With a subtle hint of winter spice, here’s a festive twist on the traditional Moscow Mule
- Serves: 1
- Preparation time: 10 minutes
- You will need: A highball glass, ice
- 25ml vodka
- 20ml tangerine juice (2 tangerines, juiced, see method below, or you can also use orange juice)
- 5ml sugar syrup
- 2 drops chocolate bitters
- Ginger Beer
I went to a wedding this year, when a Moscow Mule was the only cocktail on offer. After going big on the wine at dinner, that combination of smooth vodka, spicy ginger beer and zingy lime was just the sort of peppy drink the party needed to stay on their feet until the last dance. It’s refreshing, too, and can go down lethally easily. I’ve known the mother of the bride for 27 years, and it was the first time I’d seen her even tipsy.
A result, in a fun way, that translates well for a Christmas do, if you swap up the citrus fruit from lime to tangerine. I’ve included a quick method to juice them, but if you want to avoid sticky hands, fresh orange juice from a carton will also work. However, I think the fresh, sweet tangerine hit (or satsuma) makes it feel extra festive. For a lighter drink, use low-calorie ginger beer, preferably made with natural rather than artificial sweeteners, such as London Essence’s version. Don’t panic if you can’t find chocolate bitters, it’s fine without, but they are easily available online and feature in plenty of wintry cocktails, so are worth picking up.
- To juice the tangerines, roll back and forth along a hard surface with the palm of your hand to lightly bruise the fruit, which will help produce even more juice. Cut in half and hold in the palm of your hand, cut side up. Squeeze the orange as hard as you can over a wide-mouth container. The juice will dribble out through your hands into the container, leaving the seeds and excess pulp behind. Repeat with the other half.
- Add ice to the glass, then the ingredients in order of the list and stir.
- Garnish with a tangerine wedge and a star-anise pod.