As the days get longer, and Christmas draws near, it’s time for me to renew my focus on holiday drinks. Today’s entry is the Yule Mule. Based on the traditional mule formula of ginger beer, vodka, and lime juice, the Yule mule also introduces some subtle flavors of cranberry and orange. So tie a ribbon on that log, and stoke up the fire, and let’s get down to some mixology.
- 1½ oz citrus vodka
- ½ oz cranberry juice
- ½ oz fresh lime juice
- 2 dashes orange bitters
- 4 oz ginger beer
- Lime wheel
Add all the liquid ingredients except for the ginger beer into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a tall glass with ice. Fill with ginger beer and garnish with a lime wheel. Drink and enjoy!
The Yule Mule is fairly quick for a holiday themed drink. Anticipate using to gather your ingredients and prep your lime, for a grand total of from start to finish. The Yule Mule is a descendant of other mule-style drinks, like the Moscow Mule. The citrus vodka, cranberry juice, and orange bitters add a subtle layer of holiday flavor to the basic drink framework.
What is Yule?
Yule is one of the major Pagan celebrations, marking the passing of the Winter Solstice. The Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year, usually between December 20–22 in the Northern Hemisphere and June 20–22 in the Southern Hemisphere. The ancient Norse would heave a giant log on the hearth during the Solstice, knowing that the sun was beginning it’s journey back towards summer. Later on, European pagans would symbolize this in the struggle between the Oak King (longer days) and the Holly King (short, winter days). When civilization centered around agricultural production, this was a big deal. More light meant more crops, darkness meant lean times.
Today, modern pagans decorate a Yule log with flammable items such as mistletoe, holly, and ribbon. Different types of wood have different symbolic meanings, and it is common for people to carve their hopes and wishes for the upcoming year into the log. The Yule log is gathered from the property of the owner, or a gift, but never bought. The Yule log burns on the Solstice night, and smolders for the next twelve days before being extinguished ceremoniously. The remains of the Yule log are saved for the year, and these remains help ignite next years log.