Motlow’s Mule

motlow's mule

by Raul Faria

Motlow’s Mule was named after and inspired by Lem Motlow, one of the earliest Master Distillers at Jack Daniel’s Distillery (behind Bill Hughes and Uncle Jack of course) and nephew of Jack Daniel himself. He was always focused on moving the ball forward by increasing production and expanding the Old #7 brand. He was head of the company during its most trying times and eventually set the course for Jack Daniel’s Old #7 to become an American classic recognized all over the world. Incidentally he was also owner of one of the largest and most successful mule trading companies in the south. Motlow’s Mule….get it….MULE…cuz it’s like a Moscow Mule but with Motlow…he owned mules…ahem. After reading the book “Fire and Whiskey” by Peter Krass I suspect that Lem liked to experiment and try new things. Much like current Master distiller Jeff Arnett with Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey, the soon to be released Jack Daniels Fire and the new and exciting Jack Daniel’s Unaged Tennessee Rye Whiskey. The second I tasted it I knew I wanted to mix with it. Motlow’s Mule feels like something Lem or even Jack himself would have mixed on the farm for a cocktail party or gathering by the big piano. It’s very easy to make and utilizes simple, fresh ingredients. Lets make a Motlow’s Mule!

1) Lets get our tools together; we will need our muddler, our citrus press, a mixing glass, our Hawthorne strainer, a Lewis Bag, a Mallet, and a Jigger with a 1 oz and a .25 oz measure. Our shopping list will consist of Jack Daniel’s Unaged Tennessee Rye Whiskey, Lemons, Honey, Mint and Ginger Beer. Optional tool- Double-strainer, measuring cup and Copper Mug.

2) First lets get our 6-8 mint leaves into our mixing glass. Begin by rinsing off the mint then start picking the leaves off the stems, leaving the top 3-5 mint leaves attached to the stems to create sprigs we will use for later.

3) Now let’s add our .25 oz lemon juice. We can simply squeeze the sliced lemons right into the jigger or you can strain into another vessel ahead of time and utilize our double strainer to catch all the pulp and seeds. Be sure to slice a few wedges to use for the garnish and for your guests to squeeze in if they like it a bit more lemony and tart.

4) Time to add our .25 oz of honey syrup. For the Motlow’s Mule we will be utilizing a 2-1 ratio honey syrup. I’d begin with a 2 cup sized measuring cup. Add 1 cup of honey, then add .5 cup of hot water. Stir until well blended and viola! Honey syrup. If you dont have a measuring cup handy just use your jigger and keep a 2-1 ratio.

5) Lets muddle our mint. We are just pressing the mint not grinding it. Our goal is to get some mint oil into our honey and lemon.

6) Now let’s add the star of the show our 2 oz of Jack Daniel’s Unaged Tennessee Rye Whiskey. This is a preview product of the upcoming release of the Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Rested Rye. While we are waiting on the barrels in Lynchburg to work thier magic we can enjoy the limited release of the unaged version. Especially in our Motlow’s Mule 🙂

7) We are now going to get our mug ready. Lets add ice to our Lewis bag and smack it with the hammer until we get crushed ice. Scoop it out of the bag into our mug and strain the contents of our mixing glass (utilizing our Hawthorne strainer to keep out the mint) over the ice

8) Lets add 4 oz of ginger beer to the mug. I like Fever Tree or Goslings for ginger beer but feel free to use your favorite brand. Give it a light stir, pack with more crushed ice and then garnish with a mint sprig and a lemon wedge. Be sure to smack the mint awake for release those oils for full aromatics effect. Enjoy!

Motlow’s Mule- 6-8 mint leaves, .25 oz honey syrup, .25 oz lemon juice, muddle, add 2 oz Jack Daniels Unaged Tennessee Rye Whiskey, add crushed ice, top off with 4 oz of ginger beer, quick light stir to distribute, pack with more crushed ice and garnish with mint sprig and lemon wedge.

Note on the copper mug- The Copper mug has its roots in the original cocktail the Moscow Mule. The creators of the cocktail wanted something flashy to get people to drink their vodka and they had access to someone in the copper products industry. Period. No magical Russian tradition of drinking out of copper. Marketing and access to the materials plain and simple. Back then vodka was something new and exotic from Russia and was not the spirit of choice in America so in 1941 John G Martin of the Hueblin Company that had recently acquired the Smirnoff brand and Jack Morgan owner of the Cock and Bull Tavern in Los Angeles served a copper mug to guests who ordered the new Moscow Mule cocktail they invented and even engraved the names of celebrities who drank one at the bar. Mules can be made in a chilled glass but copper is a better conductor of energy and will maintain a cooler temperature than glass. Copper mugs are super expensive and the chilled glass works just fine for the cocktail so I’d say go with what you got but if you’re feeling fancy and have an extra $20-30 each to spend I say go for it.

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