Though there is really only one true way to make a Moscow Mule, the core ingredient of ginger beer allows for a huge amount of variation in the finished cocktail.
With the increasing popularity of the Moscow Mule across America, a slew of new brands have come to market, giving you more options than ever when it comes to put a distinctive spin on your creations. Featuring everything from the downright spicy, to the delightfully sweet, here are some of our favorite picks for the best ginger beers out there right now.
1. Bundaberg Ginger Beer: The Aussie original, this brand has become more and more ubiquitous in recent years as the go-to option in most bars when you order a Moscow Mule. Made with cane sugar and Australian ginger, Bundaberg can attribute much of its popularity to the fact that its taste is extremely balance. It’s sweet, but not overly so, and it has the pepperiness of ginger without really being ‘spicy’ per-se. A great entry point for someone looking to try their first ginger beer.
2. Reed’s Ginger Beer: A ‘craft’ soda before there was even a name for it, Reed’s Ginger Beer uses fresh whole ginger root and takes its inspiration from a recipe dating back to the 1780’s. Sweetened with a combination of cane sugar, honey, and pineapple juice, this brew doesn’t feel overly sweetened, especially not with 17 grams of ginger root in each bottle creating a deep, spicy flavor. If their original recipe isn’t to your taste, they even have Reed’s Extra Ginger Beer, and Reed’s Stronger Ginger Beer, each with a respectively larger ginger kick.
3. Q Ginger Beer: This is an interesting option because they advertise it purely as a mixer. This isn’t a ginger beer that’s meant to be sipped solo on a hot day. It is not very sweet, much more spicy, and carbonated to a level that you might call ‘fiery’ on the tongue. It’s the perfect option for a Moscow Mule specifically for these reasons. It’s effervescence brings life to whatever vodka you use as a base, and makes the lime flavor really pop.
4. Fever Tree Ginger Beer: By brewing a blend of three gingers from Nigeria, Cochin and the Ivory Coast, Fever Tree have created an award winning ginger beer that has been highly acclaimed by gastronomes and critics alike. Not too sweet on the palate and with a deep long lasting ginger character. Perfect in a Dark & Stormy, Moscow Mule or simply as a soft drink on its own.
5. Buderim Ginger Brew: Another Australian entrant, Buderim Ginger Beer features a relative balance of sweetness and spiciness. Using only Australian sugar cane and ginger, this offering skews more towards being a ’boutique’ offering, namely: high quality ingredients with an enjoyable result. It’s not going to blow your palate away with flavor, but that’s exactly the point. It’s extremely drinkable/mixable.