I don’t fancy myself much of a mixologist. So when clients ask me to do specialty drinks for their parties, I usually outsource to one of my more talented bartenders. But last month when I took on this Easter lunch, the host was insistent. For his Italian family, it wouldn’t be Easter without a vat of a very very alcoholic cocktail.
Since he made it clear that his family really liked their liquor, I tried to find a punch-like recipe that could be made in bulk without too much blood, sweat, and reaming. I came up with this minty take on a classic Moscow Mule. The base is vodka and the main flavor add-in is ginger beer – which means relatively no work on my part. The two homemade elements are a mint simple syrup (easy) and fresh lime juice (slightly annoying, but doable. Also, can be store-bought if you’re lazy).
I wanted to share my concoction with you as we get closer to Derby Day. If you’re looking for a gluten-free, vodka-based alternative to the classic Julep, this one can’t be beat. Mix up a huge pitcher or punch bowl of the stuff. Garnish with plenty of lime slices, fresh ginger, and mint. And if you’re friends are anything like my client’s big Italian family, be prepared for it to be gone by lunchtime.
This is a great party drink served in a pitcher or punch bowl. If you want to reduce the recipe and serve individually, the ration is 1:1:3:3 simple syrup to lime juice to ginger beer to vodka.
- 1 bunch fresh mint, plus more for garnish
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 24 ounces vodka
- 24 ounces ginger beer (2 bottles)
- 1 cup lime juice
- 2 sliced limes, for garnish
- Sliced fresh ginger, for garnish
- Combine the mint, sugar, and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and allow to steep for about an hour. Remove the mint leaves and add the simple syrup to a punch bowl or pitcher.
- Stir in the vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice. Chill in the fridge until cold. Garnish the punch with mint leaves, sliced limes, and sliced ginger.