An Autumn Mule

Enjoy a deeper-flavored take on a popular drink.
Photo by Aaron Gruabart

As enjoyable as classic mules—which mix a spirit (usually vodka) with ginger beer and citrus—are, they can be a little basic.

A spiced version, such as the one offered at Nashville’s Bastion, is easy to make, yet anything but simple. This autumn-friendly variation swaps Bourbon for vodka and adds warming layers of cardamom and ginger, as well as allspice liqueur for a little extra kick.

At Bastion, which opened in February inside a former jam factory, inventive drinks are served in a sprawling, laid-back space with wooden bleachers for seating in addition to barstools. Choosing a snack is easy, as the menu consists of one item: nachos.

Recipe: Function of Shadow

Courtesy Michael McCollum, Bastion, Nashville

  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 2 mint sprigs
  • 2 ounces Bulleit Bourbon 
  • ¾ ounce fresh lemon juice 
  • ¾ ounce Morris Kitchen Ginger Syrup* (or try recipe below)
  • ¼ ounce St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
  • 1 dash Angostura Bitters 
  • Soda water

Place the cardamom pods and 1 mint sprig in a cocktail shaker. Use a muddler to crack the cardamom pods and gently press the mint to express essential oils from the leaves. Add remaining ingredients (except mint and soda water) and ice. Shake well, and strain into an ice-filled Collins glass. Top with soda water. Garnish with remaining mint sprig.

Ginger Syrup Ingredients
  • ½ cup fresh-pressed ginger juice
  • ¾ cup granulated white sugar
Ginger Syrup Directions

Stir until sugar dissolves. It can be stored in a refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Published on September 22, 2016
About the Author
Kara Newman 
Spirits Editor

Kara Newman reviews spirits and writes about spirits and cocktail trends for Wine Enthusiast. She's the author of Shake.Stir.Sip.: 40 Effortless Cocktails Made In Equal Parts (Chronicle Books, 2016) as well as ROAD SODA: Recipes and techniques for making great cocktails, anywhere (Dovetail Press, 2017). Email:

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