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A Mule Even the Don Would Love: Sicilian Mule Recipe + Ingredients

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In 1972 a film was released that elevated American cinema to new heights, forever changed the way we looked at mob movies and added innumerable catchphrases to the popular lexicon. In honor of the 45th anniversary of the release of “The Godfather” this month’s Moscow Mule variation goes back to where it all began for the film’s central character, Vito Corleone: the mysterious, enigmatic, historic, sun-drenched Mediterranean island of Sicily. Yes, it’s the Sicilian Mule. So grab the cannolis and the picnic blanket and let's head for the slopes of Etna because we’re gonna make you a Mule you can’t refuse.

The Old World Meets the New in the Sicilian Mule

Few now are aware of it but Sicily was actually part of ancient Greece 2,700 years ago in the days before Rome. It was the Greeks who established the city of Syracuse (the same Syracuse the city and university in New York State are named after) and who introduced grapes and olives to the island. They also built many temples and administrative buildings whose ruins can still be seen today. After the Greeks were pushed out by the Romans the island became more fully integrated with the Italian peninsula and has more or less remained so ever since. Today it’s one of Italy’s 5 autonomous regions and as such has been able to maintain much of its cultural heritage and flavor.

Bringing it All Back Home

For the Sicilian Mule then we’re going to keep things close to home the way the Sicilians would like it. That means augmenting the vodka that’s at the heart of the Moscow Mule with a local liqueur called Amaro Averna and replacing the traditional ginger beer with a ginger flavored liqueur produced in the Mediterranean region known as Domaine de Canton. Just to keep things interesting, and as a nod to the hot and spicy reputation of this most independent of islands, we’re going to throw in a dash of Bittermens Hellfire Bitters as well along with some simple syrup to balance things out a bit. And as for the vodka itself, well, we’d be remiss if we used anything but BiVi Sicilian Vodka to anchor our Sicilian Mule recipe. Here’s the full ingredient list:

  • 1 oz BiVi Sicilian Vodka
  • 1 oz Amaro Averna Liqueur
  • 3/4 oz Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1 oz Domaine De Canton Ginger Liqueur
  • 1/2 oz Simple Cocktail Syrup
  • 2 Dashes of Bittermens Hellfire Bitters
  • 2 oz Club Soda

Now that’s an ingredient list that would even grab Sonny’s attention! Once you have all the ingredients on hand - and of course the chilled copper mugs required for any Mule-themed cocktail - it’s time to put it all together in a way that would make Clemenza proud.

  • Put the BiVi Vodka, Amaro Averna, lime juice, ginger liqueur, simple syrup and bitters in a cocktail shaker.
  • Shake well and pour into a chilled copper mug filled with ice.
  • Add the club soda, stir lightly and garnish with a sprig of mint.

Enjoy!

More Than a Mule

In keeping with our Godfather theme this particular Mule is more than just a cocktail. It’s also an homage to the humble beast of burden that helped the young Vito Corleone escape Sicily after the ruthless Don Ciccio sent his henchmen to hunt him down. In a scene from The Godfather Part II we can see the young Vito loaded into a basket and borne away by a local Mule that carries him from danger and on to his new life in New York. As such the Sicilian Mule recipe we offer you here today is more than a Mule, it’s a great way to show your appreciation for a peerless piece of American cinema.

Have a Godfather Party

People from Pasadena to Palermo are having Godfather parties this year to celebrate the film’s 45th anniversary. If you’re one of them make sure you serve your guests the one cocktail Vito himself might consider putting his glass of wine aside to try: the Sicilian Mule. It’s the perfect accoutrement for any Hollywood theme party.

The Importance of the Copper Mug

As the Mule has spread far and wide it has spawned innumerable variations, proving itself to be perhaps one of the most versatile cocktails ever created. What has never changed - and as such is indisputably the thing that makes a Mule a Mule - is the copper mug. You can change the brand of vodka, (heck, you can even replace the vodka completely as is done with rum in the Jamaican Mule), you can use commercially available or homemade ginger beer (or swap that out for something else as well, as we do with this Mule), you can change the garnish, add various local ingredients to give it regional appeal and you can crush the ice if you want but the one thing you can’t do is mess with the copper mug. No copper mug, no Mule. It’s as simple as that. So next time you’re in a bar and someone tries to serve you a mule in a glass, send it back and tell them you want a real Mule in a copper mug.

Conclusion

The Moscow Mule is more than just a cocktail, like the film that spawned this month’s variation it’s a cultural phenomenon that’s found its way into movies, TV shows, music videos and more and has leapt national boundaries only to be embraced by whomever encounters it. If you’re looking for a way to ramp up the fun and get your guests talking there’s no better way than to break out your copper mugs and serve up a round of Sicilian (or Mexican or Irish or Shanghai or Mumbai) Mules. Check out the extensive selection of beautiful solid copper mugs on our website or drop into our brick and mortar retail outlet on Logan Court in Denver to pick some up in person and browse through our other copper delights. The Don would have it no other way.



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