A London Mule

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The Gin Gin Mule, also known as a London Mule, is a variation on the Moscow Mule that I much prefer.  The flavors of gin blend well with that of the ginger beer, making it much more pleasing to taste, and much more complex, than a Moscow Mule.

Since I do not like vodka, I am a a fan of the London Mule.  The London Mule is essentially, the more commonly known, Gin Gin Mule, except with the removal of simple syrup, which I add makes it too sweet for my tastes.  The flavors are great: a strong, Jamaican style ginger beer, combined with a robust juniper-oriented gin such as Gordon’s, Tanqueray or Voyager makes a delicious and refreshing drink that seemingly has many more flavors going on in it than the common Moscow Mule.  The flavors blend well with the mint garnish, making it even more refreshing when combined with the rest of the botanicals, and the lime brings out any citrus characteristics of the gin, creating a sour that compliments the ginger beers slight sweetness. 

The Gin Gin Mule was created by Audrey Saunders while at the Bemelmans Bar in New York City (Myers).  Currently, Saunders is at the famous Pegu Club, which is the place from which the Gin Gin Mule is most commonly associated.  According to John Myers, the Gin Gin Mule is “part Mojito and part Gin Buck.”  He writes that ginger beer drinks were known as “bucks” prior to the creation of the Moscow Mule, before the Moscow Mule came along, ginger ale/beer drinks were called “bucks” and came in a wide variety of types and styles.  The Pegu Club is perhaps one of the most famous bars in the world, let alone the United States, which is known specifically for its’ use of premium ingredients, fresh juices, homemade infusions and ginger beers.

The original Gin Gin Mule utilizes the addition of rich simple syrup, about a quarter of an ounce, in order to sweeten it and make the drink more palatable on the whole.  However, it is entirely unnecessary for it only makes the cocktail seem absurdly sweet.  But if you were going to go with the proper recipe, make it with a little bit of simple syrup added in order to sweeten it.  And when garnishing using the mint, once more I suggest utilizing doing what Jamie Boudreau suggests (which is also a practice used by bartenders at the Pegu Club): slap the mint between both your hands, in order to bring out the flavors and aroma of the mint without bruising it and releasing the chlorophyll or other things which might contribute to bitter, and unwanted, flavors.  You can also neatly tuck the mint into the cut of the lime wedge, in order to keep it on the edge of the glass as a garnish.

The London Mule (a Gin Gin Mule without the simple syrup):

1 1/2 to 2 ounces gin
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
Four or five leaves of mint
Ginger beer

Combine the juice and mint in a copper mug or collins glass. Muddle the mint, then fill the glass with ice, adding the gin. Stir until chilled. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with a sprig of mint and a piece of lime.

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Interview on Chow.  2007.  “Gin is Vodka, only better: talking with a master gin distiller.”  Chow.com.  http://www.chow.com/stories/10487 (accessed February 22, 2010).

Myers, John. September 5, 2008.  “The Land of Forgotten Cocktails.”  The Bollard.  http://www.thebollard.com/bollard/?p=2195 (accessed March 1, 2010).

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–. “Moscow Mule.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moscow_Mule (accessed February 22, 2010).
–. “Vodka.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vodka#History (accessed February 22, 2010). 

Wondrich, David. 2007. Imbibe!: From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash, a Salute in Stories and Drinks to “Professor” Jerry Thomas, Pioneer of the American Bar. New York: Penguin Group.