One of the greater impediments to perfectly replicating my favourite bar and restaurant cocktails at home is my lack of proper glassware. We have many different types of wine glasses (yes, we are one of those households who have different glasses for red wine and for white wine), sherry glasses, champagne flutes and martini glasses. Then a load of functional, but not really photographically inspiring tumblers. Up on my props shelf I have two more prettier champagne flutes, two small tumblers and two larger blue tinted glasses. And thats it. No coupes and most definitely no pretty copper mule mugs.
However, while we've always made do in the past, since I made the City of Light cocktail from David Lebovitz' blog which was served up with ice, lemon and orange wheels in big wine glasses, I started thinking about what over cocktails that were served up with citrus could be given this treatment. It turns out that if you don't have any copper in your cupboard you can still serve up a great pitcher of Moscow Mules to impress friends by presenting them with ice and lime wheel filled wine glasses to pour into, instead.
When it comes to ginger beer in cocktails, you need to go for something good quality or the final result will probably end up being far too sweet. It is no secret that I'm a big fan of Fentimans botanically brewed ginger beer; I buy it by the case load and you'll probably always find some in my wine cooler. While it is a great Summer drink,it has that warmth and spiciness that makes it the perfect drink to transition into Autumn with.
As a Moscow Mule is pretty standard, I've taken my recipe from thebar.com, whose idea it was to add a dash of Angostura Bitters, just to make things a little bit more interesting. Oh, and while we're talking about quality ingredients, a note on the vodka. You'll see that I'm using Smirnoff here, which is just bog standard branded supermarket vodka, but I know while some people turn their noses up at it in favour of the likes of Grey Goose and Chase (both of which I do also love), when you're working with strong mixers where the vodka is more for a boozy taste rather than to pick out the unique taste of the spirit, I like to keep a good, serviceable one size fits all bottle in the cupboard. thebar.com have some more recipes with Smirnoff here. I really want to try their Gold Flute, as I also have a bottle of cinnamon flavoured Smirnoff gold in my cupboard. With regards to using whatever glassware you probably already have, I'm also writing this post for the students among you! These measurements serve one, just multiply it up for however many people you're catering for.
- 50ml (3 tbsp + 1 tsp) Smirnoff Vodka
- 120ml (8 tbsp) Ginger Beer
- 15ml (1 tbsp) Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
- Dash Angostura Bitters
- 3 Slices Lime per glass
- 4-5 Ice Cubes per glass
Another great thing about a Moscow Mule, as well as the fact that you can serve them quite serviceably in wine glasses? No shaking or blending necessary. Just gently stir together the vodka, ginger beer, lime juice and bitters and pour over extra lime and ice.
Have any of you got any creative ways of serving cocktails, making up for the lack of equipment you'd like to share? While I do own a shaker and a jigger, I still sometimes feel that I'm not able to make some of them properly at home because I still don't have the right equipment!
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