The Ultimate Guide to Crafting a Delectable Virgin Moscow Mule and Exploring its Comparisons

How to make a virgin Moscow Mule & how it compares

The Moscow Mule is a popular cocktail known for its refreshing and spicy flavors. However, not everyone enjoys consuming alcohol, and it’s always good to have alternatives. In this article, we will guide you through the process of making a virgin Moscow Mule without compromising on taste. We will also explore the key differences between the alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions of this classic drink.

The Virgin Moscow Mule Recipe

Making a virgin Moscow Mule is relatively simple, and the ingredients are easy to find. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Limes
  • Non-Alcoholic Ginger Beer
  • Club Soda
  • Fresh Mint
  • Non-Alcoholic Bitters (Optional)
  • Sweetener (optional)

To prepare the drink, follow these steps

  1. Start by preparing a copper mug or traditional drinking glass with some ice.
  2. Add the following ingredients to the mug in the recommended order: 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, 4 ounces ginger beer (about 1 cup), and a dash of red bitters (optional).
  3. Top the mug with club soda.
  4. Stir all ingredients together thoroughly.
  5. To garnish, add a lime wedge and a few mint leaves. You can also add a mint leaf for extra flavor, but it’s not necessary.

This recipe makes a single serving, so you can make one cup at a time.

Understanding the Ingredients

Let’s take a closer look at some of the key ingredients used in a virgin Moscow Mule:

Ginger Beer

Ginger beer is a crucial component of a Moscow Mule, and it’s important to make sure you choose a non-alcoholic version. While the name may be misleading, most ginger beers on the market are non-alcoholic. Opting for ginger beer rather than ginger ale is recommended as it adds a characteristic bite to the drink. One popular brand, Fever-Tree, offers a light version with reduced sugar and no artificial flavors or sweeteners.

Red bitters

Adding bitters to a Moscow Mule is optional, but can enhance the overall flavor profile. Non-alcoholic bitters are readily available and can add a subtle spice to the drink. Italian non-alcoholic bitters are known for their excellent aroma and flavor.

Alcoholic vs. Non-Alcoholic Moscow Mule

The primary difference between an alcoholic and a non-alcoholic Moscow Mule is the presence of vodka. The basic elements of the drink remain the same in both versions. A traditional Moscow Mule is made with vodka, ginger beer, and lime, with mint used only as a garnish. In contrast, a virgin Moscow Mule replaces the vodka with ginger beer and uses club soda or sparkling water instead. Lime juice is a common ingredient in both.
Bitters can be added to both alcoholic and non-alcoholic Moscow Mules, with non-alcoholic bitters being the preferred choice for the latter. The addition of bitters helps balance the sweetness of the drink and allows the ginger flavor to shine through.
It’s worth noting that substituting ginger beer for ginger ale can change the flavor of the drink. Ginger beer offers a more pronounced kick and distinctive flavor compared to ginger ale.
If you’re concerned about the lack of vodka affecting the overall flavor, you can explore non-alcoholic spirits as an alternative. Brands like Ritual Zero Proof, Wilderton, Strykk, Seedlip, or Monday offer several non-alcoholic options that can be used in place of vodka.

Need a copper mug?

While a copper mug is not required, it has become synonymous with serving a Moscow Mule. The tradition of using copper mugs goes back many years, and while some claim it affects the flavor, there is little scientific evidence to support this claim. However, following tradition and serving your virgin Moscow Mule in a copper mug can add to the overall experience.
If a copper mug is not readily available, rest assured that you can still enjoy a delicious virgin Moscow Mule in a regular drinking glass. After all, it’s the taste and enjoyment that matters most.

Bottom Line

Making a virgin Moscow Mule is a straightforward process that allows you to enjoy the flavors of this classic cocktail without the presence of alcohol. By using nonalcoholic ginger beer, club soda, and other optional ingredients such as bitters, you can create a refreshing and satisfying drink. Whether you serve it in a copper mug or a regular glass, the flavor remains delicious. Enjoy your virgin Moscow Mule and embrace the versatility of this timeless drink!


1. Can I make a virgin Moscow Mule without compromising the taste?

Yes, you can absolutely make a virgin Moscow Mule without sacrificing taste. By using non-alcoholic ginger beer, fresh lime juice, and optional ingredients like bitters, you can replicate the flavors of a traditional Moscow Mule while enjoying a non-alcoholic beverage.

2. Where can I find alcohol-free ginger beer for my virgin Moscow Mule?

Non-alcoholic ginger beer can be found at most grocery stores or online retailers. Look for brands like Fever-Tree that offer a wide range of ginger beer options, including light versions with reduced sugar content.

3. Is it necessary to use a copper mug to serve a virgin Moscow Mule?

No, it is not necessary to use a copper mug. While copper mugs are traditionally associated with Moscow Mules, you can enjoy a virgin version of the drink in a regular drinking glass without compromising the taste.

4. Can I add other flavors or ingredients to customize my virgin Moscow Mule?

Absolutely! Feel free to experiment with additional flavors or ingredients to personalize your Virgin Moscow Mule. You can try adding fresh fruit slices like strawberries or cucumbers, or even herbs like basil or rosemary to enhance the flavor and aroma of your drink.

5. Can I substitute ginger ale for ginger beer in a virgin Moscow Mule?

While you can substitute ginger ale for ginger beer, it may result in a slightly different flavor profile. Ginger beer has a more pronounced ginger flavor and a spicier kick than ginger ale. Using ginger beer helps maintain the authentic Moscow Mule experience in the non-alcoholic version.

6. Are there any non-alcoholic alternatives to vodka that I can use in a virgin Moscow Mule?

Yes, there are several non-alcoholic spirits on the market that can be used as alternatives to vodka in a virgin Moscow Mule. Brands like Ritual Zero Proof, Wilderton, Strykk, Seedlip, or Monday offer a variety of non-alcoholic options that mimic the flavors and complexity of traditional spirits, allowing you to create a balanced and enjoyable drink.