Low Carb Cranberry Moscow Mule

December 17, 2019 (Updated: January 11, 2020) By Aneesha |

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This festive Low Carb Cranberry Moscow Mule is the perfect drink to enjoy with your friends and family during the holiday season. A great combination of sweet and tart, this LOW CARB twist on a classic cocktail will really wow you!

Two copper mugs with Moscow Mule topped with cranberries and lime

Low Carb Twist on a Classic Cocktail

I keep experimenting with low carb versions of my favorite drinks so I can enjoy them while on my carb conscious diet.

A regular Cranberry Moscow Mule has about 15 grams of net carbs, with 9 grams from Ginger beer. In this Cranberry Moscow Mule recipe, I switched ginger beer with diet ginger ale and that did the trick!

Ginger ale is sweeter than ginger beer, but since the cranberry juice is tart, you can’t tell the difference in this drink. Here’s the carb distribution of this drink:

  • Carbs in Cranberry Juice: Different brands have different carbohydrate content.  Always check and compare a few brands to see which one has the lowest count. I buy Trader Joe’s brand that has the lowest carbs I have seen so far. 
  • 8 oz cranberry juice (Trader Joe’s Brand) has 16 grams of net carbs. We need 1.5 oz per drink , which means 3 grams net carbs per drink from cranberry juice
  • Lime juice has 1 gram of net carbs, which makes the total net carbs = 4 grams per drink if using the Trader Joe’s brand. This number may vary between 4-6 grams depending on different brands of cranberry juice.

Moscow Mule Ingredients

Moscow Mule is an incredibly easy cocktail with a really high ‘wow’ factor. Here’s what you need to make a fantastic Low-Carb Cranberry Moscow Mule:

  • Cranberry Juice: I use 100% Cranberry Juice in this recipe, NOT Cranberry Juice Cocktail, NOT Juice made from concentrate.  Those two have much higher carbs.
  • Vodka: It ain’t no Mule without Vodka, right! I like using Grey Goose brand, but since this is a mixed drink, use your favorite brand of ‘unflavored’ Vodka
  • Diet Ginger Ale: Traditionally ginger beer is used to make Moscow Mule, but it is a bit hard to find ‘diet’ ginger beer in stores. I tested a few batches with Canada Dry diet ginger ale, and the difference in taste was very slight. (see notes below on ginger beer vs. ginger ale). If you can find diet ginger beer, it would work great in this recipe.
  • Lime Juice: Adds a zing to this cocktail! Use fresh lime juice guys, the green plastic bottle doesn’t do justice to this drink.
  • Garnish: Lime slices and fresh cranberries make this drink look festive and pretty, but they are optional.
A copper mug with cranberry moscow mule, served with cranberries

How to Make Low Carb Cranberry Moscow Mule

Here are the two easy steps in which you can make this delicious, guilt-free cocktail, well three steps actually, if you count adding garnishes 🙂 Here they are:

  • Take a Moscow Mule Mug, or a cocktail glass, and fill it with ice, about half way, or as per your preference.
  • Add cranberry Juice, vodka, diet ginger ale (or diet ginger beer) and lime juice, and stir for a few seconds. Stirring gives the ingredients a chance to mix well and chill at the same time.
  • Garnish with lime slices and fresh cranberries and enjoy!

How to Make a Regular Cranberry Moscow Mule

With a simple change this drink can be made regular (non-diet) too. Here’s what you need:

  • 1.5 oz 100% cranberry Juice (not from concentrate, I get Trader Joe’s brand))
  • 1.5 oz Vodka (I like Grey Goose)
  • 3 oz Ginger Beer (non-alcoholic)
  • 1¾ tsp lime juice fresh, about 0.3 oz
Moscow Mule served in a copper mug, topped with cranberries

Does a Moscow Mule Have to be Served in Copper Cups?

Nope! Frankly, it’s more a marketing gimmick than a significant scientific reason.

The scientific justification of using copper mugs is temperature. When chilled drinks are served in copper mugs, the metal takes on the icy cold temperature of the cocktail and gives a cool sensation in look, feel AND taste.

The history of copper mugs for Moscow Mule goes back to 1941, and hats off to the team who came up with this idea, because since then Copper Mugs have become iconic to Moscow Mule!

Serve it in whatever glass you like, highballs, cocktail glasses, copper mugs. As for me, when I don’t feel like having a lot of ice, I make it in martini/cocktail glass. They are a perfect size for a drink.

Substituting Ginger Ale for Ginger Beer in Moscow Mule

In a traditional Moscow Mule, vodka is combined with Ginger beer and lime to make the best Moscow Mule. Ginger beer is fermented with ginger, hence has a more pungent spicy taste from ginger. It is also less sweeter than Ginger Ale.

But, it is relatively hard to find diet ginger beer in stores, so I tried this recipe with ginger beer and ginger ale, and compared both versions. The difference wasn’t noticeable in this particular recipe. Since the cranberry juice is tart, it balances the ‘slightly sweeter’ ginger ale really well .

If you really want that ‘kick’ from ginger, I would grate a teaspoon of ginger, and squeeze a few drops of its juice in each glass. And of course, if you can find diet ginger beer, go for that!

Two copper mugs with Moscow Mule topped with cranberries and lime

Cranberry Moscow Mule Pitcher- Cranberry Mules for a Crowd

Here’s what I do when I am making Cranberry Mules for a crowd:

  • I mix vodka, lime juice and cranberry juice for the desired quantity and refrigerate in a pitcher. 
  • When my guests arrive, I add chilled diet ginger ale/diet ginger beer and stir a few times to mix everything. 
  • Pour ice in glasses and pour the drink over it.  Garnish with lime slices and cranberries. 

Recipe Tips for Low Carb Cranberry Moscow Mule

  • Cranberry Juice– I use 100% Cranberry Juice in this recipe, NOT Cranberry Juice Cocktail, NOT Juice made from concentrate.  Those two have much higher carbs.
  • Carbs in Cranberry Juice: IMPORTANT–> Different brands have different carbohydrate content.  Always check and compare a few brands to see which one has the lowest count. I buy Trader Joe’s brand that has the lowest carbs I have seen so far. 
    • 8 oz cranberry juice (Trader Joe’s Brand) has 16 grams of net carbs. We need 1.5 oz per drink , which means 3 grams net carbs per drink from cranberry juice
    • Lime juice has 1 gram of net carbs, which makes the total net carbs = 4 grams per drink, if using the Trader Joe’s brand. It can vary between 4-6 grams for other brands.
  • Vodka: For best results, use unflavored Vodka in this recipe.
  • Ice: If you don’t like ice in your drinks, use a cocktail shaker.  Fill it with ice (to chill), add vodka, cranberry juice, lime and shake a few times. This chills the drink. Pour the drink in a cocktail glass versus a copper mug, then top off with diet ginger ale. Stir a few times to mix everything. 
  • Cranberry Moscow Mule for a large group: You can mix vodka, lime juice and cranberry juice for the desired quantity and refrigerate in a pitcher.  When your guests arrive, add chilled diet ginger ale (or diet ginger beer) and stir a few times to mix everything.  Pour ice in glasses and pour the drink over it.  Garnish with lime slices and cranberries. 
  • Regular (non-diet) Cranberry Moscow Mule, you need:
    • 1.5 oz 100% cranberry Juice (not from concentrate, I get Trader Joe’s brand)
    • 1.5 oz Vodka (I like Grey Goose)
    • 3 oz Ginger Beer (non-alcoholic)
    • 1¾ tsp lime juice fresh, about 0.3 oz

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Two copper mugs with Moscow Mule topped with cranberries and lime

Low Carb Cranberry Moscow Mule

This festive Low Carb Cranberry Moscow Mule is the perfect drink to enjoy with your friends and family during the holiday season. A great combination of sweet and tart, this LOW CARB twist on a classic cocktail will really wow you!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate Recipe
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1
Calories: 120kcal
Author: Aneesha

Ingredients

Diet Cranberry Moscow Mule (see notes for non-diet version)

  • 1.5 oz 100% cranberry Juice (not from concentrate, I get Trader Joe's brand))
  • 1.5 oz Vodka (I like Grey Goose)
  • 3 oz Diet Ginger Ale Canada Dry Brand, or Diet Ginger Beer
  • tsp lime juice fresh, about 0.3 oz

Instructions

  • Take a Moscow Mule Mug or a cocktail glass and fill it with ice, about half way, or as per your preference.
  • Add cranberry Juice, vodka, diet ginger ale and lime juice and stir for a few seconds. Stirring gives the ingredients a chance to mix well and chill at the same time.
  • Garnish with lime slices and fresh cranberries and enjoy!

Notes

Recipe Tips for Low Carb Cranberry Moscow Mule

  • Cranberry Juice– I use 100% Cranberry Juice in this recipe, NOT Cranberry Juice Cocktail, NOT Juice made from concentrate.  Those two have much higher carbs.
  • Carbs in Cranberry Juice: IMPORTANT–> Different brands have different carbohydrate content.  Always check and compare a few brands to see which one has the lowest count. I buy Trader Joe’s brand that has the lowest carbs I have seen so far. 
    • 8 oz cranberry juice (Trader Joe’s Brand) has 16 grams of net carbs. We need 1.5 oz per drink , which means 3 grams net carbs per drink from cranberry juice
    • Lime juice has 1 gram of net carbs, which makes the total net carbs = 4 grams per drink, if using the Trader Joe’s brand. It can vary between 4-6 grams for other brands.
  • Vodka: For best results, use unflavored Vodka in this recipe.
  • Ice: If you don’t like ice in your drinks, use a cocktail shaker.  Fill it with ice (to chill), add vodka, cranberry juice, lime and shake a few times. This chills the drink. Pour the drink in a cocktail glass versus a copper mug, then top off with diet ginger ale. Stir a few times to mix everything. 
  • Cranberry Moscow Mule for a large group: You can mix vodka, lime juice and cranberry juice for the desired quantity and refrigerate in a pitcher.  When your guests arrive, add chilled diet ginger ale and stir a few times to mix everything.  Pour ice in glasses and pour the drink over it.  Garnish with lime slices and cranberries. 
  • Regular (non-diet) Cranberry Moscow Mule, you need:
    • 1.5 oz 100% cranberry Juice (not from concentrate, I get Trader Joe’s brand)
    • 1.5 oz Vodka (I like Grey Goose)
    • 3 oz Ginger Beer (non-alcoholic)
    • 1¾ tsp lime juice fresh, about 0.3 oz
 
Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates and can vary depending on different brands.  If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.

Nutrition

Calories: 120kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 19mg | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin C: 7mg
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cranberry Moscow Mule, Low carb Moscow Mule, Moscow Mule Recipe
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HEY! NICE TO MEET YOU!

Aneesha holding a glass of white wine Hi, I'm Aneesha, a foodie by birth and the mind, body and soul behind Spice Cravings. Here I share quick, easy & healthy Indian & global recipes that are low in effort and big on taste! A recipe doesn't make it on the blog unless it is tested multiple times and gets a thumbs-up from my taster-in-chief, my husband, and my teen-chefs, my twin girls!

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