When you’ve been creating homemade beverages for over 10 years, you tend to get tired of the same old holiday drinks. This Pumpkin Spice Mule recipe is a great way to shake up your tried and maaaaybe tired holiday traditions! Made with the flavors of pumpkin, spices, and ginger beer, this cocktail is sure to impress your friends and family at your next fall gathering. It’s also perfect to enjoy throughout the entire winter holiday season! Because pumpkin spice deserves more than just October!!!
This recipe was inspired by my pumpkin spice simple syrup. When dreaming up cocktails to make with the syrup, the flavor of ginger was calling to me. Immediately, a classic ginger cocktail came to mind: the Moscow mule. This recipe is a festive spin on a classic cocktail you’re sure to love!Jump to Recipe
💕 why you'll love this recipe
🎃 festive & flavorful. Pumpkin spice always has it’s moment in the sun from September - November. This reimagined classic cocktail puts those flavors front and center just in time for happy hour!
🍹 new twist on a classic. Moscow mules are a super popular beverage, and this seasonal spin makes it even more crave-worthy. It’s also easy to customize and make into a mocktail if you like!
⏱️ quick & easy. The only thing better than a fun and flavorful cocktail is one that is easy to make! This cocktail is party perfect because it can be made in a matter of minutes once you gather all the necessary ingredients!
- pumpkin spice simple syrup - This pumpkin simple syrup is packed with pumpkin and spice, so it’s perfect for giving this mule a big dose of fall flavor, while keeping things sweet and spicy.
- pumpkin purée - A small amount of pumpkin purée plays up the pumpkin flavor in this cocktail. If you made your own pumpkin spice simple syrup, you’ll have a bit of pumpkin purée left over. I love freezing leftover pumpkin into small cubes using these Souper Cubes molds, because each one comes with measurements on them, so you know how many tablespoons are in each cube. Genius! Make sure to use plain pumpkin purée and not pumpkin pie filling.
- ginger beer - Make sure you grab ginger beer, not ginger ale. A quick peek at most ginger ales (and even some ginger beer) will show you that ginger isn’t even an ingredient! 😱 I love using brands like Betty Buzz that use real ginger in their ginger beer. The spicy ginger flavor is a must in this cocktail!
- vanilla vodka - most Moscow mules are made with regular vodka, but I love using vanilla vodka to add a bit of warmth and depth to this seasonal autumn cocktail. I recommend Absolut Vanilla. I also tested this cocktail using regular vodka and my husband preferred that version. I preferred the added warmth that the vanilla vodka gave, but both work well!
- lime juice - you’ll need fresh limes, for both the juice in this cocktail and the garnish. In a pinch, you can use bottled lime juice if you don’t have fresh limes available to you.
- ice - while you don’t technically need any fancy ice for this cocktail, Moscow mules are traditionally served over crushed ice. I also recommend filling your cocktail shaker with larger ice cubes from your fridge or freezer (or using store-bought cocktail ice!) so the drink doesn’t get diluted while you shake it. Then, you can strain the cocktail over crushed ice.
- cinnamon sticks - these are optional for garnishing your cocktail, but they make a really spectacular presentation! I love to buy these in bulk from Costco, so I always have them on hand for making simple syrups or garnishing drinks! When buying in bulk, you also get longer cinnamon sticks, which make better garnishes for taller glasses. 🤓
- nutmeg - a fine grating of nutmeg gives this cocktail an extra festive flavor profile from the first sip.
- dehydrated lime wheels - a classic garnish! These dehydrated lime wheels last forever and make great garnishes for any cocktail containing lime.
See the recipe card for quantities.
Step 1: Fill your preferred glass with crushed ice. Choose a glass that has at least a 12 to 16-ounce capacity because the crushed ice takes up a lot of space in this cocktail.
Step 2: Add ice to a cocktail shaker. Use larger cubes to keep your drink from diluting as you shake it. Add 1 tablespoon of pumpkin purée to the cocktail shaker.
Step 3: Add ½ ounce of lime juice next to the cocktail shaker.
Step 4: Pour ½ ounce of pumpkin spice simple syrup into the cocktail shaker.
Step 5: Finally, add 2 ounces of vanilla vodka to the cocktail shaker.
Step 6: Shake vigorously for 10-20 seconds.
Step 7: Strain into your cocktail glass. If you prefer for your cocktail to have no bits of pumpkin purée, you can strain it through a cocktail sieve before serving.
Step 8: Fill the glass to the top with ginger beer.
Step 9: Garnish with a cinnamon stick, dehydrated lime wheel, and a fine grating of nutmeg.
Step 10: Serve immediately.
🍽️ serving tips
Make it a mocktail:
To make a mocktail of this mule, leave out the vodka and add in more ginger beer. This is a perfect zero-proof option to serve at any event, from a stay-at-home movie night to a Halloween party!
Choose Your Glass:
The traditional glass for a Moscow mule is a copper mule mug. They conduct temperatures well and keep things nice and frosty. They also sweat, which is usually a deal breaker for me. 😅
I have a couple double walled mule mugs I picked up at a Williams-Sonoma outlet (RIP W.S. Outlets), and I also love using other double-walled glasses like these ones from Bodum, or these ones from Elevated Craft. Of course, you can use whatever glasses you like!
ℹ️ troubleshooting tips
- texture - Since this cocktail has pumpkin purée, the texture can be a little grainy. If you aren’t a fan of this, you can strain it through a fine mesh-sieve to remove larger particles. I didn’t find it to be off-putting, and I think it actually improved the flavor of the cocktail. Blending your drink can also help if you’re not a fan of the texture!
- sweetness - make sure to check the sugar content of the ginger beer you’re using. Some bottles can have more than 30 grams of sugar in them, making them pretty sweet! If your ginger beer has a lot of added sugar, you may want to cut the simple syrup you use in half and taste as you go. Alternatively, you can add in some more lime juice.
- too sour - if your limes are extremely acidic, your finished cocktail could be a bit sour. Add in some more simple syrup to balance things out, ¼ ounce at a time.
⚖️ Scaling Tips
Making a big batch:
This is the perfect cocktail to serve at a seasonal fall gathering, and it’s also very easy to scale up into a pitcher recipe! To make a pitcher of these cocktails, multiply everything by 8 servings in the recipe card below, and make sure to grab a pitcher that holds at least 64 ounces.
- Combine all ingredients except the ginger beer in the pitcher of a blender and pulse until everything is combined.
- Once mixed, pour the base of the cocktail into your pitcher of choice and refrigerate.
- Hold off on adding the ginger beer until just before you’re serving this cocktail to your guests so that the bubbles are nice and plentiful.
- If you have any leftovers, store it in a bottle with a stopper, and use care not to shake it. Shaking the bottle can build up pressure and lead to popping tops! 🍾
You can also make one or two cocktails and serve them shooter-style if you like! This would be a fun “shot board” cocktail to make as an arrival beverage for a Halloween party!
🔆 top tip
If you don’t have the time to make your own pumpkin spice simple syrup, you can buy a store-bought syrup. Additionally, you can use regular simple syrup and a pinch of pumpkin pie spice.
Missing an ingredient? No problem. Check out these tried-and-true substitutions, or comment below with your question. I’m here to help you troubleshoot!
- plain vodka - while I preferred the taste of vanilla vodka in this cocktail, you can absolutely use plain vodka if flavored vodkas aren’t your style. Opt to use a quality brand like Tito’s, Absolut, Ketel One or Grey Goose.
- plain simple syrup and spice - if you don’t have time to make your own pumpkin spice simple syrup, you can use regular simple syrup and pumpkin pie spice. Just use a small pinch of spices per cocktail.
- lemon - if you’re out of limes, you can use lemons instead. The flavor will be a bit different, but it will still be delicious!
- rum or tequila - another clear liquor like silver rum or blanco tequila can be substituted in this cocktail with ease. This cocktail also works well with spiced rum!
Feeling like a rebel?! 😈 Feel free to stray from the recipe card using these variations, or leave me a comment with your own!
- frozen - combine all the ingredients into the pitcher of a blender with a scoop of ice to make this cocktail a frosty cool frozen mule!
- zero-proof - make it a mocktail by omitting the vodka and adding in more ginger beer. This is a fun way to make sure all your guests at the party have the same cocktails, no matter whether they choose to drink or not.
- yule mule - if you’re looking for another festive variation on a mule, try out this cranberry mule, also known as a yule mule!
🧰 equipment needed
- cocktail shaker - while traditional Moscow mules are made inside the glass, this version requires you to shake a few ingredients together to really mix them up well. When I’m photographing my recipes, I like using a clear glass shaker to show off the ingredients inside. But when it comes to actually preparing cocktails in a shaker, I love using this cocktail shaker by Elevated Craft. It’s insulated, meaning your hands don’t get cold while shaking!
- Moscow mule mug - traditionally, mules are served in a copper mug. You can use a glass like these ones for a more classic look, but in the photos of this post I used these mugs from Elevated Craft.
- fine-mesh sieve - if you want to strain your cocktail, you’ll need a fine mesh sieve to do so. I love using this one from OXO that is specifically for cocktails because the mesh is super fine.
It's best to serve this cocktail immediately after making it because of the carbonation and fresh ingredients used.
If you want, you can prepare it in advance and store it in a glass bottle with a stopper like these from Bormioli Rocco. If you do make your cocktails in advance, they are best enjoyed within 24 hours to maintain maximum effervescence! 😉
Yes, it’s best to use pumpkin purée to amp up the pumpkin flavor. If you don’t have pumpkin purée on hand, you can skip it, but the flavor will be lighter.
Yes you can! If you don’t want to make your own pumpkin spice simple syrup, or don’t have the time to, you can use a store-bought pumpkin syrup instead of the homemade version.
Traditionally, vodka is used in mule recipes. However, you can use whatever alcohol you like! Clear liquors like rum, vodka and tequila work very well because they don’t add a lot of flavor. With that said, you can also use flavored vodkas or rums if you choose. Dark liquors like whiskey and scotch can be used, but they add flavor because of the aging process or added colors or flavors.
If you make this recipe, please leave a review in the comments and a star rating!
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Pumpkin Spice Mule
- 1 Moscow mule mug or other glass with a 12 - 16 ounce capacity
- 1 set of measuring beakers can use a jigger
- 1 microplane zester for grating fresh nutmeg
For the Cocktail
- 2 ounces Vanilla Vodka Absolut brand recommended
- .5 ounce Lime Juice freshly squeezed
- .5 ounce Pumpkin Spice Simple Syrup
- 1 tablespoon Pumpkin Purée
- 4 ounces Ginger Beer Betty Buzz brand recommended
For the Garnish
- whole nutmeg
- dehydrated lime wheels
- cinnamon sticks
- Add ice to a cocktail shaker. Use larger cubes to keep your drink from diluting as you shake it.
- Fill your preferred glass with crushed ice. Choose a glass that has at least a 16 ounce capacity, because the crushed ice takes up a lot of space in this cocktail.
- Add 1 tablespoon of pumpkin purée to the cocktail shaker.
- Add ½ ounce of lime juice next to the cocktail shaker.
- Pour ½ ounce of pumpkin spice simple syrup into the cocktail shaker.
- Finally, add 2 ounces of vanilla vodka to the cocktail shaker.
- Shake vigorously for 10-20 seconds.
- Strain into your cocktail glass. If you prefer for your cocktail to have no bits of pumpkin purée, you can strain it through a cocktail sieve before serving.
- Garnish with a cinnamon stick, dehydrated lime wheel, and a fine grating of nutmeg.
- Serve immediately.
🧯food safety & other information
Food safety is an important ingredient in any recipe for success! Here are some tips to keep you safe in the kitchen!
- Always enjoy alcohol responsibly, and never give alcohol to anyone under 21 years of age. For more information about responsible alcohol consumption, click here.