up a whiskey mule in no time flat with a couple of smart ingredient choices. This easy Whiskey mule recipe is a whiskey-based spin on our perfect Moscow mule recipe.

We stock w&p Craft Moscow Mule Cocktail Syrup, which makes it a snap to mix up Moscow mule variations with whatever liquor you have on hand. Just mix half an ounce of this ready-to-go syrup with one-and-a-half ounces of your favorite whiskey, plus three ounces of seltzer. Stir together in a copper mug with crushed ice and enjoy!

The syrup contains lime juice right in the bottle. But if you've got a lime at the ready, you can't go amiss with a lime wedge for garnish and aroma, too.

Craft this drink in the perfect container. 

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