DC/NoVa Adventures, food

Best Moscow Mules in the Washington, DC Area

The Moscow Mule is a relatively simple drink, one which you might not think you can get wrong. However, I’ve had some really bad mules. First, if it’s not served in a copper mug you know that you’re dealing with people that don’t appreciate the mule. The type of ginger beer used is also key. You want that nice ginger flavor, but you don’t want it to be too overpowering. You have the lime and mint in there as well, so you’re really looking for a nice blend of all of those flavors. I don’t necessarily write a place off if they don’t serve it in a copper mug, but it goes a long way in telling me that they know what they are doing. True Mule aficionados will tell you that the copper mug is key for several reasons. First of all the temperature, the copper keeps that drink cold in a way that a regular class or plastic cup cannot. Some mule drinkers and bartenders will offer more complex arguments for the copper mug, for example, increasing the bubbles in the carbonated ginger beer, while some suggest that it really maximizes the flavors of the lime and mint. Whatever the case may be, make sure you get that first (and frankly any if you ask me) Mule served in Copper Cup. First coming to popularity in the early 40s, the Mule has continued to develop with many restaurants throwing their own special twist on them, one of which I include here!

 

Mike’s American Grill

{Springfield, Virginia}

Mike’s, located in the bubs of DC (Springfield, Virginia) is a staple in the area. It is always busy, and you can frequently expect a wait. If you don’t have a large group you can find the whole menu served in the bar area, which is surprisingly very large. Mike’s is good food, good atmosphere, amazing steak, interesting appetizers like the Southwest Egg Rolls which are my favorite. They also do not disappoint and bring you your Mule served in a copper mug!

Founding Farmers

{Washington, DC}

Last year I had my first experience in a Founding Farmers. Dc-ers rave about this place, especially for its desserts and drinks. Founding Farmers is unique in that family farmers of the NDFU (North Dakota Farmer’s Union) are majority owners in the business, bringing a certain level of excellence to the experience when it comes to the food. Founding Farmers is also the owner of several of their own spirits, produced in partnership with Copper Fox Distillery in Sperryville, VA. They also have opened their own distillery, Founding Spirits, where they produce Vodka and American Whiskey. So, right out the gate you know they take their alcohol seriously. Of all of the traditional Mule’s I’ve tried here in the DC area this one might be my very favorite!

Martin’s Tavern

{Georgetown, Washington, DC}

Celebrating 86 years in the Georgetown DC area, Martin’s clearly knows what they are doing. Providing amazing Irish tavern food in a warm and classic environment, with recipes that have stood the test of time. Martin’s is a great place to take visiting friends and family because of its unique historical and political background. Find a table and you’ll also get a fun political history of who sat their regularly. Enjoy the same space that Presidents, Senators and Ambassadors once did, where they came after a long day on the hill to unwind and have a drink. Who knows how many decisions or deals were actually made here? For a more romantic flare make reservations at the Proposal Booth where John F. Kennedy proposed to Jackie. It shouldn’t be a surprise that Martin’s does a Mule right. A classic drink for a classic joint.

For a fun date night idea check out my post here, and enjoy a night in Georgetown!

The Block Food Hall

{Annandale, Virginia}

One of the only ones to serve a traditional mule, not in a copper mug, this one makes the list simply because you have to go! It is one of the coolest places in the burbs and one of the weirdest. First of all the location is crazy. Tucked into a strip mall next to a Kmart (which is now closed) you wouldn’t even know this place was there unless you were looking for it. Step inside and you completely forget where you are. A traditional food-hall greets you, and everything has an Asian twist. From the Asian-American fusion entrees to the Poke and the sno-cream. You will have to go back to eventually try everything. Even the bar food is amazing! Here, at the Block Bar, you can snag a super yummy Mule! One of the sweeter versions of the Mule I have had (from the type of Ginger Beer they use), it is still fantastic and worth a try.

The People’s Drug

{Alexandria, Virginia}

The People’s Drug is a modern take on the familiar People’s Drug Store which first made its appearance in Alexandria in 1905. It takes its cue from the original concept which was a traditional counter-style lunch cafe and general store. As the world modernized the lunch counter concept became a thing of the past, but the owners of The People’s Drug sought to bring that classic feeling back. People’s is a small place, which a few tables inside and out, and obviously the traditional lunch/bar counter. It is easy for this place to be crowded, but it is worth braving the crowds to snag yourself the Mule and the Herb parmesan truffle french fries! Aside from the classic drinks, you can also find some quirky season drinks like the Jabberwocky and the Widow’s Kiss. It is worth noting that the People’s Signature Mule isn’t made with vodka, but instead is made with Old Forrester Signature Bourbon in a “Kentucky Mule” style, with two types of bitters. So clearly worth whatever crowds you might have to brave! If I’m not drinking a tradtional mule, this is where I want to be for my favorite non-traditional mule!

The Yard House

{Chinatown – Washington, DC – Springfield Town Center, Virginia – Multiple US Locations}

Last but not least we have the Yard House, with the most diverse Mule menu on this list. Not only can you get the traditional Moscow Mule made with New Amsterdam Vodka, but you can also grab yourself an Irish Mule made with Jameson Whiskey and two other twists on the classic drink unique to The Yard House. My favorite is the Mayan Mule made with Tequila. Tequila is typically not alcohol I will go with, but the Yard House muddles of fresh fruit to really complete the drink. Also on the list is the Hawaiian Mule, made with Pineapple Vodka. So, if you’re feeling adventurous head over to one of the Yard House locations and try their mules. These mules win the favorite creative versions of a classic drink. No boring Mules here!

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