The Speckled Palate
November 9, 2015

Cranberry Mule

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The Cranberry Mule is a fun take on the more traditional Moscow Mule. Perfect as a Thanksgiving or autumnal cocktail, this drink calls for cranberry, ginger beer and spiced rum, then is topped with sugared cranberries as garnish. Makes 1 drink.

Three Cranberry Mules are served on a white platter

I drank my first Moscow Mule when I was on a photo assignment in Baton Rouge, visiting a hole-in-the-wall bar that offered entirely too many fun cocktails.

I normally don’t drink when I’m working, but after photographing the owner of the establishment, he insisted I try something.

I asked what he recommended, and he said definitively, “The Moscow Mule.”

And so I was introduced to one of my favorite cocktails.

Whole cranberries are shown in a blue colander on a white background

Fast forward a year or two later, and I was in New Orleans having lunch with a friend at Sylvain. We both spotted Moscow Mules on the menu and made the executive decision: we were having a cocktail lunch. (Duh.)

When we mentioned these cocktails to our waiter, he asked if we like gin.

“Of course,” was my response. (Because, well, gin is delicious.) My friend, Katherine, agreed.

And then he suggested getting the Moscow Mule with gin instead of vodka. And it was delightful.

Sugar-glazed cranberries sit on a cooling rack before being tossed in sugar to make sugared cranberries

When I was thinking about drinks to make for Blogsgiving Dinner 2015, I knew I wanted to use cranberries as the centerpiece. And while I brainstormed, I thought it would be really fun to do a Thanksgiving take on the Moscow Mule.

So I began tinkering, keeping ginger beer and adding unsweetened cranberry juice, simple syrup and spiced rum. (Because spiced rum and cranberries pair marvelously.)

Then I made sugared cranberries as a garnish. (My pal, Ashley, whipped up some gorgeous spiced ones, and I used that as inspiration, even though mine don’t have additional spice.)

Sugared cranberries dry on a metal cooling rack

Can I use frozen cranberries to make the sugared cranberries?

Yes! Let them thaw a bit before following the instructions. While they might not hold their shape as well as the fresh ones, they will definitely serve well as a garnish.

What ginger beer do you prefer to use?

Fever-Tree is my all-time favorite ginger beer because it offers awesome spice without too much sweetness.

Three Cranberry Mules are served on a white platter, shown from above

What happens if I don’t have mule mugs to serve these in?

The Moscow Mule police are called. 😉


I’ve made several mules over the years, including a Strawberry Moscow MulePeach Moscow Mules and Apple Pie Moscow Mules that I didn’t serve in mule mugs. While the copper mugs will keep the drinks insulated and chilly for an extended period of time, you don’t have to have them to serve a mule. Promise.

Close up of three Cranberry Mules, shown on a white serving platter

What do these Moscow Mules pair well with for a party?


Blogsgiving Dinner 2015 // The Speckled Palate

Thanksgiving is all about family, friends and delicious food. Luckily, the food blogging community is all about these things, as well. To celebrate the holiday, Meghan from Cake ‘n Knife and Susannah from Feast + West are hosting Blogsgiving Dinner. And this year, there are more than 60 blogs sharing recipes this week!

The idea is based on an old-fashioned potluck dinner party.

Each blogger is bringing one or more dishes to the party, so be sure to stop by each one and get some ideas for your own Thanksgiving meal. We’ll be posting to social media with the hashtag #blogsgivingdinner, but you can see all the whole menu in Part 1 and Part 2 of the recipe round-up.

Overhead image of three Cranberry Mules on a white serving platter

What do I need to make Cranberry Mules?

Pinterest image for Cranberry Mules, featuring a close-up overhead shot of the drink in copper mugs, garnished with sugared cranberries

Now, who’s ready for a cocktail?

Here’s how you can mix one up:

Cranberry Mule
Yield: 1 cocktail

Cranberry Mule

Prep Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes

The Cranberry Mule is a fun take on the more traditional Moscow Mule. Perfect as a Thanksgiving cocktail, this drink calls for cranberry, ginger beer and spiced rum, then is topped with sugared cranberries as garnish.


Sugared Cranberries (for garnishing)

  • 12 oz. fresh cranberries
  • ½ cup simple syrup
  • ½ cup granulated sugar

Cranberry Mule

  • 2 oz. unsweetened cranberry juice (do NOT use cranberry cocktail)
  • 3 oz. ginger beer
  • 1 ½ oz. spiced rum
  • 1 oz. simple syrup
  • Ice, for serving


Make the Sugared Cranberries (Optional)

  1. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place a wire cooling rack on top of the lined baking sheet, and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, measure in the simple syrup.
  3. Toss the cranberries in the simple syrup, removing them with a slotted spoon, then place on the wire cooling rack.
  4. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until the berries are sticky.
  5. When the berries are sticky, measure the sugar into a large bowl.
  6. Toss the cranberries in the sugar until coated, then transfer back to the wire cooling rack.
  7. Coat all the cranberries, then refrigerate for an additional hour before using.

Make the Cranberry Mules

  1. Place a handful of ice in a copper mug.
  2. Combine the cranberry juice, ginger beer, rum and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker.
  3. Shake until combined, then pour over ice.
  4. Serve with sugared cranberries as garnish, and enjoy immediately.


Please note the prep time includes the total making of the sugared cranberries. The drink takes less than 5 minute to make when all is said and done.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving:Calories: 229 Sodium: 23mg Carbohydrates: 35g Sugar: 35g
Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

Have you tried this Cranberry Mule? If so, be sure to leave a comment below to let me know what you thought, as well as a star rating!


  1. Elly Leavitt

    Not usually one for gin, but I love anything with spiced rum. It’s so perfect for the colder seasons! Will have to give this a try xx

  2. Sybil

    LOVE Moscow Mules so I know I will be into these! Can’t wait to try 🙂

  3. Jenna @ A Savory Feast

    This is my kind of holiday cocktail! I tried a moscow mule awhile back and they are so good! I love how many different flavor combinations you can make with them. This one is perfect for the holidays! I’ve been wanting to buy some of the copper mugs so I can make them at home.

  4. Lily @GastroSenses

    Oh, how gorgeous looking! I think I might know what’s happening with my bag of cranberries now. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Sasha

    This looks great! Can’t wait to try it!

  6. Ashley

    One, this drinks sounds fantastic! Two, yay sugared cranberries!! 🙂 And three, those glasses are awesomeeee.

  7. Pippa Clark

    I’ve never tried this cocktail before but it looks very good. I’m going to make it for my girlfriends on Saturday night.

  8. Sam ~ it doesn't taste like chicken

    WOW! Those are gorgeous!!! The sugared cranberries are so festive! I will be making these this holiday season for sure. Thanks for the beautiful post. 🙂

  9. Elizabeth @ Bowl of Delicious!

    This looks AMAZING! My husband has been looking for a good cocktail to make for Thanksgiving and I’m definitely going to send this to him with a strong hint to make this 🙂

  10. Mary Cressler

    This is brilliant! I love it. And those cups!!! I have to get some.

  11. Kathryn @ The Scratch Artist

    I’ve never had a Moscow Mule, but now you have intrigued me. I love your copper glasses. Stunning photos

  12. Amy | Club Narwhal

    Erin, these mules are SO crazy beautiful–love those sugared cranberries 😉

  13. Jenna

    Girrrrl, this looks amazing! I bought some moscow mule mugs last year and have only used them once. I am definitely going to try this recipe asap!

  14. Lauren

    Making these for a ‘signature cocktail’ for a wedding reception tomorrow and doing the cranberries ahead of time. Do you think it’d be okay to store the cranberries in a zip lock overnight? Thanks for the great idea – we love it!

    • Erin

      Hey Lauren! I think you can definitely store the cranberries in a zip lock overnight. Make sure they’re completely dried, though, because any condensation in the bag will make them somewhat sticky. Another idea would be to store them on the baking sheet/wire rack overnight covered in plastic wrap. You could even put them on toothpicks and prepare the garnish so you don’t have to do it tomorrow. Have fun, and good luck!

  15. zach

    Have you considered using the name Moscow Yule?

    • Erin

      I have not, Zach, but that is BRILLIANT! Well done, sir!

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  34. Mikayla Tencer

    Hi, I tried this recipe and it was delicious! I hope you don’t mind I am sharing it on my blog, wandertobeauty.com and am giving you full credit for the recipe!

    • Mikayla Tencer

      Sorry I meant to say, I’m directing people to your blog for the recipe. The actual recipe won’t be on mine, just a shout out to your page and the delicious holiday mule!

    • Erin

      Hey Mikayla! I’m so happy you thought the mule was delicious and am perfectly fine with you linking to it on your blog! (I knew what you meant and saw your follow-up comment, and I appreciate you letting me know!) I hope you had a wonderful holiday and got to enjoy a few more of these beauties!

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  38. Chrysie Ready

    Made this for Christmas in a 2 gallon beverage dispenser. I infused with cranberries and lime slices in the dispenser. Each cup was decorated with a wedge of lime and a few loose cranberries for presentation. It was a huge hit!

    • Erin

      Chrysie, that sounds BRILLIANT! What a festive and fun way to serve this cocktail to a crowd! I love the sound of that and am so happy that these mules were a big hit at your Christmas celebration! Cheers to you and to the new year and for leaving a comment that made my day! Thank you. 🙂

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  43. Dayna

    For a delicious mule try Bubba’s bourbon. It’s warmed with vanilla & spices. Regular bourbon also works well & is referred to as a Kentucky mule.

    • Erin

      Oh, this sounds delicious! I’ve never tried a Kentucky Mule, but since I’m a big bourbon fan, I bet I would love it! Thanks for the tip, Dayna.

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  49. Ashley

    I’ve never had these before, but they look like something I need to try!

    • Erin

      You absolutely should give these a try, Ashley! If you like cranberries and rum and ginger, this is the PERFECT wintertime drink!

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