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Skinny Moscow Mule or Mexican Mule

Skinny Moscow Mule or Mexican Mule
Home » Low Carb Lifestyle » Skinny Moscow Mule or Mexican Mule

Moscow Mules, easy to recognize from the copper mugs they’re served in, have remained a popular cocktail for some time now. They can be very sweet and sugary, but did you know there’s an alternative? Let’s make an easy skinny Moscow Mule with all the flavor but less calories.

Ingredients for a Skinny Moscow Mule
Ingredients for a Skinny Moscow Mule

Jump to: RECIPE | Ingredients & Substitutions | Virgin Mule | Mexican Mule | FAQ

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Skinny Moscow Mule Ingredients and Substitutions

Moscow Mules and Mexican Mules are delightful year-round, but come January we start thinking “skinny”.

According to the Wall St. Journal, our interest in losing weight and getting in shape starts dying off the third week in January and then peaks again in March (getting ready for Spring Break, they postulate).  

Well, if you want to stick to your skinny goals for a while longer and you’re willing to put in a little more effort, try this Skinny Moscow Mule. Not quite as sumptuous, but still very good and only 98 calories!

Here’s what we’ll be using:

  • Fresh limes. You can use bottled lime juice, but it’s not quite the same. Lemon doesn’t really pack the same punch.
  • Vodka. The best vodka for Moscow Mules depends on your own preferences, but I used Finlandia for this recipe. You can also use tequila and make it a Mexican Mule!
  • Ginger. And I’m talking fresh ginger root here, not ginger beer, syrup or paste. It just gives the best flavor for the least amount of calories.
  • Diet ginger ale. Add some sweetness and extra ginger flavor without packing on the carbs.
  • Fresh mint. To garnish, and for an extra layer of flavor.

Moscow Mules are traditionally served in a copper mug. Nowadays, this is quite a popular cocktail, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find mugs like the ones I’m using in this recipe.

However, the copper mug doesn’t affect flavor, just presentation: if you don’t want to buy new mugs just for this recipe, just use a nice cocktail glass.

Adding More Flavor

If you’d like to add an extra layer of flavor to your skinny Moscow Mule, that’s easy. Make a raspberry Moscow Mule, blueberry Moscow Mule, cherry Moscow Mule or even a watermelon Moscow Mule by simply muddling fresh or frozen fruits into the mix.

Of course, fruit can pack quite a bit of sugar, even though it is natural sugar (fructose). So if you want to keep it low carb and low calorie, nix the fruit.

You can also use fruit liquors or syrups of your choice, but these flavor additions add even more sugar than the fresh whole fruit. Not so “skinny” anymore, so save it for celebrations or cheat days.

Virgin Moscow Mule

Yep, this skinny Moscow Mule can easily be made into a virgin Moscow Mule! It has strong flavors that will shine equally well without the vodka. Just sub in an extra splash of the diet ginger ale or plain sparkling water and you’re good to go.

Mexican Mule

The Mexican Mule is gaining in popularity recently. It is simply a Moscow Mule with tequila instead of vodka.

With respect to low carb lifestyles, tequila is considered one of the lowest carb spirits. The robust ginger and lime flavors of this drink end up masking the taste of the alcohol anyway, so go with your preference.

If you are interested in more information about low carb tequila and/or mezcal, this post on putting together a tequila flight will be helpful.

3 shots of tequila and mezcal as a tequila flight
3 shots of tequila and mezcal as a tequila flight

Frequently asked questions

How many calories are in a Moscow Mule?

The traditional version can have up to 250 calories per serving. This skinny Moscow Mule clocks in at just under 100!

Are Moscow Mules gluten free?

Normally, that depends on whether you use gluten-free ginger beer or not. This version doesn’t use ginger beer at all, so it should be celiac-safe as long as there is no cross-contamination.

Skinny Moscow Mule

Ingredients for a Skinny Moscow Mule
Using fresh limes and fresh root ginger rather than the ginger beer significantly cuts the calories and carbs in a Moscow Mule or a Mexican Mule.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings 1
Calories 98


  • ½ oz. lime juice Use fresh limes
  • 1 ½ oz. vodka or tequila for a Mexican Mule
  • 1 Tbsp ginger Freshly grated
  • 6 oz diet ginger ale
  • 1 sprig fresh mint More for garnish


  • Add fresh lime juice, vodka, shredded ginger and mint sprig to bottom of cup and muddle (or mash together with a blunt utensil if you don’t have a muddler) to combine flavors.
    1/2 oz. lime juice, 1 1/2 oz. vodka, 1 Tbsp ginger
  • You can strain the ingredients into your copper mug at this point if you don't like the idea of shredded ginger in your final drink). Once strained (or not) add ice to the mug and top off with diet ginger ale. Garnish with mint if using.
    6 oz diet ginger ale, 1 sprig fresh mint


If you have a copper mug, use it for a more authentic Moscow Mule drink. If you don’t have one, use any sturdy glass or cup. *note: if you are going to strain out the shredded ginger and mint, use a different cup to ”muddle” ingredients so you can strain into copper mug later.


Calories: 98kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin C: 4mg
Did you make this recipe?If you tried this recipe, please give it a star rating! To do this, just click on the stars above. Comments are always helpful also and I respond to all of them (except rude ones)

Here is a video of how to make the Skinny Mule. The guy in the background is my husband and I did NOT have anything to do with coaching him!

PS: Still thirsty? Don’t forget to check out the full cocktail category for plenty of other tasty drink ideas.

Skinny Moscow Mule Drink
Watch this video on YouTube.
Watch the Step by Step Video for More Details

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