Let’s enjoy the flavors of the Caribbean for your next happy hour with this Jamaican mule! With its Jamaican rum, freshly squeezed lime juice and spiced ginger beer, this tropical mule is one refreshing sipper that's just what you need when you're ready for a beach escape. As if that's not enough reason to love this cocktail, you can mix it up in under five minutes, so you'll have your new favorite mule in no time.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Celebrates delicious Jamaican rum: This is for you, fellow rum lovers. Jamaican rum is this drink’s star ingredient, which gives this mule a deeper flavor than the traditional Moscow mule, thanks to the rum’s prominent molasses and fruity notes. Don’t be surprised if this becomes your new favorite spirit for mules.
Only calls for three simple ingredients: No fancy syrups or bitters required here. Plus, it couldn’t be easier to make, even if you’re a beginner mixologist.
Batch it for parties: Mixing a mule takes hardly any time at all, but if you’d really like to be hands-off come party time, I have a pitcher option for you. Hosting couldn’t be easier.
Jamaican dark rum: We don’t want just any dark rum. After all, it’s called a Jamaican mule for a reason. Appleton Estate is one of the most prominent and oldest Jamaican distilleries and offers a selection of different aged dark rums. If you’d like some other options, check out this list of Jamaican rums.
Lime juice: We absolutely want fresh-squeezed lime juice. Skip the bottled juice. It lacks the flavor and brightness of fresh juice, and when we’re only dealing with three ingredients, quality is even more important.
Ginger beer: Made from ginger, sugar and water, ginger beer is a carbonated beverage that you can drink on its own or mixed with cocktails. Ginger beer has a strong spicy bite with just the right touch of sweetness, so we don’t need an additional simple syrup unless you’d like to use an infused syrup to add a flavor twist. Most ginger beers on the market are non-alcoholic, which is what we want for this recipe.
Step 1: We add the Jamaican rum, lime juice and ice cubes to a copper mug (photo 1). Mules are made directly in the glass, so we don’t need to pull out our cocktail shaker for this drink.
Step 2: Using a bar spoon, we stir the mixture to chill the rum and lime juice (photo 2).
Step 3: Now we top our drink with that spicy ginger beer and stir once again to combine (photo 3).
Step 4: While this step is optional, all that’s left is to add our garnish (photo 4). You can keep it simple with a lime wedge or add a fun tiki umbrella like I did.
An edible flower or some fresh pineapple leaves would also add a tropical touch — feel free to get creative here. Anything that makes you feel like you’re beachside works nicely.
Now sit back, take a sip and pretend you’re in Jamaica.
How to Make a Pitcher
As you can see, this is a quick and easy drink to mix, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a pitcher option. Here’s how to prepare a pitcher of rum mules.
- Stir together the rum and fresh lime juice in a pitcher with a handful or two of ice for about 20 seconds. This accounts for the dilution we’d get from the traditional mixing method.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove any leftover ice and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Citrus juice starts to lose its brightness after that, so we don’t want to make this drink too far in advance.
- When you’re ready to serve, pour in the ginger beer and gently stir. Now guests can serve themselves, and you don’t have to worry about playing bartender.
You’ll find the exact drink proportions for eight servings in the recipe card.
If you need to customize your servings, simply multiply the ounces by the number of desired servings. Then, divide that number by eight to get the cup measurement. Single drinks are measured in ounces, but the cup measurement is much easier when batching.
Jamaican rum is a full-bodied, molasses-based spirit that undergoes its own unique wild fermentation process and then is distilled in pot stills and aged in oak barrels. This wild fermentation gives Jamaican rum a distinctive funk character with fruity and spicy yeast esters. Even though Jamaican rum shows off a touch of sweetness, no sugar is added.
A classic Moscow mule is made with vodka instead of Jamaican rum. Other than that, both drinks include fresh lime juice and ginger beer and make for ultra refreshing cocktails. For other Moscow mule variations, you’ll also love the Kentucky mule, Irish mule and London mule.
While you technically can use another type of rum, it won’t be a Jamaican mule. Instead, you’ll simply have a dark rum mule. That’s not to say it won’t be delicious, of course, but we want a Jamaican rum for a Jamaican mule.
No, I do not recommend substituting ginger ale for ginger beer. They’re two completely different products. Ginger ale is much sweeter and milder.
Variations and Substitutions
The base of this Jamaican rum mule is perfect as is, but sometimes it’s fun to put a unique touch on a classic cocktail. Here are a few ways you can do just that.
- Muddle some fresh mint with the rum for an extra refreshing touch.
- Stir in some fruit purée or muddle some fruit, like in my peach mule and strawberry mule.
- Give it a kick of spice and muddle some jalapeño slices.
- Add a flavored simple syrup, such as my raspberry simple syrup, cranberry simple syrup or chai simple syrup.
- Sprinkle in a few dashes of your favorite aromatic bitters.
Chill your ginger beer before mixing: This prevents the ice from melting too quickly and makes for a more refreshing drink — a must on a hot summer night.
Pick the best rum that fits your budget: Like we discussed, quality matters. You certainly don’t need the most expensive rum. A mid-range rum works just fine.
Don’t use hard limes: You want to pick limes that have a bit of give when you squeeze into them. A hard lime is dried out.
Freeze your copper mugs: I love popping my copper mugs in the freezer 30 minutes before mixing. One of life's greatest joys is sipping from a frosty mug.
Oh, and let’s not forget dessert. This carrot pound cake is lovely — the cake’s dark brown sugar, spices, pineapple and coconut match with the rum’s rich molasses. You’ll also love this spiced orange tres leches cake.
For a tropical spin on a classic cocktail, this Jamaican mule recipe is just what you need. Enjoy every beachy sip.
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Jamaican Mule (Dark Rum Mule)
- Copper mug
- Jigger or small measuring cup
- Bar spoon
- Citrus juicer
- 2 ounces Jamaican dark rum
- ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
- 6 ounces chilled ginger beer
- Lime wheel, tiki umbrella or other tropical garnish optional
- Add the Jamaican dark rum, lime juice and a handful of ice to a copper mug.
- Using a bar spoon, stir the rum mixture until chilled, approximately 15-20 seconds.
- Top with chilled ginger beer. Gently stir to combine.
- If desired, add your tropical garnish. Enjoy!
- Pick limes that have some give when you squeeze them to ensure they're ripe and not dried out.
- For an extra refreshing drink, you can stick the copper mugs in the freezer 15-30 minutes before serving.
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.