Let’s give a beloved bourbon cocktail a simple yet gourmet upgrade with this rosemary Kentucky mule! Featuring a fresh rosemary simple syrup, tart lime juice and spicy ginger beer for a bubbly kick, this bourbon mule shows off a complex depth of flavors for one tasty drink, but you’ll be surprised how easy it is to prepare. Get ready to fall in love with your new favorite Kentucky mule.
Why You Need to Make This Recipe
When you need an easy, ultra refreshing cocktail, look no further than the mule. With a little pouring and stirring, even the beginner mixologist can make a perfect mule cocktail. Sure, we make our own homemade rosemary simple syrup for this Kentucky mule recipe, but the process couldn’t be easier.
I also love how this bourbon cocktail is perfect no matter the time of year. Like in my garden gin and tonic, I can’t resist adding freshly cut herbs straight off the vine to my cocktails. It makes for such a wonderfully fragrant drinking experience.
At the same time, those earthy rosemary notes add a lovely richness and warmth during the chilly months. There’s never a bad time for this rosemary Kentucky mule, and it’s certainly a cocktail recipe you should keep handy in your back pocket.
Before we start mixing, let’s organize our rosemary Kentucky mule ingredients.
- Bourbon: A nice mid-range bourbon works well here. Some of my favorites in that category are Makers Mark, Buffalo Trace, Stranahan’s, Four Roses and Elijah Craig.
- Rosemary simple syrup: We make this from water, sugar and fresh rosemary.
- Ginger beer: This gives us the gingery, bubbly punch with the right touch of spice.
- Lime juice: We freshly squeeze our juice for the best flavor.
- Ice: Because a good mule is always icy cold.
- Bar tools: A citrus juicer, bar spoon and copper mug.
Why Use a Copper Mug?
A copper mug is a nice touch with any mule cocktail. The copper insulates our drink, which keeps it extra cold and refreshing. Plus, a copper mug makes for a lovely presentation.
Of course, if you don't have a copper mug, don't feel like you can't serve it. You can still make this Kentucky mule and serve it in an old fashioned glass. This drink is too tasty to skip just because you don't have a copper mug.
Who's thirsty? Let's start mixing. We begin by making our rosemary simple syrup. True to its name, this is a simple process.
We add sugar, water and fresh rosemary to a small pot and bring to a boil. Every so often, we stir the mixture to help dissolve the sugar. Once it boils, we turn off the heat, allow the mixture to steep for about 10 minutes and then chill until serving.
With our simple syrup prepared, we’re ready to start on the rest of our mule, and it couldn’t be easier. We grab our copper mug and add the rosemary simple syrup, bourbon, lime juice and a handful of ice. Using a bar spoon, we stir rapidly to chill the mixture. We know we’re doing a good job when the mug turns icy cold and starts developing condensation.
Now we gently stir in our ginger beer, add a fresh rosemary sprig for a fragrant touch and relax with one refreshing cocktail in hand. It doesn’t get easier than that, huh?
Expert Tips & FAQs
- If stored in an airtight container, the homemade rosemary simple syrup should last for several weeks in the refrigerator. I like making it ahead of time to ensure it's nicely chilled, and it's one step you don't have to worry about when you're thirsty for a cocktail. Plus, you can use it in my Winter Wonderland margarita and blood orange-rosemary gin and tonic.
- Want to add a fruity touch? Feel free to muddle a handful of fruit or add a couple ounces of fruit juice to the mix.
- Not into bourbon but love the idea of a rosemary mule? No problem! This rosemary cocktail would be equally delicious with vodka or gin.
- For a mocktail version, skip the liquor completely and just use the rosemary simple syrup, lime juice and ginger beer.
- When picking your limes at the store, select those that have some give when you press them. If the limes are hard, they’re too dried out.
- Before juicing the lime, firmly roll it under the palm of your hand on the countertop several times. This helps release the juice.
With bourbon, we want a big, bold meat that can stand up to our strong liquor. Depending on the time of year, I have some options you’ll love.
During the winter and fall months, try this rosemary-bourbon mule with my apple cider pot roast or braised apple cider short ribs. The woodsy rosemary melds nicely with the spice. Or if it’s summertime, my Jamaican jerk pork shoulder is great. You also can’t go wrong pairing it with my slow cooker Guinness corned beef, which cooks in a savory broth that blends nicely with the rosemary.
For one refreshing bourbon cocktail, I hope you try this rosemary Kentucky mule.
Looking for More Mule Recipes?
If you love this recipe, please leave a comment with a five-star rating — or simply hit the five-star button in the recipe card. Don't forget to sign up for my newsletter, and you can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and TikTok.
Rosemary Kentucky Mule
- Cocktail shaker
- Bar spoon
- Citrus juicer
Rosemary Simple Syrup
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup white sugar
- Several fresh rosemary sprigs
Rosemary Kentucky Mule
- 2 ounces bourbon
- 1 ounce rosemary simple syrup
- ½ lime juiced
- 6 ounces ginger beer
- Fresh rosemary sprigs for garnish, optional
Rosemary Simple Syrup
- In a small saucepan, add the water, white sugar and rosemary sprigs. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to help dissolve the sugar.
- Turn off the heat once the mixture boils and the sugar dissolves. Allow the mixture to steep for at least 10 minutes. Strain and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to several weeks.
For Rosemary Kentucky Mule
- Add a handful of ice, bourbon, rosemary simple syrup and lime juice to a copper mug. Stir to chill well.
- Top with ginger beer. Gently stir to combine. Garnish with a rosemary sprig if desired. Enjoy!
- For full tips, please see blog post.
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.