Tim and I recently started a tradition that, for lack of a better name, we are calling the Ambler Happy Hour. It began late last year when we were lamenting the fact that we have a number of old friends in Nashville that we simply never see anymore. After living here for 10 years, we’ve moved, each changed jobs a few times, and switched churches. So, over the years, we’ve accumulated quite a number of folks that we love, but rarely see since we are all so busy. Parties are great, but are a ton of work and are a one time thing, so if folks are busy they can’t make it. Tim somehow came up with the idea of happy hour, and the idea grew from there.
So now, once a month, we invite whomever can make it to come over to our house for quick drink. It runs from 5:30-7:30 so folks can stop by after work or before their other plans. Plus it’s monthly, so if someone can’t make it one month, it’s not that big a deal. We whip up some fun cocktails, serve some easy appetizers, and mingle. We get to catch up with friends new and old and introduce folks that might otherwise never meet.
Since I am a food blogger, each month has a theme. Our inaugural happy hour was this past week and the theme was ginger beer! This is mainly due to the fact that my favorite cocktail is the Moscow Mule. I was actually introduced to them a few years ago, but they are becoming increasingly more popular. They are traditionally served in gorgeous copper mugs (like the one pictured above), but we used disposable plastic for the party since we only own two.
Moscow Mules are also so very easy to make at home since there are only 3 ingredients: lime, ginger beer, and vodka. Really, that’s it! No odd liqueur or artisanal bitters that will grow dusty in the back of a cabinet. Now some of you may think that ginger beer is an odd ingredient, but it’s worth seeking out. I get mine at Trader Joe’s, but have also seen varieties in some supermarkets, at Whole Foods, and Cost Plus World Market. You may also find it at liquor stores since it is a popular mixer, but ginger beer itself is non-alcoholic.
Once you have a supply of ginger beer and master the basic recipe, I challenge you to get creative. Change out the alcohol to a spiced rum and you have a Dark and Stormy. Swap in tequila for a ginger beer margarita. Leave out the alcohol for a terrific virgin drink. Or add a flavored simple syrup like I did with these blackberry rosemary mules earlier this year. The possibilities really are endless.
We served these up along with some cheese, crackers, grapes, apples, and spiced nuts. Easy and tasty! We had a great night and even have some ginger beer left over. I just might be enjoying a Moscow Mule while I writing this post. Hope you enjoy them as well.
- 1 tb freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 shot (~1.5-2 oz) vodka
- 4-6 oz ginger beer
- This makes one small drink (highball glass). If you use a traditional copper mug or a tall glass, I suggest doubling the quantities above.
- Fill your glass with ice. Add lime juice and vodka. Fill to the top with ginger beer.