Anytime we can give a recipe a dash of that sunshine-y freshness that is so associated with California, well, we do it. We blame it on our love for our home state and all the fresh produce grown here.
Sometimes we do so by combining avocados and strawberries for dessert. Other times it's by leveling up classic pound cake with a kumquat thyme marmalade. Bottom line is, if there are local flavors we can celebrate, we're all about it.
Sometimes we even make a recipe more "California" like we did with this Strawberry Moscow Mule. Though the cocktail's name includes Moscow, the cocktail actually hails from Los Angeles (more on that later).
We're the kind of people who buy flats of berries when we see them at the farmers market. Most the time we get through them all in a few days no problem. But, when we find ourselves with too many strawberries, we use them up in this cocktail that's made with vodka infused with strawberries.
Before we go any farther, let's talk about the classic cocktail that is the Moscow Mule. In case you've never had the cocktail before, the classic Moscow Mule recipe is made with vodka, lime, ginger beer, crushed ice, and a sprig of mint.
To clarify, this cocktail is part of the "mule family of cocktails."All cocktails of this type are made with that delicious combination of ginger beer (or ginger ale), lime juice, and alcohol. Also, these cocktails are sometimes called a "buck" so if you see either term on a menu, you know what to expect.
The Moscow Mule is believed to have been created in the early 1940s in Los Angeles, California. The story goes that the owner of the British Pub, the Cock 'n Bull, on the Sunset Strip came up with the vodka and ginger beer concoction. However, it's debated as to whether the head bartender or the owner was the true creator of the drink.
Regardless the drink is one of the most popular vodka cocktails out there and it's usually served in a copper mug filled with ice. Some say the copper cup is there to keep the drink super cold. Others say it's purely looks. Regardless, if you see a cocktail served this way, it's most likely a Moscow Mule.
Of all the DIY kitchen projects out there, infusing alcohol is probably one of the easiest. That's because you simply combine an alcohol with whatever you want from strawberries to jalapeños!
When done right a well infused alcohol will give a cocktail another layer of flavor without totally masking the taste of the alcohol itself.
This Strawberry Moscow Mule Cocktail is one of those drinks that comes across girly and flirty but is a balance of not too sweet yet not too strong. It's the perfect drink to beat the heat and guaranteed to break the ice.
The key to this cocktail is to infuse the vodka with strawberries because it gives the final drink a floral berry flavor.
We love that it turns the drink a gorgeous red shade; that color is amazing, isn't it? It reminds me of the perfect red of that Chanel lip gloss I used to save up for when I was in my 1940s glam stage during high school.
Yes, you always want to use the best ingredients you can find to make any recipe out there. And we encourage you to use your favorite premium vodka when you make this. In other words, avoid any vodka from the corner store that comes in a plastic bottle! But the place where this cocktail can go wrong is with the ginger beer.
Sometimes bad ginger beer or even ginger ale is used instead. To clarify, ginger ale is different from ginger beer. Ginger beer is a naturally bubbly, brewed beverage made with ginger and it has a very low amount of alcohol (hence the "beer" in the name). Ginger ale is a soda that is made by mixing ginger syrup and carbonated water.
In this cocktail you want a ginger beer that has a lot of spiciness. We prefer to use Fever Tree, Bundaberg, or Fentimans brands. Know that the sweetness and spiciness of the type of ginger beer you use may require you to use more or less lime or agave to balance the cocktail.
There are a lot of variations on the mule cocktail out there from the Kentucky Mule (made with bourbon) and the Mexican Mule (aka "El Burro") made with tequila. Here are a few variations we like:
As always, share the results of your kitchen creations with us by tagging @saltandwind and #swsociety on social!
hulled and quartered
To Make The Strawberry Infused Vodka: Combine vodka and berries in a glass jar, cover, and shake, and let sit at room temperature at least 24 hours and up to 72 hours. Taste the vodka every 12 hours -- when it's as strawberry flavored as you like, strain through a fines mesh seive, discard berries, and keep the vodka.
The strawberry vodka will stay up to 1 month when stored in the freezer in an airtight container.
To Make One Cocktail: Fill a copper mug or a Collins glass with crushed ice. Add 2 ounces of the Strawberry Infused Vodka, 4 ounce of the giner beer, and the juice from half of a lime. Stir to just combine.
FYI The sweetness and spiciness of the type of ginger beer you use may require you to use more or less lime to balance the cocktail. For this cocktail, I prefer Fever Creek, Bundaberg, or Fentimans.
To Serve The Moscow Mule: Tuck a mint sprig into the cocktail, add a few sliced strawberries, then serve immediately.
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