Strawberry-Basil Moscow Mule


This Strawberry-Basil Moscow Mule is a fruity twist on the classic! Mixed with vodka and spicy ginger beer, it's a perfect cocktail for a hot summer afternoon.

Photography Credit: Nancy Mitchell

You know that drink you sometimes see when you’re out at a bar, the one served in a copper mug? That’s a Moscow Mule.

A classic Moscow Mule has just three ingredients—vodka, lime juice, and ginger beer—and while that’s delicious (yes) and easy to put together (yes again), I wanted a fruity twist on this classic.

It may involve a little extra preparation, but I think it’s worth it!

Moscow Mule Variation with Strawberry two moscow mules in copper mugs with basil garnish

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Our summertime version of the Moscow Mule adds strawberry and basil to the mix—a flavor combination just as classic as vodka and ginger!

In this drink, the sweetness of the strawberry and the herbal tug of the basil are especially good mixed with vodka and ginger beer, the traditional ingredients, which add lightness and a bit of spice.


I like Tito’s. It’s not too expensive, and it’s made in Texas, which pleases this Texan. That said, any moderately-priced vodka will do. Since you’re pairing it with strawberry and ginger beer, this is not the time to showcase a pricey brand.

Strawberry and Basil Moscow Mule Cocktail red moscow mule with green basil garnish in copper mug


My preference here is for a spicier ginger beer, especially because you’re getting a little extra sweetness from the strawberry. Fentimans makes a ginger beer with a nice spicy kick, as does Fever Tree. Gosling’s is a bit easier to find and still makes a very nice drink.

Resist the temptation to substitute ginger ale for the ginger beer—you lose out on a lot of the flavor, and the drink will be very sweet.


The ones pictured here are from Moscow Muled, but you can find copper mugs in many places. I like how the mugs develop a nice frost after sitting out for a bit.

It’s debatable whether or not they actually make your drink colder, but they sure look good!


Strawberry-Basil Moscow Mule Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink

The proportions for this drink are designed for a Moscow Mule mug, which is typically 16 ounces. If you don't have a copper mug, you can make it in a regular glass—just make sure it's around 16 ounces for the best results!

This drink is also very good with tequila, should you feel so inclined.


  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 4 or 5 strawberries (5 for medium-to-large strawberries, 4 for truly enormous ones)
  • 5 basil leaves
  • 3/4 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • Crushed ice
  • 2 to 3 ounces ginger beer, or to top

Special equipment:


1 Muddle the strawberries and basil: Add strawberries and basil to the bottom of a shaker. Pour the lime juice on top, then muddle them with a muddler or the back of a spoon. Do this enough to gently smoosh the strawberries, but not completely pulverize them.

2 Add the vodka and shake: Add the vodka to the shaker, then the ice. (I find that 4 or 5 large cubes per drink works well.) Cover and shake for about 30 seconds.

3 Strain: Strain directly into a copper mug full of crushed ice or double strain by pouring the drink through a tea strainer, which will catch the finer particles. A single strain is also fine.

4 Add ginger beer: Fill the cup with ginger beer. Drink on a patio in the sunshine!

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Nancy Mitchell

Nancy is a writer and photographer living in New York. She makes drinks with local and homegrown ingredients and writes about the New York cocktail scene on her Instagram feed and at her blog, The Backyard Bartender.

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4 Comments / Reviews

No ImageStrawberry-Basil Moscow Mule

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Tessa

    I’ve had many Moscow mules and this one will be a favorite!!

  2. nika

    This was amazing. I really could not get the drink to come out of the shaker without taking the top off. Maybe my strawberries weren’t muddled small enough? Either way soooo good. I used fever tree ginger beer and I did add a touch of st Germaine. A new fave!


  3. Jacklyn

    It was regfreshing and delicious without being too sweet!


  4. Nick Evans

    Wonderful! Can’t wait to try it!

Summer Moscow Mule with Strawberry closeup of strawberry moscow mule with basil garnishStrawberry-Basil Moscow Mule