Let’s bring a summer twist to your traditional Kentucky mule! With a double dose of fruit, spicy ginger kick and bubbly finish, this cherry-orange Kentucky mule is bursting with fresh, seasonal flavor in every sip.
When patio season hits, mules are always one of my favorite go-to entertaining cocktails. Whether it’s my cherry-orange Kentucky mule, strawberry-mint Moscow mule or grapefruit gin mule, these gingery cocktails suit just about everyone’s taste.
You can skip the fruit or use your favorite variety, and all sorts of fresh herbs make a lovely flavor addition. Mint, rosemary, thyme, cilantro and sage are all tasty options.
And how fun is that copper mug? So fun!
Plus, mules couldn’t be easier to make, and they require hardly any prep time. See? There isn’t a more perfect cocktail for entertaining.
While I love all kinds of mules, I’m especially excited to bring you this fruity Kentucky mule because it offers the option to use my beloved cherry-infused bourbon. Of course, you can use regular bourbon if that's what you have on hand, but I highly encourage you to give the infused bourbon a try. Plus, you can use it in my cherry bourbon smash.
To prepare this delicious cherry-orange Kentucky mule, we start by cutting the bottom of an orange. This allows the orange to safely sit up without rolling around. We then cut off a piece of the orange peel by moving a paring knife downward. Although we won’t use the peel until the very end, I like to have it ready to go.
From here, we add freshly squeezed orange juice, lime juice and cherries to a copper mug and muddle. Once the cherries break down, we add the mint and lightly muddle a few times. Overworking the mint can leave you with a bitter drink, so I like to muddle the mint separately from the fruit.
Now we add our bourbon with a handful of ice and stir until the mug turns frosty, about 15-30 seconds. Once the drink is nice and chilled, we top it with ginger beer.
For the perfect finishing touch, we take the orange peel and twist it over our drink. This releases those aromatic orange oils for an extra citrusy boost. I also like to take a mint sprig, place it in one hand and quickly clap the other hand on top. Like twisting the peel, this releases the mint’s fragrance.
Now sit back, sip and enjoy this tasty cocktail in hand. Life is good, huh?
Do I Need Copper Mugs for Mule Cocktails?
I adore the special touch of serving Moscow mules in a traditional copper mug. For those hot summer days, the copper insulates our cherry-orange Kentucky mule for the utmost refreshing sipper. In fact, on particularly hot days, I'm even known to drink other cocktails out of my copper mugs for the extra coolness factor.
However, you can certainly serve these mules in a simple old fashioned glass if you don’t have copper mugs on hand. Copper mules are fun, but they're certainly not required for this cherry Kentucky mule.
I love a good Asian-inspired dish with mules. That spicy ginger kick makes for a perfect match. Think Korean-inspired tacos.
For the perfect summer entertaining cocktail, I hope you try this cherry-orange Kentucky mule.
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Cherry-Orange Kentucky Mule
- 1 orange
- 2 ounces freshly squeezed orange juice
- ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
- 8-10 mint leaves
- 6 cherries pitted and stemmed
- 2 ounces cherry-infused bourbon or regular bourbon
- 6 ounces ginger beer
- Mint sprig for garnish, optional
- Whole cherries for garnish, optional
- Using a paring knife, cut off the bottom of the orange and use that as the base. Carefully cut off a piece of peel by moving the knife away from yourself in a downward direction. Try to cut shallowly to minimize the amount of white pith. Set aside.
- Add the orange juice, lime juice and pitted cherries to a copper mug and muddle until the cherries break down. Add mint leaves and lightly muddle — you don't want to overwork the mint. Add the bourbon and a handful of ice and stir for about 15-30 seconds.
- Top with ginger beer. Gently stir. Over the drink, squeeze and twist the orange peel to release its oils and drop into mug. Take mint sprig and place in the palm of your hand, quickly clap your other hand on top to release the fragrance and garnish. Add additional cherries if desired. Enjoy!
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.