The Russian Reindeer: A Moscow Mule with Some Holiday Cheer and the Winner of Our Giveaway

Moscow Mule

Before we get to the recipe, I wanted to take a minute to to thank all of you readers out there. Despite the fact we could not attend or host any in person events this year, it has been a pretty good year for us from a website traffic standpoint.  Look for lots of exiting new content in the year to come. Hopefully, you will see us at some great events once this whole Covid thing is done with. After a year like think I think we all deserve a nice stiff drink. I’ll let you decide if you are drinking to celebrate or forget 2020.

A Twist On The Moscow Mule

I was cruising the “adult beverage” aisle of Trader Joes with my wife a few weeks back and I came across their non-alcoholic ginger beer and I knew I needed to do something with it.  Traveling a little further down that aisle as I passed the vodka it came to me: I should do a  riff on the cocktail known as the Moscow Mule.

Generally, the Moscow mule is a considered a summer sipper, but I needed to convert it into a winter warmer type drink.  Two ideas came to my mind. The first was to literally warm the drink up.  Instead of serving it over ice, I decided to bring it to a simmer and serve it hot. The second thought was to add some warm spices to give the drink a little kick. Chinese five spice powder seemed to be the obvious choice. To round out the drink and make it a little more festive, I added cranberry juice. Of course I had to give it a name.  I wanted it to be festive but still play homage to the original drink. I give you the Russian Reindeer. This recipe makes enough for 4 good sized drinks and can easily be scaled up for your next (socially distant) holiday party, or just a night in. What is your favorite cocktail? Let us know in the comments.

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Moscow Mule
The Russian Reindeer

A holiday twist on a Moscow mule

Course: Beverage, Cocktail, Drinks
Cuisine: American, Bar, Cocktail, Russian
Keyword: Alcohol, Beverage, Cocktail, Moscow Mule
Servings: 4 Servings
Author: Daniel Peikes
  • 16 fl. oz. Ginger Beer
  • 16 fl. oz. Cranberry Juice
  • 8 fl. oz. Vodka
  • 8 fl. oz. Lime Juice
  • 1 tsp Chinese Five Spice See recipe below, store bought will work in a pinch
  • 4 Lime wheels Optional for garnish
  • 12 Fresh Cranberries Optional for garnish. Recipe below.
  1. Combine the ginger beer, cranberry juice, and Chinese five spice in a saucepot, place over medium heat and bring to a simmer.

  2. Add 2 ounces of vodka and 2 ounces of lime juice to each mug and stir.

  3. Fill the remainder of the mug with the warm cranberry and ginger beer mixture. Garnish with whole cranberries and a lime wheel if desired and serve immediately.

0 from 0 votes
Moscow Mule
Chinese Five Spice Powder
Prep Time
2 mins
Cook Time
3 mins
Course: Seasoning
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
Keyword: Chinese, Chinese Five Spice, Chinese Five Spice Powder, Chinese Spice, Five Spice, Spice
Servings: 1 Cup
Author: Daniel Peikes
  • 4 tbsp Whole Cloves
  • 4 tbsp Fennel Seed
  • 4 Whole Star Anise
  • 1 Soft Cinnamon Stick
  • 4 tbsp Sichuan Peppercorns
  1. Put all the spices in a dry skillet over low heat. Toast the spices until fragrant, making sure to keep them moving in the skillet so they don't burn.

  2. Break up the cinnamon stick and add the spices your electric grinder or mortar and grind to a powder. Store in an airtight container.

Don’t forget to check out some of our other recipes:

Super Bowl Snack Challenge: Steak and Eggs Tot-Chos (Tater Tot Nachos)

Super Bowl Snacks: Cheddar Stuffed Jalapeno Hush Puppies

And finally the winner of our Hanukkah Giveaway is……(insert drumroll here)a Rafflecopter giveaway
Congratulations Leora.  We will be in touch to work out the delivery details.