Want something spicy, citrusy, and festive for Cinco de Mayo, but without the alcohol? Try a crisp Jalapeno Mule Mocktail! This easy non-alcoholic cocktail combines just three simple ingredients, making it a great happy hour option for non-drinkers during these quarantined times.
As someone who feels like they’ve been pregnant for a lifetime (ok, it’s been seven months), I know what it’s like to want a special, well-crafted drink, sans booze. I’m currently all about creating simple drinks with ginger beers like the delicious ones from Fever-Tree and Q Drinks. Add a little citrus, a specialty cocktail syrup or some muddled fresh fruit, and you have a spectacular mocktail in minutes.
If you’re a fan of Q Drinks Ginger Beer, check out their brand new Hibiscus Ginger Beer! They were kind enough to send me some and I hear it’s now available at Target. I’ve been drinking it with a squeeze of lime and a garnish of fresh strawberries all this week and it’s the perfect balance of spice, floral, and fruity. So good!
Spicy Jalapeno Mule Mocktail ingredients
All you need to make this mocktail is:
- A jalapeno
- 1/2 a lime
- Some quality ginger beer (or use ginger ale, if you like!)
- Optional: fresh fruit like strawberries, raspberries, pineapple, or mango, if you want to add some fruity sweetness. Get even more creative by adding DIY fruit syrups!
How to make a delicious mock Mule in
No shaking or stirring here, this mocktail is as simple as it gets. Simply muddle a slice or two of fresh jalapeno with the juice of half a lime in a Moscow Mule mug (or a heavy-bottomed rocks glass), then fill the glass with ice and top with chilled ginger beer. It’s that easy. Want some more fun flavor add-ins?
Optional upgrades: fresh fruit, syrups, and garnishes
Try muddling a couple of slices of fresh fruit like mango with your jalapeno and lime juice for a perfect sweet and spicy flavor pair. Try pineapple for an even more tropical vibe. (If you like pineapple with your ginger beer, I highly recommend trying Reed’s Extra Ginger Beer. It’s a Caribbean-style ginger beer made with pineapple and honey and it’s wonderful!)
To muddle in the glass or in the shaker?
Whenever you muddle something like fruit directly into your drink, you can end up with some nasty little clumps of fruit floating around and clogging your straw. To avoid this, you have two options:
You can muddle in a cocktail shaker, shake the ingredients with ice, and then strain over fresh ice into your mule mug, or you can simply add a layer of crushed ice on top of the muddled ingredients, and then top that with regular cubed ice. The crushed ice layer helps to keep those pesky muddled bits at the bottom of the glass while you enjoy a chunk-free cocktail.
I choose not to shake my muddled ingredients most of the time when making mocktails because there usually isn’t enough liquid volume to make straining very easy/efficient. You can choose to add an ounce or so of water to the shaker before adding ice, but this will add extra dilution to your final drink. There’s really no right or wrong though, so choose the option that you like best!
Add a splash (about ½ ounce) of a complimentary fruit flavored cocktail syrup like raspberry syrup, coconut syrup, or peach syrup. These are not difficult to make at home, and take your mocktails to the next level! Read all about DIY cocktail/mocktail syrups in my handy Ultimate Guide to Cocktail Syrups.
Don’t forget those aromatic garnishes! Freshly cut citrus or a petite bouquet of mint will brighten the flavors of your drink and tie all of those sweet, spicy, and citrusy flavors together.
What is a Mule, anyway?
The Moscow Mule was actually invented during the 1940s. The story goes that the new owner of Smirnoff Vodka in the US teamed up with a bar owner who had a surplus of ginger beer, and the perfect cocktail to market the vodka + sell all that overstock ginger was born. This may have been the birth of the Moscow Mule, but cocktails involving a spirit + ginger beer, also known as “Bucks”, have been around much longer. So the next time you want an alcoholic Mule, give a Whiskey Buck or a Gin Buck a try! Simply combine 2 ounces of spirit with ½ ounce of lime juice over ice and top with ginger beer. Don’t you love an easy, versatile cocktail recipe?
If you’re a fan of simple drinks like the Moscow Mule, check out my brand new book, Essential 3-Ingredient Cocktails! This handy bar book arrives June 2020 and includes 75 easy classic and contemporary cocktail recipes.
Spicy Jalapeno Mule Mocktail
- 1-2 slices jalapeno (with seeds)
- 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
- 6 ounces ginger beer
- Muddle the jalapeno slice(s) with the lime juice in a Moscow Mule mug.
- Fill the mule mug with ice and top with chilled ginger beer.
- Garnish with a jalapeno slice and a lime slice, if desired.