This Non-Alcoholic Mexican Mule is a spicy twist on the classic, which itself is a twist on the famous Moscow Mule. Made with a memorable tequila alternative, vibrant ginger beer, lime juice, and agave nectar, it's a perfect, spicy, big citrus cocktail for a hot summer afternoon.
The Best NA Tequila for This Recipe
For this Mexican Mule I turned to Ritual’s Tequila Alternative. It’s ideal for its kick, which effectively recalls the other qualities of great tequila drinks. The kick at the end is reminiscent of the liqueur Ancho Reyes, which is always a great pair with tequila and also segues nicely into the sweet spice of the ginger beer.
Ritual’s prices do make them lower-risk entry points for NA spirits, and very much worth trying.
Seedlip’s Spice 94 would also work with this drink. It has notes of grapefruit and lemon, but also cardamom and allspice. A somewhat fascinating non-alcoholic beverage that involves Mycelium, Seedlip isn’t even trying to be a 1-for-1 substitution for any base spirit, but works as a foundation for a great number of unique and effective drinks.
The Best Ginger Beer for This Mocktail
For your ginger beer, you’ll want something with at least some “bite,” and not too much sweetness. Generally, that might mean a ginger beer rather than a ginger ale, though either might take this in interesting directions, with varying degrees of citrus, spice, and sweetness.
Fever Tree Ginger Beer is a good place to start, a combination of three types of ginger that comes in perfectly sized bottles for mixing. Bundaberg is also a common choice, if slightly sweeter.
What is Agave Nectar?
Agave nectar (or syrup) is a sweetener produced from several species of agave plant. Native to Mexico and Latin America, the agave plant is the key ingredient in tequila and mezcal spirits, which typically makes the syrup a natural pairing for Mexican Mules.
Less dense and more neutral in taste than honey, agave as a syrup provides just enough richness to help join these various NA ingredients and balance the spice and the citrus. Relatively new to many grocery shelves in America 10 years ago, now it can probably be found in most stores, either with other sweeteners (like honey) or even in a baking aisle.
Swaps & Substitutions
If you’re not into the flavor of tequila, try these swaps!
- For an NA version of Moscow Mule, try Arkay Alcohol-Free Vodka Alternative. It has notes of grapefruit and pepper, but decidedly less of a kick than Ritual’s Tequila (which might be preferable to many). It’s more expensive than most, but it might stretch further, depending on your tastes.
- Monday’s Zero Alcohol Gin would make this a “Gin Mule,” but would be more subtle than the Tequila Alternative, and play more nicely with any other touches you wanted to add (like strawberry and basil). Price-wise, this would come in somewhere between the Ritual and the Arkay mentioned above, but might also be the most adaptable to other cocktail recipes.
More NA Cocktails and Mocktails to Try!
Non-Alcoholic Mexican Mule
- 2 ounces Ritual Tequila Alternative
- 1/2 ounce Rose’s Lime Juice
- 1/2 ounce agave nectar
- About 4 ounces ginger beer
- Lime wedges (garnish)
Fill a glass with ice:
Best glasses are a highball glass, double rocks glass, or copper mug.
Make the drink:
In a separate glass or tumbler, add tequila alternative, lime juice, and agave nectar and stir. Pour this mix over the ice in your glass, then top with ginger beer. Garnish with lime wedges.