Oaxacan Mule Cocktail Recipe

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Oaxacan Mule Nutrition Facts





Alcohol by volume:10%

Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 16, 2024


The Oaxacan Mule is a delightful twist on the classic Moscow Mule. Instead of vodka, it uses mezcal, a smoky spirit from Oaxaca, Mexico, which gives the cocktail its name. The drink is a favorite among those who appreciate the depth of mezcal and enjoy a spicy kick from ginger beer.

  • Origins: The Moscow Mule was created in the 1940s, and the Oaxacan Mule is a more recent variation that celebrates Mexican culture.
  • Popularity: It has gained popularity in bars that specialize in agave spirits.
  • Audience: Ideal for adventurous drinkers looking to explore beyond traditional cocktails.

How Oaxacan Mule Tastes?

The Oaxacan Mule offers a complex flavor profile with a smoky base from the mezcal, a spicy and effervescent kick from the ginger beer, and a refreshing tartness from the lime juice. It's a harmonious blend of sweet, sour, and bitter with an underlying smokiness that is both intriguing and satisfying.

Interesting facts about Oaxacan Mule

  • Mezcal is made from agave, and its smoky flavor is due to the underground roasting of the agave hearts.
  • The copper mug traditionally used for Moscow Mules is often swapped for a highball glass in the Oaxacan Mule.
  • The addition of a spicy rim, using chili powder or Tajín, is a popular variation that enhances the cocktail's heat.


A few good options for Oaxacan Mule are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose


Used for its distinct smoky flavor which is the heart of this cocktail. If we put more than 2 oz, it might overpower the drink; less, and you might not taste its uniqueness. Without mezcal, it's not an Oaxacan Mule, it's just a sad, sober mule. Alternatives include tequila for a less smoky variant.

Emma Rose

Ginger Beer

It brings a spicy effervescence that contrasts the mezcal nicely. Picking a feistier ginger beer ramps up the heat, while a sweeter one cools things down. Without it, you lose the 'mule' kick. A ginger ale could be used, but expect a softer, less spicy profile.

Alex Green

Lime Juice

0.5 oz is just enough to add a zesty freshness without turning your cocktail into a citric acid fest. If you skip it, you miss out on the essential tang that balances the mezcal's smokiness. Lemon juice could be used as an alternative, offering a slightly different, brighter citrus note.

Mary Mitkina

Ice Cubes

They keep your drink cool, and as they melt, they mellow out the intensity. No ice equals a warm and possibly too-strong drink. Crushed ice could make the drink colder faster, but also dilute it quicker.

Emma Rose

Lime Wheel

It's not just a pretty face, it subtly infuses more citric essence and makes everything look fresh. Forgoing the garnish won't ruin the drink, but why miss the chance to dress up your mule with a fancy hat?

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Oaxacan Mule Drink

  1. Fill a highball glass with ice cubes.
  2. Pour 2 oz of mezcal over the ice.
  3. Squeeze in the juice of half a lime.
  4. Top with 4 oz of ginger beer.
  5. Stir gently to mix the ingredients.
  6. Garnish with a lime wheel on the rim of the glass.

Pro Tips

  • For an extra smoky flavor, try using a mezcal with a more intense smokiness.
  • Add a few dashes of bitters to add complexity to the cocktail.
  • Chill the glass beforehand to keep the drink colder for longer.

Perfect Pairings

Spicy Dishes: Mezcal's smoky flavor and the spiciness from ginger beer make it a great match for spicy cuisine. Think tacos with a fiery salsa or even spicy Asian dishes.

Seafood: The citrusy notes of lime juice complement seafood well. Grilled shrimp or a fresh ceviche would be delightful alongside this cocktail.

BBQ: Barbecued meats with a charred flavor can stand up to the robustness of the Oaxacan Mule. The ginger beer also helps to cleanse the palate between bites.

Chocolate Desserts: The smokiness of mezcal pairs surprisingly well with the richness of chocolate. Try it with a dark chocolate torte or chocolate churros.

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What you could change in Oaxacan Mule

  • Mezcal: If you can't find mezcal, a smoky Scotch or tequila can be used as a substitute, though the flavor profile will change.
  • Ginger Beer: For a less spicy option, ginger ale can be used, but it will be sweeter and less intense.

Explore all drinks starting with O here

And of course - twists🍹

Smoky Pineapple Mule

  • Add a splash of pineapple juice for a tropical twist.
  • Replace lime wheel with a pineapple leaf for garnish. This variation brings a sweet, fruity dimension that complements the smoky mezcal, creating a cocktail that feels like a beach bonfire.

Hibiscus Mule

  • Infuse the mezcal with dried hibiscus flowers ahead of time.
  • Use hibiscus tea instead of lime juice. This lends a floral, tangy note, adding a rosy hue to the drink, and cooling down the ginger's heat for an elegant sipper.

Spicy Cucumber Mule

  • Muddle a few slices of fresh cucumber and jalapeño in the glass before adding mezcal.
  • Follow the rest of the original recipe. Cucumber adds freshness and the jalapeño ramps up the spice, making it a delightfully refreshing yet bold cocktail with a green twist.

In case you forgot basics how to make Oaxacan Mule

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Oaxacan Mule

What type of glass is best for serving an Oaxacan Mule?

A highball glass is traditionally used for mules to accommodate the generous amount of ginger beer and ice, along with the garnishes.

Can I use diet ginger beer for an Oaxacan Mule?

Yes, diet ginger beer can be used if you're looking to reduce sugar intake, though it may slightly alter the taste of the cocktail.

How do I choose a good mezcal for this cocktail?

Look for a mezcal that is labeled '100% agave' and consider the level of smokiness that suits your palate. Read reviews and ask for recommendations at your liquor store.

Is there a non-alcoholic version of the Oaxacan Mule?

Yes, you can make a mocktail version by using non-alcoholic ginger beer and a smoky non-alcoholic spirit or a few drops of liquid smoke for the mezcal.

How can I make my Oaxacan Mule spicier?

Infuse the mezcal with chili peppers prior to making the cocktail, or muddle some fresh slices of ginger or jalapeño directly in the glass before adding the other ingredients.

What snacks pair well with an Oaxacan Mule apart from the mentioned pairings?

Salty snacks like nuts or popcorn can balance the spiciness, and fresh fruit or cheese can help to bring out the cocktail's different flavor notes.

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