History of the Moscow Mule Cocktail

At Royal 38 we have created a cocktail experience unlike any other Dallas bar. It all starts with creative, delicious cocktails that aren’t found at your average bar in the city. From our signature rye whiskey cocktail, the Blind Date, to our signature, elevated Moscow Mule cocktail called the Pretentious Mule, our menu is unlike any other. In this post, we are going to describe in some detail our inventive, delicious take on this classic American cocktail, the Moscow Mule. We call this derivation on this classic the Pretentious Mule. First, we are going to give you a little history on this Vodka based cocktail as well as a little information about the nature and history of the vodka spirit. We will then provide you with some details about how we painstakingly make the Pretentious Mule cocktail at Royal 38. A little history on the classic cocktail, the Moscow Mule goes as follows: this vodka based concoction was born on the island of Manhattan in New York City in 1941. It was birthed by three good friends who were drinking at a cocktail bar in one of New York City’s classic hotels, the Chatham. These three friends, one of them the President of a Vodka company and all of them being in the liquor business, were sharing a few cocktails and appetizers one brisk New York evening, when they began wondering how they might invent something new and exciting for Vodka drinkers to enjoy. A little history and insight into vodka is as follows: different varieties of Vodka originated in Russian, Poland and Sweden and it is typically made by distilling liquid from fermented cereal grains such as wheat. But, in more recent times, potatoes have been used. Since the 1890s, standard vodkas have been 40% alcohol by volume (ABV). The good friends who invented the Moscow Mule, began thinking about what might happen if they took their favorite liquor, Russian Vodka and mixed it with another of their favorites, Ginger Beer. After some experimentation with various flavors, they decided to add some citrus juice to the mixture to give it a bit of a tart flavor twist. They loved the resulting cocktail and christened it the Moscow Mule! These good friends pinned the Moscow moniker on their cocktail based on country of origin of their favorite Vodka, the primary liquor in their invention. The Moscow Mule cocktail has become immensely popular and has enjoyed many variations since it was invented decades ago. Some versions of the cocktail have been made with Whiskey, others made with Gin and some have even been made with Tequila, as well as a myriad of other spirits. At Royal 38 we have taken the classic Moscow Mule cocktail, and completely reinvented it to deliver an elevated, even better tasting version than the original classic. We use the classic spirit vodka, but we use fresh, house made ginger honey syrup instead of Ginger Beer and crystal clear, clarified lime juice instead of standard pulp laden juice. Each cocktail is carefully hand carbonated to add champagne sized carbonation to both the liquor and the juices to create the most refined and what many guests consider, the best tasting Moscow Mule in Dallas.

Ingredients for this Refreshing Cocktail

This amazingly refreshing cocktail starts with the specialized ingredients we use in this Royal 38 signature version of a Moscow Mule cocktail:

Fresh squeezed, crystal clear, clarified lime juice

Premium vodka

Filtered water

Hand carbonated to order

Building the Pretentious Mule Cocktail

Here is the exacting and unique process we undertake to create this special cocktail for each and every one of our guests who want to experience a Moscow Mule like no other:

Step 1: Create fresh ginger honey syrup. Starting with fresh ginger root, the roots are juiced and the resulting juice is place in a high speed blender. Wild honey is then added to the ginger root juice in the blender. The mixture is then blended for a total of two minutes. The resulting syrup is tart, slightly sweet, but tangy and has a nice pungent fragrance. This juice blend forms the basis of our Pretentious Mule cocktail and is unique to Royal 38.

Step 2: Create clarified lime juice. Limes are cut and then placed in an automated juicer until a full 4 cups of juice have been extracted. The resulting juice is then placed in a medical grade centrifuge where all the sediment and color are removed by the high-speed centrifugal force generated by the machine spinning at 4,000 revolutions per minute. The result is crystal clear, pure tasting lime juice, perfect for our Pretentious Mule cocktail, which also ends up as a crystal clear cocktail, void of any pulp.

Step 3: Place the fresh ginger honey syrup, clarified lime juice, premium vodka, filtered water and ice into a Perlini Carbonating Cocktail System cannister. Aggressively shake the cannister a minimum of 10 times, more if desired.

Step 4: After shaking is complete, place a CO2 hose into the nipple of the cannister to infuse champagne sized carbonation into all the ingredients. This ensures that all ingredients are carbonated and have effervesce equally, unlike standard Moscow Mule cocktails you may have drank elsewhere, which have no carbonation in the lime juice or the vodka in the drink.

Step 5: Release excess carbonation with a single twist of the cannister lid, then tighten. Once again, place the CO2 hose into the nipple on the cannister for one last infusion of champagne sized bubble carbonation. The resulting effervescence permeates the entire mixture at this point.

Step 6: Place a single, long, crystal clear ice cube in a tall, Collins sized cocktail glass.

Step 7: Pour the ingredients from the Perlini cannister directly over the ice, using a strainer to catch any ice that may spill from the cannister.

Step 8: Serve the Pretentious Mule with a metal sipping straw.

Patio Sipping Favorite

The Pretentious Mule cocktail has become a Royal 38 favorite, especially for our guests who enjoy our large outdoor patio, which seats about 85 guests. In the spring and fall when the weather makes patio lounging so enjoyable, our guests often sip a the Pretentious Mule or two while sharing one of Royal 38’s small plates from our food menu with friends. Our guests that order our Pretentious Mule at our Dallas cocktail bar tell us they love the Pretentious Mule because it is crisp, very refreshing and easy to drink. Our guests especially like the unique carbonation effect of champagne sized bubbles infusing all the ingredients so that every sip of the cocktail is filled with just the right amount of effervescence. They also tell the Pretentious Mule complements many of the items from our extensive food menu, including our Ahi Tuna Nachos, House Made Ceviche, Lobster Corn Fritters, Portobello Frites and many more.

Creating an Unmatched Cocktail Bar Experience

Royal 38 is the latest cocktail bar created and run by the award winning originators of one of the quintessential Dallas cocktail bars, HIDE Bar. HIDE Bar was named the Best New Bar of 2017, Best Bar of 2018 and was named as the bar with the Best Cocktail of 2019. This award winning team of bartenders and mixologists have outdone themselves again and created a menu of 20+ unique signature cocktails for Royal 38’s guests. And, Royal 38 continues to deliver a twist on every classic cocktail you know. One of the classics Royal 38 makes that has a very special twist is the Old Fashioned cocktail. Our Old Fashioned will be the subject of a future blog post, highlighting the alternative approach we have taken with the traditional simple syrup used in an Old Fashioned. But, as we say, that is a subject for a future cocktail blog post. Suffice it to say, the Royal 38 staff’s creativity and expertise all adds up to a cocktail bar experience unlike any other available at a Dallas bar. No matter what spirit you like, there are signature cocktails on the Royal 38 menu that will make your taste buds smile. There are numerous choices for Vodka and Gin aficionados. There are ample choices for those that enjoy Tequila and Rum as well. And, no cocktail bar can be without lots of choices for Whiskey fans and Royal 38 does not disappoint in that regard. All Royal 38’s cocktails, either one of our signatures or our spin on a classic, are complemented by a food menu consisting of 15 shared plates, half a dozen sandwiches, several entrees and numerous salads. And, of course beer and wine are served at Royal 38 as well.