Try an apple cider mule for the autumn version of your favorite cocktail. Served in a copper mug, and festively garnished with a cinnamon stick and apple slice, it’s as beautiful as it is delicious.

An iced drink in a copper cup, garnished with apple, mint leaves, and a cinnamon stick

You won’t believe how perfect the marriage of apple cider, ginger beer, and vodka is. Sweet cinnamon wafts across your palate as you sip this apple Moscow mule, blending with fruity apple cider and spicy ginger beer. 

My mom had never experienced a Moscow mule, saying she didn’t care for ginger that much, but she was willing to give this cider mule a try. However, I was missing one essential ingredient, the ginger beer. I picked my daughter up from the bus stop and made a quick detour to the corner stop-and-shop, i.e. gas station convenience store, to buy ginger beer. After looking through every refrigerator case in the store multiple times, I asked the clerk, by this time thinking that my search was futile. Sure enough, he pointed me to the one place I hadn’t looked, an end cap right by the cash register. Yaay! Our testing session was a go!

The results? A totally delicious cocktail that both my mom and I love!

Overhead view of an apple cider mule served in a copper cup.

By the way, did you know that ginger beer is not alcoholic? It’s more like root beer than regular beer. When it originated in the 18th century, ginger beer was fermented ginger root, sugar, and water. Most ginger beer today (with a couple exceptions, including Crabbie’s) is basically a soft drink, with a more predominant ginger flavor than ginger ale. Try Fever-Tree ginger beer which has a blend of 3 different kinds of ginger.

Ginger beer, apple cider, vodka, and cinnamon just go so well together . This drink reminds me of my favorite dessert, apple crisp with ginger. I also love ginger cinnamon apple chips, which are a great go-along with an apple mule. If you’re looking for a mock cocktail (non-alcoholic), try a ginger-cinnamon apple cider mocktail

Apple cider moscow mule with nugget ice, garnished with apple, mint leaves, and a cinnamon stick.

About this apple mule:

How does this apple cider mule differ from a Moscow mule recipe? Two of the ingredients remain the same: vodka and ginger beer. I bet you can guess the the other ingredient: apple cider! It replaces the lime juice that you’d normally find in a Moscow mule.

Don’t have copper mugs? Copper mugs are pretty but definitely not essential, in fact, some experts caution that harmful copper can leach into the drink (you can purchase nickel or stainless steel lined mugs). Use a pretty glass, like a tall highball glass, or even a large stemmed glass. 

I hope you aren’t disillusioned if I tell you that Moscow mules aren’t from Moscow. The first Moscow mule was developed in Manhattan. No idea why they’re called Moscow mules. Maybe because there already was a cocktail called a Manhattan.

Two tall moscow mule cocktails in front of a bottle of vodka and ginger beer.

What’s in an apple cider mule?

  • Apple cider
  • Vodka
  • Ginger beer (please don’t substitute ginger ale!)
  • Lots of ice
  • Copper mug (if you like)
  • Apple slice and cinnamon stick for garnishes

Apple cider being poured into a copper cup.

How to make this Moscow mule your own:

  • Make a pitcher. Mix 4 cups apple cider, 2 bottles ginger beer, and 1 cup vodka in a pitcher. Pour into ice-filled glasses and garnish.
  • Substitute caramel vodka for traditional vodka in this recipe for a sweeter alternative.
  • A pinch of sea salt smooths out the alcohol taste of vodka.
  • Add a squeeze of lime juice with the cider if you like.
  • To intensify the apple flavor, boil the cider down until it’s reduced by half and syrupy. Cool and use that instead of plain apple cider.

Ginger beer being poured into a copper mug.

Storage and make-ahead tips

This drink is best made right before serving. It’s easy to make — 2 minutes! — and you don’t want the ginger beer to go flat. Make sure everything is chilled and you have plenty of fresh ice.

Apple cider moscow mule in a woman's hand.

Having a harvest party?

Serve apple cider mules, pomegranate mojitos, or cranberry margaritas and nosh on fall-themed apps. Try:

 

Two tall copper glasses garnished with mint, apple, and cinnamon sticks. Vodka and ginger beer in background.

An iced drink in a copper cup, garnished with apple, mint leaves, and a cinnamon stick

Apple Cider Mule (Fall Moscow Mule)

Yield: 1 cocktail
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes

Try an apple cider mule for the autumn version of your favorite cocktail. Served in a copper mug, and festively garnished with a cinnamon stick and apple slice.

Ingredients

  • Crushed Ice
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 3 ounces apple cider
  • 1 to 3 ounces ginger beer, depending on taste.
  • Apple slice, for garnish
  • Cinnamon stick, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Fill a copper mule mug all the way with crushed ice.
  2. Pour in vodka and apple cider.
  3. Top with ginger beer, between 1 and 3 ounces depending on taste and desired strength.
  4. Garnish with an apple slice and cinnamon stick and serve with a straw, if desired.

Notes

  • Make a pitcher. Mix 4 cups apple cider, 2 bottles ginger beer, and 1 cup vodka in a pitcher. Pour into ice-filled glasses and garnish.
  • Substitute caramel vodka for traditional vodka in this recipe for a sweeter alternative.
  • To intensify the apple flavor, boil the cider down until it’s reduced by half and syrupy. Cool  and use that instead of plain apple cider.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1 cocktail
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 316Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 13mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 5gSugar: 40gProtein: 1g

RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

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