The Unexpected Ingredient That Will Take Your Moscow Mule Up A Notch

Summer is always a lively time in the world of adult beverages, and this one has been no exception. At the start of the season, the Dirty Shirley suddenly became nearly as ubiquitous as its Shirley temple mocktail namesake. Those who weren't into sickeningly sweet sippers may have gone a more classic route with the martini, whose many variations (classic, dirty, gin, vodka) "infiltrated the internet" as early as March, per Vine Pair, just around the time the espresso martini was slowly making its quiet exit from menus. It's also worth mentioning that this summer has played host to a new class of sober adults who prefer to nurse tasty virgin beverages at booze-free bars

Amid all these trends, there are certain drinks your bartender should always know how to make. A favorite among these stalwart refreshments is the Moscow Mule, which consists of vodka, ginger beer, lime juice, and a lime or mint garnish (via Esquire). But even standard cocktails deserve an upgrade every now and then, and ripe seasonal fruit provides the perfect excuse.

Introduce your Moscow Mule to cherry season

According to The Spruce Eats, we're in the middle of peak cherry season. That means it's high time to get yourself to a U-Pick, a farmers market, or your local grocery store to score the juiciest haul of stone fruit of the year. You can do whatever you want with your cherries, we personally love to throw them in a desserts, but you could just as easily muddle them up at the bottom of your Moscow Mule for a particularly bright and zippy version of the cocktail. 

Trisha Yearwood's Food Network recipe simply has you stir ginger ale, ginger beer, vodka, lime juice, and cherry juice in two lowball or copper glasses, garnished with ice and lime wedges. In a roundup of "three fun takes" on the Moscow Mule, the food bloggers over at A Beautiful Mess suggest taking things up a notch by crushing up (or "muddling") some cherries at the bottom of your glass, then adding vodka, ice, ginger beer, and a cherry garnish.