Cranberry Moscow Mule (Yule Mule)

This Cranberry Moscow Mule is a lovely Christmas sipper. Also known as a Yule Mule, this twist on the classic cocktail highlights cranberry juice! Makes 1 drink, but can easily be made into a pitcher.

Love a good holiday drink? Don’t miss Cranberry Bellinis, Toasted Pecan Old Fashioned and Citrus Cranberry Sangria.

Three Cranberry Moscow Mules in copper cups sit on marble next to sprigs of rosemary and fresh cranberries

We’re finishing the Year of the Mule strong with a classic Cranberry Moscow Mule!

Back in 2015, I shared a Cranberry Mule recipe that’s actually a Cranberry Dark and Stormy. And it definitely inspired me to finally, finally, finally make a rendition of it with vodka this year.

So here we are: Ending this year of 13(!) Moscow Mule recipes strong with something very similar to the one that started it all.

Why I love this recipe:

I’m a sucker for any cranberry drinks because, well, I love cranberries. This Cranberry Moscow Mule (AKA a Yule Mule) is no exception!

It’s a combination of slightly sweet, slightly tart with a little kick from the ginger, too. And it’s oh-so-smooth to drink, too!

One of our favorite things about this cranberry cocktail is that it’s balanced. The spice of the ginger beer compliments the tartness of the cranberries and both flavors sing. The lime juice adds a bit of brightness and the simple syrup sweetens it up.

Truly, this combination is perfection, and I highly recommend giving it a try this season!

More Moscow Mule recipes you should check out: Classic Moscow Mule (or the Moscow Mule Pitcher) | Irish Mule | Pumpkin Spice Mule | Apple Cider Moscow Mule | Raspberry Moscow Mule

Looking for a different type of cocktail? Check out my Drinks recipe index.

Ginger beer in its bottle sits next to shot glasses holding lime juice, vodka, simple syrup and lime juice on marble

What you’ll need to make a Yule Mule

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In addition to these tools, you’re going to need osme ingredients to make a classic Cranberry Moscow Mule, too!

  • Cranberry juice—I always, always, always recommend the unsweetened kind because your drink will get incredibly sweet if you use cranberry cocktail.
  • Vodka—use your favorite brand or what you’ve got on hand! Tito’s * (affiliate link) is what we keep in our house at all times.
  • Simple syrup—you can make your own and keep it in the fridge or purchase it from the store!
  • Lime juice—fresh squeezed or the cold press stuff you can find in the refrigerated section of your store!
  • Ginger beer—in my opinion, the spicier, the better! Fever Tree is our favorite, but we’ve made a ton of mules this year with the Sprouts brand ginger beer, and it’s also lovely and spicy.

How to make a Cranberry Moscow Mule

In a copper mug (or another glass that you’ll serve this drink in) filled with ice, measure out the unsweetened cranberry juice, vodka, simple syrup and lime juice.

Top with the ginger beer!

Stir the ingredients with a cocktail spoon until combined.

Enjoy immediately with a wedge of lime, a handful of cranberries and a sprig of rosemary for garnish.

A Cranberry Moscow Mule from above garnished with a lime, cranberries and a rosemary sprig next to two other copper mule mugs

Erin’s Easy Entertaining Tips

Moscow Mules are the perfect party drink because they require few ingredients, and those ingredients are pretty easy to prep in bulk.

Cranberry Moscow Mules are particularly festive for the holiday and Christmas season (hence the nickname “Yule Mule”), and they’re great for gatherings.

If you’re serving guests at a holiday gathering, turn this singular mule into a Mule Bar!

Here’s how you can do it:

  • One to two hours before the gathering, squeeze the limes and make the simple syrup, if you’re making it. I don’t recommend using jarred lime juice, because it tends to taste bitter to me. However, you can purchase cold pressed lime juice in the refrigerated section of your supermarket, and that’s awesome.
  • Prep your garnishes. Quarter your limes, get out the cranberries, divide the rosemary sprigs into shorter garnishes (because nobody needs a giant stick in their drink!)
  • Print out the recipe and instructions so guests can mix their own.
  • Set out the ingredients in separate jars or containers on whatever surface you’re transforming into your Mule Bar.
  • Make it a pitcher! I have included instructions for how to do this below and in the recipe card.
Three Cranberry Mules sit on a marble surface next to a bowl of cranberries, a gold jigger, rosemary sprigs and more cranberries

Frequently Asked Questions

I don’t drink. Can I make this drink without the alcohol?

YES! I was delighted to realize that previous twists on the Moscow Mule are delicious booze-free, and this one is the same.

Granted, it’s just cranberry juice, ginger beer, lime juice and a little simple syrup but if that makes you happy, it makes me happy, too!

Simply leave out the vodka, mix up the other ingredients, and you’re good to go.

What kind of ginger beer do you recommend for a Cranberry Moscow Mule?

We love, love, love Fever Tree’s ginger beer because it has some major heat to it.

If you’re not into a ginger beer that has more spice, the Sprouts Farmers Market brand is delicious, too.

What is the best vodka for a Christmas Mule?

My advice is to use your favorite vodka to make these mules. I do not recommend using the cheapest vodka that you can find, as that doesn’t taste nearly as good as a drinking vodka.

Our favorite vodka brand is Tito’s * (affiliate link). If you can’t find that, Smirnoff, Pinnacle and Grey Goose are all acceptable.

Why does a Moscow Mule have to be in a copper cup?

Copper conducts temperature—both heat and cold—really well, so a copper cup keeps your Moscow Mule nice and cold!

Is Moscow Mule a girly drink?

I think a Moscow Mule is a good drink, no matter your gender.

Is there alcohol in ginger beer?

Technically, yes… but it’s a marginal amount and not enough for it to be marked as an alcoholic beverage.

How do I turn this Christmas Mule into a pitcher?

That would be brilliant! To make a 6-serving pitcher, mix the following:

  • 12 oz. unsweetened cranberry juice
  • 9 oz. vodka
  • 6 oz. simple syrup
  • 3 oz. lime juice
  • 18 oz. ginger beer

Stir well until combined, and serve immediately!

Three Yule Mules, garnished with fresh cranberries, lime wedges and rosemary sprigs, sit on a silver platter

Quick tips for making a Cranberry Moscow Mule

  • Not a fan of vodka? Make a Rum Cranberry Mule (also known as a Cranberry Dark and Stormy!) It’s a different twist on this Christmas Mule.
  • Add a little extra sweetness with the simple syrup if this cranberry cocktail is too tart for you. I suggest it in increments of ½ oz., then stirring and tasting before adding more so that it doesn’t become too sweet.
  • Want to make a different style of Moscow Mule? Try out a Gin Gin Mule, a Gingerbread Mule or a Blood Orange Mocktail Mule.
Three Cranberry Moscow Mules in copper cups sit on marble next to sprigs of rosemary and fresh cranberries
Yield: 1 drink

Classic Cranberry Moscow Mule

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

This Cranberry Moscow Mule is a lovely Christmas sipper. Also known as a Yule Mule, this twist on the classic cocktail highlights cranberry juice! Makes 1 drink, but can easily be made into a pitcher.

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. unsweetened cranberry juice (do NOT use cranberry cocktail)
  • 1 ½ oz. vodka
  • 1 oz. simple syrup
  • ½ oz. lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 3 oz. ginger beer
  • Rosemary, for garnish
  • Cranberries, fresh or frozen, for garnish
  • Lime wedge, for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a copper mug (or another glass that you’ll serve this drink in) filled with ice, measure out the unsweetened cranberry juice, vodka, simple syrup and lime juice.
  2. Top with ginger beer.
  3. Stir the ingredients with a cocktail spoon until combined.
  4. Enjoy immediately with a wedge of lime, a handful of cranberries and a sprig of rosemary for garnish.

Notes

A note on ingredients:

The beauty of this Cranberry Moscow Mule is in the balance. Please use unsweetened cranberry juice, not cranberry cocktail, because that will throw off the balance and make this drink a lot sweeter than it was intended to be. The spice of the ginger compliments the tartness of the cranberries, and using a sweeter juice will throw that off.

To make a 6-serving pitcher:

Combine the following in a pitcher, stir and serve immediately:

  • 12 oz. unsweetened cranberry juice
  • 9 oz. vodka
  • 6 oz. simple syrup
  • 3 oz. lime juice
  • 18 oz. ginger beer

Easy entertaining tips and tricks

  • One to two hours before the party, squeeze the limes. I don’t recommend using jarred lime juice, as it’s not nearly as fresh-tasting and sometimes veers toward bitterness.
  • Quarter your limes in advance, too, for the garnish. Keep ‘em in a food storage container in the fridge for up to a few days before your gathering.
  • Mix the drinks as guests want to sip them because the ginger beer will go flat.
  • If you want to prep this drink in advance, squeeze the limes, make the simple syrup, measure the cranberry juice and the vodka. Keep them in individual glasses/jars, and print out the instructions for this drink so guests can mix their own!

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

1 drink

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 301Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 13mgCarbohydrates: 55gFiber: 6gSugar: 39gProtein: 1g

Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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