The pick: The Wheatley Mule, a refreshing, easy-to-make cocktail with a slightly spicy kick.
Backstory: Details are a little hazy as to who invented the Moscow Mule, but we know for sure that it’s an American invention, circa 1940s, that helped put vodka on the map. Also, part of the reason it went so viral was the fact that it was served in its own signature drinking vessel, a cute little copper mug etched with a happy little mule. Fast-forward 75 or so years and, not only is vodka a household name, even famous whiskey distilleries dabble in making premium expressions of the eastern European spirit. We’re finally getting a chance to try one of these off-brand releases up here in Canada, namely, Wheatley vodka, made from wheat—fermented, then distilled ten times at Kentucky’s famous Buffalo Trace Distillery.
Why you’ll like it: If you try it straight, you’ll notice it’s sweet and fruity with a hint of vanilla. Pair it with Fever-Tree ginger beer and a splash of lime to make a Wheatley Mule, a delicious and refreshing cocktail with a spicy little kick. It’s a forgiving recipe—1½ oz vodka, 3 oz ginger beer, ice, and the juice from one wedge of lime—all of which somehow tastes better if you drink it from a copper Moscow Mule mug.
Fun fact: Wheatley vodka’s name doesn’t come from the wheat but, rather, the last name of its distiller, Harlan Wheatley. So far, this premium vodka is only available in Alberta and Ontario (and the LCBO has it on sale for $33.95, down from $36.95 until mid-August), but the good news is that any good vodka mixed with a good, low-sugar ginger beer like Fever-Tree will lead to a great Moscow Mule.