Low-Sugar Low-Calorie Kentucky Mule cocktail + the best light ginger brews

Sunday, September 18, 2016

This Kentucky Mule has great flavor with far less sugar and calories than most mule cocktails! After tasting several of the most affordable, all-natural yet low-sugar ginger brews, it was narrowed down to the best few that could be used to make this all-natural, low-sugar and low-calorie Kentucky Mule. Results of the ginger brew taste test included!

Mule cocktails like the Moscow Mule are all the rage right now, and for good reason. They are perfect for summer because they're crisp and refreshing. Yet, ginger beer uses some of the same spices popular during the holiday season, making mule cocktails the perfect year round cocktail!
 
There are numerous variations of a Moscow Mule. Like a Moscow Mule, an Irish Mule is also made with ginger beer, but the shot of fun is whiskey instead of vodka. A Kentucky Mule is similar but uses bourbon. The first time I had a Kentucky Mule was like love at first sip!
 
After having a Kentucky Mule at a restaurant, I just had to try to make one at home. So I went shopping for ginger beer, and I was shocked at the amount of sugar in most of them! I checked out the sugar content in almost 20 different brands. The average was around 35 grams of sugar per 12 oz. That's 8 teaspoons of sugar!

The Best Low-Calorie & Low-Sugar Ginger Brew

 
Recognizing that I could easily drink a couple of Mule cocktails on a Friday night, I wasn't crazy about the idea of a drink that contained that much sugar. I expanded my search to both ginger beers, which require a significant amount of sugar to offset the "spiciness", and ginger ales, which are more mild and therefore require less sugar (I'll just call the lot of them ginger brews). By expanding my search, I was able to find a few really tasty low-sugar ginger brews!
 
I compared five of the most affordable, low-sugar ginger brews and narrowed it down to the two best tasting. Since I am not a fan of artificial sweeteners, I looked for low-sugar ginger brews with only natural ingredients.

I've included affiliate links below for your convenience, which means that I may receive a small commission if you purchase a product through one of my links. Thank you for supporting Taste Abounds!

Here is how they finished:
  1. Reed's Extra Ginger Brew Light. This one has only 14 grams of sugar per 12 oz because it is sweetened with a combination of honey and stevia. It is sold at Natural Grocers for $4.59 per 4-pack. This one is very mild flavored. It has an enjoyable taste on its own, and it compliments bourbon beautifully.
  2. Veri Organic Ginger Ale Craft Soda. This one has 15 grams of sugar per 12 oz and is sweetened with a combo of cane sugar and stevia. It is also sold at Natural Grocers for $4.59 per 4-pack. One of the ingredients is lemon juice, and on it's own the lemon is more prominent than the ginger. But added to bourbon, the lemon in this one does something magical! It's also mild, like the Reed's, but the lemon adds a flavor that I really enjoy with bourbon.
  3. Fever-tree Ginger Beer. This one has 17 grams of pure fructose per 12 oz, which is less than ideal given the stress too much fructose can put on the liver (funny I mention "stress on the liver" in a post about an alcoholic beverage, huh?). It is sold at many stores, but if you are not mindful of the size of the bottles you are buying, it can be the most expensive (Amazon actually has the best price). It has the strongest ginger bite by far! My husband really enjoyed the bite to this one, but I preferred the Reed's and Veri.
  4. Zevia Ginger Ale. This one boasts zero grams of sugar per 12 oz because it is sweetened with a combination of erythritol, stevia and monk fruit. It is the least expensive and readily available at a variety of stores. Looking at the ingredients, it doesn't seem to have any actual ginger in it, and it shows in the flavor. It is very, very mild. It would be a nice zero calorie ginger ale on its own, but it doesn't do much when added to bourbon other than water it down.
  5. Bruce Cost Ginger Ale 66. This one has 14 grams of sugar per 12 oz and is sweetened with monk sugar. It is sold at Whole Foods for $7.99 per 4-pack. It is unfiltered and has quite a bite from the ginger and spices. There is something funky about the flavor in comparison to the Fever-Tree though, both with and without bourbon, earning this one the honor of last place. 
Comparison of Fever-Tree Naturally Light Ginger Beer, Bruce Cost Ginger Beer 66, Veri Organic Low-Calorie Ginger Ale, Reeds Extra Ginger Brew Light, Zevia Ginger Ale

Tasting the ginger brews by themselves helped my husband and I get an idea of the flavors, but we had to know how they tasted with bourbon! So we selflessly sacrificed our sobriety to my taste test and poured some drinks to sip. In the end, after many sips and much discussion, we decided that the Zevia and Bruce Cost were our least favorite. My husband liked the spicy bite of the Fever-Tree the best, but I would probably rank them as such, with the first two being very close:

  1. Veri Organic Ginger Ale Craft Soda
  2. Reed's Extra Ginger Brew Light
  3. Fever-tree Ginger Beer

Why Serve a Mule Cocktail in a Copper Mug?


I'm sure you have probably seen mule cocktails served in copper mugs. Aren't you wondering why? I was, so I gave in to my geeky side and looked it up. Turns out, mule cocktails are served in copper mugs mostly as a result of tradition - rumor has it that the first Moscow Mule was served in a copper mug. Other folks say that the acidic lime juice causes the copper to leach out of the mug, making it available to the body for health benefits. Some say that copper leaching out of the mug is dangerous, while others say that it is neither harmful nor beneficial. I think a Kentucky Mule tastes better without the lime juice, so I've alleviated that concern for you!

The last reason that mule cocktails are served in copper mugs is because copper keeps drinks cold. That's a good enough reason for me, so I scoured Amazon for affordable copper mugs. I found a few affordable options, such as this set of two hammered mugs with a shot glass and this set of four lined mugs, for those who prefer to avoid pure copper. In the end, I decided to purchase this set of hammered mugs with a shot glass and two copper straws. I love them! But as you can see below, there are lots of affordable options on Amazon.


In the end, by using the right ginger brew and a decent bourbon, you can easily make a delicious cocktail that is refreshing, affordable and low in sugar and calories.

The recipe is simple. Cheers!

This Kentucky Mule has great flavor with far less sugar and calories than most mule cocktails! After tasting several of the most affordable, all-natural yet low-sugar ginger brews, it was narrowed down to the best few that could be used to make this all-natural, low-sugar and low-calorie Kentucky Mule. Results of the ginger brew taste test included!
 

Kentucky Mule Cocktail


Ingredients:


- 1 shot bourbon
- 6 oz light ginger brew
- ice

Directions:


Fill a cocktail glass about 2/3 full of ice. Add the shot of bourbon and ginger brew and give it a quick stir. Enjoy!

Disclosure: this post includes affiliate links for convenience. I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

What are your thoughts on these ginger brews and on the cocktail? Let me know in the comments section below!


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