Cold Weather Cocktail: Winter-Ready Thyme & Citrus Moscow Mule

Tired of pumpkin and apple everything? Make this thyme and grapefruit Moscow mule for a refreshing twist on the season!

The flavors of late autumn have a tendency to call to mind certain experiences. Apple picking at the orchard down the street, the smell of a recently frost-bitten field of pumpkins, the feeling of anticipation that hangs heavy in the quiet, eerily still air right before a snowstorm. Pumpkin, apple, “spice” (is it cinnamon? Nutmeg? Allspice?)…these warming flavors have become dominant in the world of seasonal recipes — everything from winter cocktails to desserts — for, I believe, exactly this reason. This is a time of year dripping in nostalgia that can, at times, feel a bit homogenous. Don’t get me wrong, I love pumpkin spice and apple cider as much as the next person, but there’s an entire category of late-autumn and early winter flavor that we tend to overlook in our spice-induced haze: citrus.

Grapefruit, lemons, limes, clementines…late autumn and through the winter is when these fruits are at their sweetest and juiciest, and are therefore practically begging to be put to work. A squeeze of zesty citrus is a great way to liven up almost anything (cocktails, desserts, life in general), adding sunny flavor and a healthy dose of vitamin C to stave off colds and flu — you can even decorate with it. With Thanksgiving coming up next week and the December holidays not far off, this is the perfect time to rethink your standard cold weather cocktail recipes. I’ve always been a big fan of the Moscow mule for any time of year. Whether the weather happens to be hot, cold, or hovering somewhere in between, the combination of ginger beer, vodka and your chosen accompaniment is always refreshing and, when served to holiday dinner guests in particular, a bright change of pace from the everyday standards. With punchy grapefruit and balancing thyme, the winter party drink below is the perfect pairing for Thanksgiving dinner, a mellow cocktail party, or even just a snowy night in.

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Thyme & Citrus Moscow Mule

Serves two


Juice from one large pink grapefruit

4 ounces vodka

Ginger beer

Fresh thyme

Squeeze of fresh lime juice


Grapefruit slices

Monogrammed copper mug

1. Place ice in two copper mule mugs. Divide the vodka and juice from one large grapefruit evenly between the two.

2. Top off with ginger beer to taste, sprigs of fresh thyme, a squeeze or two of lime juice and grapefruit slices.


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+ What’s your favorite seasonal flavor?

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