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Fresh Citrus Summer Mule Cocktail Recipe

When the weather warms up, I start craving sparkling citrusy cocktails! Ok, who am I kidding. I crave cocktails even when it's pouring rain! This Fresh Citrus Summer Mule Cocktail Recipe has fresh orange juice, lime juice, vodka and is topped off with ginger beer. It's guaranteed to bring out the sunshine, even if you make it in the dead of winter.

Citrus Summer Mule in a glass with ice and a blood orange slice

But since Summer is only a couple of days away, let's chat all things Summer! There's something about an ice-cold cocktail, the smell of BBQ in the air, and a favorite playlist that screams Summer has arrived. And this fun twist on a classic Moscow mule recipe is literally Summer in a glass!  

A traditional Moscow mule recipe has 3 simple ingredients -- fresh lime juice, vodka, and ginger beer.  Because of these 3 simple ingredients, it's an incredibly easy cocktail recipe to make.  It's also an easy recipe to tweak.....and you know how much I love to shake things up a bit.  

For this recipe, you'll be adding fresh orange juice. And yes, I said fresh. You'll need to break out your juicer and squeeze some oranges.  Trust me it's so worth it!  

You can use any type of orange depending on the season.  Summer is the time of year when you'll start seeing more varieties of oranges, so you'll have loads to choose from.  

Here are a few of my favorites:

Close up photo of a halved blood orange

Cara Cara oranges-- they are less acidic and more sweet than navel oranges and, bonus, are also seedless.  

Blood oranges - these have a floral taste compared to a navel orange, and are known for their vibrant color which makes for an absolutely gorgeous cocktail.  Fun fact -- their color comes from an antioxidant called anthocyanin.

Valencia oranges -- these originated in Valencia, Spain and are also on the sweeter side. They are a larger size and also produce more juice than regular oranges.

Fresh orange juice being poured into a pink glass on a cutting board with sliced oranges and limes.

Once you've picked you're orange, it's time to pick your vodka.  

Because there are only a few ingredients, it's important to use a really high-quality vodka.  I love using a local distillery or small batch, like Oola, but Tito's and Ketel One are also solid choices.  

Next is the ginger beer.  

Ginger beer being poured into a pink glass on a cutting board with sliced oranges

Because it's one of the main ingredients, it's important to use a really good ginger beer. I'm a huge fan of Fever-Tree ginger beer because it has a good punch of ginger flavor.  

If you're looking for a milder ginger beer I highly recommend Q Ginger beer.  It's lime forward flavor enhances the fresh lime juice in the cocktail.  I also love that Q ditches high fructose corn syrup and uses agave which is a much healthier sweetener option.  

If you really like a spicy ginger kick, then I'd recommend Reed's.  

Is ginger beer the same thing as ginger ale?

Ginger beer and ginger ale have 2 things in common: they are both non-alcoholic and both have a ginger flavor. Ginger ale has a much more delicate ginger flavor and is sweeter, while ginger beer has a stronger and spicier ginger flavor.  If you substitute ginger ale for ginger beer your cocktail will have a much different flavor profile. It will like the balance of spice and citrus, and be a lot sweeter.

If ginger beer is too strong for you, instead of substituting ginger ale, add some club soda to mellow out the spice.  Play around with different ratios and find one that tastes good to you!

How to make this citrus mule:

Ingredient shot for citrus summer mule with vodka, ginger beer, simple syrup, oranges and limes

I start by squeezing fresh orange juice and fresh lime juice.  Then I add ice to my glass and swirl it around to get the glass nice and cold.  Traditionally, this cocktail is served in copper mule mugs which keep the cocktail nice and chilled. If you don't have a copper mug, no worries!  Freeze your glasses beforehand or swirl a few ice cubes around in your glass before making the citrus mule.  

Once I have my juice and a cold glass, I add the juice to the glass with the gin, give a stir, then fill the glass with ice, and, lastly, fill it to the top with ginger beer and a splash of simple syrup.

Pink glass filled with ice on a cutting board with sliced oranges

Do you need a cocktail shaker?

Nope!  This cocktail can be made directly in your glass or copper mug, no shaker required.  

Can I make this a mocktail?

Yes!  This makes a DELICIOUS mocktail! Leave out the vodka and add lemonade or limeade for a refreshing and delicious mocktail.

Other ways to elevate this classic cocktail:

Use rosemary simple syrup. Heat equal parts water and granulated sugar in a pan on the stove with a sprig or two of fresh rosemary. Once the sugar completely dissolves, remove from heat and let cool. Discard rosemary sprigs and pour simple syrup into mason jar.

Use cold ginger beer -- this drink should be ice cold, so cold ginger beer is a great way to keep things nice and cool.  

Garnish with fresh mint or a sliced orange wheel

Use fresh lemon juice instead of fresh lime juice.  

​Now that temps are heating up, I can't wait for you to try this fresh citrus summer mule!! The citrusy flavor paired with the spice of ginger will make this your new favorite cocktail.  It's sure to make your happy hour this Summer even happier!

Citrus Summer Mule in a glass with ice and a blood orange slice
Angled view of citrus summer mule in a glass on mustard yellow cloth with blood orange slice

Fresh Citrus Summer Mule Cocktail Recipe

As soon as the weather warms up, I start craving sparkling light cocktails! Ok, who am I kidding.....I crave sparkling cocktails even when it's pouring rain! This Fresh Citrus Summer Mule Cocktail Recipe is guaranteed to bring out the sunshine, even if you make it in the dead of winter. 
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Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice (usually 1 -2 limes, depending on how juicy they are)
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed orange juice (or lemon juice)
  • 4 ounces vodka
  • a splash of simple syrup
  • Fever Tree Ginger Beer

Instructions

  • Thanks so much for stopping by! If you have any questions on how to make this cocktail, scroll up for some tasty tips. And if you still have questions, leave a comment below! Cheers!
  • In a copper mug, stemless wine glass or other short cocktail glass, add the orange juice and lime juice. Give it a quick stir.
  • Fill the glass with ice and add the vodka.
  • Fill glass with ginger beer.
  • Garnish with fresh mint or an orange slice

Simple Syrup

  • Heat 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a pot over medium-high heat.
  • Stir occasionally.
  • Once sugar is completely dissolved, remove from heat and let cool.
Have you made this recipe?I'd love to know! Leave a comment or recipe rating and tag me @amenuforyou on social media!

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