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Kentucky Mule Cocktail (Bourbon Moscow Mule)

The Kentucky Mule is a delicious twist on a traditional Moscow Mule cocktail. Kentucky bourbon, ginger beer, and fresh-squeezed lime juice make this an easy 3-ingredient bourbon cocktail.

1 kentucky mule in a grey glass

I’d like you to meet the Kentucky Mule – the Moscow Mule’s distinguished cousin with a Kentucky twist.

I’ve had a love affair with Kentucky for a while. It started with a trip to Louisville one summer, followed by 2 road trips/houseboat vacations on Lake Cumberland in southern Kentucky.

I even planned to move to Lexington a few years ago.

The first time I had a Moscow mule, I knew a simple spin on the main ingredients would create a delicious bourbon drink fit for any bourbon lover.

Over the years, I’ve made several variations of Moscow mule recipes. The Orange Italian Mule adds Fernet-Branca for a herby twist.

For St. Patrick’s Day, I made an Irish Mule, which uses Irish Whiskey.

If you’re looking for some Moscow mule variations that are a little sweeter, this Orange Moscow mule will hit the spot. Or my Blackberry Moscow mule, which uses jam!

But if you love bourbon like I do, this is the delicious cocktail for you.

bourbon being poured into a glass
lime juice being squeezed

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How to Make a Kentucky Mule

As far as classic cocktail recipes, mule recipes are one of the easiest.

The traditional Moscow Mule recipe only requires 3 simple ingredients – vodka, ginger beer, and fresh lime juice.

My Kentucky mule recipe switches out the vodka for bourbon whiskey.

Add ice to a copper mule mug, a highball glass, or a rocks glass.

Then, pour the bourbon over the ice, add the lime juice, and fill the glass with ginger beer.

Garnish with a lime wedge. And that’s it!

There is no need for a cocktail shaker or even a bar spoon. Just smooth bourbon, ginger beer, and lime juice.

ginger beer being poured into a Kentucky Mule
Kentucky Mule recipe in two glasses with all of the ingredients

Kentucky Mule Tips

These tips will help you make the perfect Kentucky Mule recipe:

  • Quality bourbon will bring this easy cocktail to the next level. The best bourbon is your favorite bourbon. My favorite is Bulleit bourbon, and I use it for all of my bourbon cocktails.
  • Other bourbon suggestions include Maker’s Mark, Woodford Reserve, Jim Beam, or Jack Daniels (then you can call it a Tennessee Mule.)
  • Use large ice cubes instead of traditionally sized ice cubes. The ice will keep the drink cold without diluting the flavor. I love this silicone ice cube tray.
  • Fresh lime juice is a must.
  • Highball or rocks glasses are an excellent substitute for expensive copper mule mugs.
  • Garnish! Use a sprig of mint, a lime wheel, or candied ginger for bonus points.
Kentucky mule in a glass being held

Bourbon Mule Recipe Variations

Ginger Beer: If you want an extra kick, a teaspoon of ginger syrup is a great choice. Ginger ale is okay in a pinch, but it has a weaker taste and smell and less spice than ginger beer.

Fresh Lime Juice: If you want to experiment with other flavors and create your own Kentucky mule, consider using a different citrus juice. Lemon juice or grapefruit juice would definitely make this a little different, with a completely different flavor profile. 

two kentucky mules

This bourbon mule is the perfect cocktail for a Kentucky Derby party or any special occasion.

When you combine bourbon, one of my favorite things, with ginger beer and lime juice, you create one of the easiest cocktails for any party.

Kentucky Mule Cocktail

Kentucky Mule Cocktail

Yield: 1 cocktail
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

The Kentucky Mule is a delicious twist on a traditional Moscow Mule cocktail. Kentucky bourbon, ginger beer, and fresh-squeezed lime juice make this an easy 3-ingredient bourbon cocktail.


  • 1.5 ounces of bourbon
  • juice of 1 lime
  • ginger beer


  1. Add ice to a copper mug or a rocks glass. Pour the bourbon over the ice, add the lime juice, and fill up the glass with ginger beer. Garnish with additional lime slices.


Garnish Ideas

  • mint sprig
  • lime wedges

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 194Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 26mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 0gSugar: 48gProtein: 0g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix on 1/22/2019

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Friday 28th of October 2022

I tried this recipe and it's really good. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to try the recipe.

Phoenix Cooks

Wednesday 23rd of December 2020

Looks yummy. I've tried to make this for my family, and my family really love it. I will introduce your recipe for my friends. Thank you so much. I love it.

brooklyn grill

Wednesday 16th of December 2020

Thank you for sharing. It looks so yummy.


Saturday 5th of December 2020

Wow, your recipe is so awesome. I have never known this recipe. Thanks for sharing. I will try to follow your recipe and I hope it looks delicious as your picture. I will share this recipe for my friends and my family. I think they love it too.

bistro sk

Friday 4th of December 2020

What an awesome dish!!!. Thank you for sharing. I love your recipe very much. I think your dish is very delicious. I will make this recipe for my family and my friend. I hope you have more recipe like this.

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