This homemade Kentucky Mule is our favorite cocktail to make at home featuring bourbon whiskey.
Our quick & easy Bourbon Mule recipe features quality bourbon distilled in Kentucky, fresh lime juice, fizzy ginger beer and a fresh mint sprig garnish.
If you’re looking for the perfect bourbon drink to serve at your next Kentucky Derby cocktail party, try this delicious Kentucky Mule!
It’s bubbly, bold, spicy and a whiskey-forward sipper perfect for your next celebration!
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What Is A Kentucky Mule Drink?
A Kentucky Mule is a bourbon-based American spin on the Moscow Mule, a classic cocktail popularized in the 1940’s that is made of vodka, lime, ginger beer and mint.
This Bourbon Mule recipe must use American whiskey produced on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail for the best results. It swaps out the vodka in a traditional Mule for quality bourbon whiskey made in Kentucky.
The bourbon cuts through the ginger more aggressively than vodka, resulting in a more flavourful drink. For the best results, try using a high-quality, spicy non-alcoholic Caribbean-style ginger beer that will stand up to the whiskey.
For obvious reasons, the Bourbon Mule is a popular drink to serve during the Kentucky Derby!
Love mules? Try more mule variations like this Moscow Mule with Gin, Irish Mule, and Mexican Mule.
Types of Whiskey
The wonderful world of whiskey can be confusing for newbies as there is a lot more variety compared to tequila and gin.
Whiskey is a type of distilled alcoholic beverage made from fermented grain mash or by distilling beer. Various grains are used for different varieties, including barley, corn, rye, and wheat. Whisky is typically aged in wooden casks, generally made of charred white oak.
The best way to familiarize yourself with whiskey and find a new favourite is by sipping as many varieties as you can. You’ll find single malt whiskies, blended whiskies, single pot still whiskey and and everything in between.
- Bourbon: An American whiskey, bourbon is made from corn. In fact, to be called bourbon whiskey, the spirit needs to be made from at least 51% corn, aged in a new oak barrel and produced in America. It has no minimum aging period and needs to be bottled at 80 proof or more. Popular Bourbon brands include Ezra Brooks, Wild Turkey, and Maker’s Mark. If you’re making a Kentucky Mule we suggest using Kentucky Bourbon’s like Evan Williams, Larceny, and Elijah Craig.
- Scotch: is made in Scotland with either malt or grain. The spirit must age in an oak barrel for at least three years. Many of the top Scotch bottles are revered for their peaty character. Popular Scotch brands include Johnnie Walker, Ballantine’s and Ardbeg.
- Irish Whiskey: has a smoother flavor than other types of whiskey. It’s made from a mash of malt, can only be distilled using water and caramel coloring, and must be distilled in wooden casks for at least three years. Popular Irish whiskey brands include Jamesons, Bushmills and Green Spot.
- Canadian Whisky: must be barrel-aged for at least three years. It’s lighter and smoother than other types of whiskey because it contains a high percentage of corn. You will find that most Canadian whiskies are made from corn and rye, but can also include wheat and barley. Popular Canadian whisky brands include Canadian Club, JP Wiser’s and Wayne Gretzky Estates.
Bourbon Mule Cocktail Recipe Ingredients
This homemade Kentucky Mule drink is made with premium ingredients:
- Bourbon: we tested this recipe with Kentucky Bourbon brands Evan Williams, Larceny, and Elijah Craig.
- Lime Juice: only use freshly-squeezed lime juice. You can taste the quality difference with store-bought concentrate!
- Ginger Beer: use a non-alcoholic Caribbean-style brand like Fever Tree Ginger Beer or Great Jamaican Ginger Beer Company.
- Garnish: with a fresh mint sprig and lime wheel.
Kentucky Mule Recipe Tips
This bold and bright Kentucky Mule cocktail is easy to make at home, ready to serve in under 5 minutes.
Our Bourbon Mule recipe serves one person. If you’re hosting a large gathering feel free to multiply the ingredients by the number of guests and muddle the drink in a festive punch bowl or jug rather than a cocktail shaker.
We love sharking up this recipe on hot summer days for cocktail hour, at gorgeous garden parties, and during the Kentucky Derby. We have a big mint bush growing in our backyard herb garden so tend to make this drink in the warmer months of the where we can pluck mint right into the glass.
Serve a Bourbon Mule with large cubes of ice in a traditional copper mug or old fashioned glass. The benefits of using a copper mug is that it turns ice cold, which gives a cool sensation on each sip. Perfect when you’re looking to quench your thirst on a hot day!
Best Bartender Tools & Cocktail Equipment
Before hosting a swanky Kentucky Mule cocktail soiree you’ll need to ensure you have the best bartender tools and cocktail equipment.
- Cocktail Kit: cocktail kits are the perfect gift for newbie mixology fans as they include basic bartender tools like a jigger, shaker and spoon.
- Cocktail Shaker: a bartender’s best friend. Purchase a premium cocktail shaker to muddle or shake up your favourite pink gin cocktails.
- Cocktail Glassware: make sure your bar is stocked with a selection of unique glassware to show off your favourite cocktail creations.
- Hawthorne Strainer: this unique strainer features tightly wound coils and perforated holes. It keeps ice and other large ingredients like lime wedges in your cocktail shaker rather than in the glass.
- Bar Spoons: slender and long bar spoons are a must-have when stirring drinks.
- Bottle Opener: easily open bottles of beer or cider with the flick of your wrist or purchase a corkscrew for fine wine.
- Pouring Spout: once you’ve opened a new bottle of gin insert these affordable pourers to make cocktail assembly a breeze.
- Cutting Board: purchase a petite cutting board for your bar to slice garnishes or citrus wedges like lime, orange, lemon or grapefruit.
- Ice Bucket: chill bottles of gin quickly in an ice bucket or keep by the bar when muddling gin mixers into cool creations.
- Ice Crusher: fans of the Mint Julep love an ice crusher.
- Ice Cube Kit: we suggest purchasing a selection of ice cube trays. Silicone styles are our favourite as they’re easy to clean and are available in various shapes and sizes.
- Jigger: use a jigger to accurately measure spirits, juices, syrups and shrubs.
- Juicer: invest in an electronic juicer or buy an affordable hand-held to easily juice fresh citrus like lemons and limes.
- Muddler: fans of the Mojito love a sturdy muddler to mix mint and lime. Muddler’s are handy for any cocktail featuring ingredients that need a pounding like fresh herbs or citrus wedges.
- Citrus Peeler & Zester: adorn your craft cocktails with a thick citrus peel or finer ribbons of lime or lemon zest.
- Rimmer: Bloody Mary and Caesar lovers should outfit their bar with a handy rimmer for salting and sugaring glassware.
You May Also Enjoy These Whiskey Cocktails…
- Peach Whiskey Sour Cocktail
- Irish Mule Ginger Beer Whiskey Cocktail
- Wheat Beer and Whiskey Cocktail
- Ginger Whiskey Pear Cocktail
- Hawaiian Whiskey Pineapple Sour Cocktail
- Iced Irish Coffee Cocktail
- Cherry Whiskey Sour Cocktail
- Blueberry Buck Whiskey Cocktail
- Fresh Berry Lemonade Summer Whiskey Cocktail
- Perfect Rob Roy Scotch Manhattan
- Scotch Sour Whisky Cocktail
- Irish Whiskey Sour Cocktail
- Bushmills Cocktail Irish Whiskey and Apple Juice
How To Make A Kentucky Bourbon Mule Drink
Kentucky Mule Cocktail
- Copper Mule Mug
- Shot Glass
- Bar Spoon
- 2 oz Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey
- 1/2 oz Lime Juice
- 4 oz Ginger Beer
- Fresh Mint Sprig garnish
- Lime Wheel garnish
- In a copper mug or cocktail glass, pour in the bourbon, lime juice and ginger beer.
- Add ice and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint and lime wheel or wedge.
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