Few cocktails are as approachable and easy-to-make as a Moscow mule: just add vodka, ginger beer, and lime. Most vodkas will do, but not every vodka is the best. We’ve rounded up some of the tastiest (and affordable) options for the next time you whip up these delicious cocktail at home. (But before you do, you may want to check out our guide to making Moscow mules and our top choices for ginger beer).
While Moscow mules aren’t actually from Russia, it’s fun to choose a Russian vodka as a star. Stolichnaya dates to the early 1900s and is made from wheat and rye. The Russians know their vodka, and Stoli is a full-bodied spirit with a subtle vanilla character with little burn.
Smirnoff is the brand that led to vodka’s takeover of whiskey as America’s most popular spirit in the mid-20th century. Today, Smirnoff is one of the most recognizable vodkas and a solid choice for use in any cocktail thanks to its clean, slightly mineral taste.
Made with potatoes in Poland, Luksusowa vodka adds a bit of creaminess to the body of a Moscow mule. Expect a little minerality in the palate, but Luksusowa is a generally superbly clean vodka and leaves little behind, letting the ginger beer take over.
When the Ballast Point Brewing founders sold their beer brand to Constellation for $1 billion, they managed to keep their distillery. Now Cutwater Spirits, they make an excellent line of spirits that includes Fugu vodka. Fugu is named after the potentially deadly sushi fish, which leaves a nice numbness to the lips when prepared properly — similar to a strong mule.
Made in Iceland from glacial water and energy from geothermal heat, Reyka has more herbal and earthy notes than many other vodkas. Pour in some Reyka for an icy addition to a Moscow mule.
Based in Hawaii, Ocean Vodka Organic Farm and Distillery is committed to keeping the world clean. Made with sugar cane and desalinated ocean water, this vodka is clean with little to no taste and a silky, neutral finish perfect for cocktails.
If you want a Moscow mule on steroids, check out the Mega Mule.