Tennessee Mule Cocktail Recipe

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Tennessee Mule Nutrition Facts





Alcohol %:20

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 7, 2024


The Tennessee Mule is a twist on the classic Moscow Mule, which swaps vodka for whiskey. This cocktail is a favorite among whiskey lovers and those who appreciate a good mule. It's a great choice for those who enjoy a refreshing, yet strong cocktail. The Tennessee Mule is often served in a copper mug, which keeps the drink colder for longer and enhances the flavors.

How Tennessee Mule Tastes?

The Tennessee Mule is a refreshing, tangy, and slightly sweet cocktail. The whiskey gives it a strong, robust flavor, while the ginger beer adds a spicy kick. The lime juice balances out the sweetness and gives it a tart, citrusy edge.

Interesting facts about Tennessee Mule

  • The Tennessee Mule is a variation of the Moscow Mule, which was invented in the 1940s.
  • The copper mug traditionally used to serve the Tennessee Mule is said to enhance the flavors of the cocktail.
  • Despite its name, the Tennessee Mule can be made with any type of whiskey, not just Tennessee whiskey.


A few good options for Tennessee Mule are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose


2 oz: The heart of the Tennessee Mule, whiskey provides the warming, oak-aged essence. If you skimp on it, you lose the backbone of your mule; too much, and you might as well call a farrier! A bourbon could be a sweeter substitute, changing the profile to something a bit more caramel-like.

Alex Green

Ginger Beer

6 oz: It's the fizzy kick that gives the mule its name! Less would make a flatter drink, more could overpower the whiskey. A ginger ale provides a milder alternative, but you'll miss out on that distinctive bite.

Emma Rose

Lime Juice

1 oz: This citrus zing cuts through sweetness and marries the two main components with tangy bliss. Miss out on it, and you'll lack the refreshing character of the drink. Lemon juice could work for a twist, but lime is the true soulmate here.

Mary Mitkina

Ice Cubes

As needed: Ice is the chiller, the mixer, the soother. Without it, you have a warm and somewhat sad mule. The amount of ice affects dilution; too much might water down your creation, too little and your mule might trot away with your taste buds!

Alex Green

Lime Wedge

1 for garnish: Garnish isn’t just flair—it adds aroma and a hint of flavor. A drink without a garnish is like a smartphone without apps. You could use a slice of lemon or even a sprig of mint as an alternative for a fresh twist.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Tennessee Mule Drink

  1. Fill a copper mug or highball glass with ice cubes.
  2. Pour the whiskey and lime juice over the ice.
  3. Top with ginger beer and stir gently to combine.
  4. Garnish with a lime wedge and serve immediately.

Pro Tips

  • Use a good quality whiskey for the best flavor.
  • If you prefer a less sweet cocktail, you can reduce the amount of ginger beer.
  • Always use fresh lime juice for the best taste.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

Grilled Meats: The bold flavors of grilled steak or barbecue ribs can stand up to the spicy and robust notes of the Tennessee Mule.

Fried Chicken: The crispness and the fat of fried chicken are balanced by the ginger beer’s effervescence and the acidity of the lime juice.

Burgers: A juicy burger pairs well, especially if it’s topped with sharp cheddar and bacon, which complements the whiskey's smoky notes.

Snack Pairings

Salted Nuts: Salted peanuts or cashews offer a crunchy contrast and highlight the cocktail’s spiciness and citrus tang.

Popcorn: Caramel or cheese popcorn can add a sweet or tangy aspect, playing well with the ginger and lime flavors.

Drink Pairings

Cold Brew Coffee: The bitterness of cold brew can match the kick of the ginger beer while offering a contrasting flavor experience.

Water: Sometimes simple is best—staying hydrated with water alongside your cocktail helps to balance alcohol consumption.

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What you could change in Tennessee Mule

  • Whiskey: Can be substituted with bourbon or rye whiskey.
  • Ginger Beer: Can be substituted with ginger ale, but it will result in a sweeter and less spicy cocktail.

Explore all drinks starting with T here

And of course - twists🍹

Spicy Tennessee Mule

Ingredients: 2 oz Whiskey, 1 oz Lime Juice, 6 oz Spicy Ginger Beer, Sliced Jalapeños, Ice Cubes. Recipe: Follow the standard Tennessee Mule recipe but add a few slices of jalapeño to the ice before pouring the ingredients. The spiciness will rev up the engine of this mule, making it a fiery ride through the south!

Appalachian Trail Mule

Ingredients: 2 oz Moonshine, 1 oz Apple Cider, 6 oz Ginger Beer, Ice Cubes, Apple Slice for garnish. Recipe: Swap the whiskey for moonshine and the lime juice for apple cider. It’ll taste like a hike through the mountains in fall; crisp, slightly sweet, with a kick of ginger. Garnish with an apple slice for that authentic orchard feel.

Southern Orchard Mule

Ingredients: 2 oz Tennessee Honey Whiskey, 1 oz Peach Nectar, 6 oz Ginger Beer, Ice Cubes, Peach Slice for garnish. Recipe: Use honey whiskey for added sweetness and peach nectar in place of lime juice. It's a southern belle’s dream—sweet with a little spice, perfect for sipping on a porch swing.

In case you forgot basics how to make Tennessee 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 Tennessee Mule

What is the difference between Tennessee whiskey and regular whiskey?

Tennessee whiskey undergoes a specific filtration process known as the Lincoln County process, where it is filtered through sugar maple charcoal before aging. This gives it a distinct smooth and sweet flavor.

Is there a specific brand of whiskey that is often used in a Tennessee Mule?

While the cocktail can be made with any whiskey, Jack Daniel's is often used, as it is a famous Tennessee whiskey.

Does the type of ice used in the cocktail matter?

Yes, larger ice cubes that melt slower are recommended to avoid watering down your cocktail.

Can a Tennessee Mule be made without alcohol?

Yes. If you want to make it non-alcoholic, you can replace the whiskey with a non-alcoholic ginger beer to still maintain the spicy kick.

What is the best time to serve this cocktail?

This cocktail can be enjoyed at any time, but its refreshing qualities make it particularly suitable for warm weather or evenings.

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