Fresh grapefruit with a hint of rosemary shines in this easy ginger beer and vodka cocktail recipe. With only a few ingredients and a rosemary simple syrup, this grapefruit Moscow Mule is quick to pull together and is so refreshing!
A simple and beloved sipper at its most basic, the Moscow mule has many variations. With its punchy notes of ginger, I find it an easy ginger beer cocktail recipe to experiment with. Enter the season’s freshest of fruits and herbs: grapefruit and rosemary. But what is the best ginger beer to pair with this grapefruit cocktail? Read on and I’ll share my favorite!
Ingredients for this Ginger Beer Cocktail Recipe
The classic Moscow mule is made with three basic ingredients: vodka, ginger beer and lime juice. But for this grapefruit cocktail recipe, I’ve added a few more:
- Ginger Beer
- Lime Juice
- Grapefruit Juice
- Fresh Rosemary
- Rosemary Simple Syrup
- Chunks of Ice
The rosemary simple syrup is optional, but I find it balances the sharp flavor of ginger beer and the sourness of grapefruit. Additionally, it’s another way to infuse the oils from rosemary into this flavorful vodka drink.
How to Make Rosemary Simple Syrup
This rosemary simple syrup recipe couldn’t be easier to make and it stores for weeks in the fridge. Adding seasonal herbs to your simple takes cocktails from ordinary to effortless fancy.
- First, to a small sauce pot, add sugar and water in equal parts.
- Next, bring the mixture to a boil and simmer until all the sugar is dissolved.
- Drop in the rosemary sprigs and lid the pot for 10 minutes to steep.
- Last, strain into a lidded and heat proof jar and store in the fridge to cool before using.
Make rosemary simple syrup up to two weeks in advance!
What is the Best Ginger Beer for a Moscow mule?
I’ve been a long time fan of Fever Tree Ginger Beer (not sponsored), so naturally I think it’s the best ginger beer to use in a Moscow mule. It’s mildly sweet with bold spice and gingery notes and it’s vegan and gluten free. Find this punchy mixer in the alcohol section at your local grocery.
Although its name suggests, ginger beer does not contain alcohol. Rather, it’s lovely as a non alcoholic mixer in beverages or is refreshing simply over ice.
Copper Mug or Not?
The classic Moscow mule is served in a copper mug simply because the copper mug quickly takes on the icy temperature of the drink, keeping this grapefruit cocktail chilled longer. I choose to pour my mules in a Collins or low ball glass just because these are what I have on hand.
How to Make a Rosemary – Grapefruit Moscow Mule
Because the flavors of ginger and grapefruit are loud, I incorporate rosemary twice to bring out its best in this ginger beer cocktail. So, I infuse the simple with rosemary, then to extract more rosemary flavor, I muddle rosemary with lime and simple.
- First, make the rosemary simple syrup. Chill until ready to use.
- Next, in a cocktail shaker or mixer, muddle the lime, rosemary and simple syrup.
- Then, pour in the vodka and fresh grapefruit juice. Stir.
- Double strain into an iced Collins glass or copper mug and top with ginger beer.
- Last, garnish with a lime wedge and a rosemary sprig. Rosemary flowers too, if available.
A Few Recipe Notes
- I can get about 1/2 C (132g) of juice out of one medium grapefruit. That’ll give you enough for about two and a half drinks.
- Rosemary simple syrup can be made up to a week in advance and is easily doubled if needed.
- This grapefruit juice and vodka cocktail can be made up to one day in advance without adding the ginger beer, stored in a lidded container. When ready to share, pour into a Collins glass or copper mug and then top with ginger beer.
- Fresh squeezed grapefruit and lime juice are recommended for this cocktail recipe. When out of season, I use Lakewood pink grapefruit juice.
- If needed, look for gluten free vodka. I like Tito’s.
- Have you heard of an American mule? It’s the same as the Moscow mule!
More Ginger Beer Cocktail Recipes to Love
Rosemary-Grapefruit Moscow Mule
For the Rosemary Simple Syrup:
- 1/4 C (55g) Cane Sugar
- 1/4 C (55g) Water
- 2-3 Sprigs of Fresh Rosemary cut to fit into pot
For the Cocktail:
- 1/4 oz (7g) Rosemary Simple Syrup adjust to taste after topping with ginger beer
- 1/2 Lime cut into quarters
- 2 Sprigs of Fresh Rosemary cut to fit into the shaker or mixer
- 2 oz (57g) Fresh Grapefruit Juice
- 2 oz (57g) Vodka Titos is gluten free, if needed
- Crushed Ice
- Ginger Beer to top, I like Fever Tree, it's gluten free
For the Rosemary Simple Syrup:
- In a small sauce pot, bring the sugar and water to a boil and swirl the pot a few times until the sugar completely dissolves. Remove from heat. Add the rosemary sprigs to the sugar mixture, and place a lid on the sauce pot. Steep for 10 minutes. Remove lid, strain to remove the rosemary and store in a lidded container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Chill before using in cocktail (to speed this process, I place the container, unlidded, in the freezer to chill the simple down fast - I use a canning jar for this.)
For the Cocktail:
- Juice one grapefruit through a fine mesh strainer and into a small bowl. Set aside. In a cocktail shaker or mixer, muddle the lime wedges, simple syrup (if using) and fresh rosemary sprigs. Pour in the grapefruit juice, and vodka and top with ice. Stir. Fill a Collins glass or copper mug with crushed ice and double strain the grapefruit mixture into the glass/mug. Top with ginger beer and adjust sweetness to taste by adding more simple if desired. Garnish with a lime slice and rosemary sprig.