Take Off Your Cloves:  Alcohol-Free Apple and Clove Mule

The intensely fragrant and woody spice of cloves have been associated with Christmas for far too long.  Free the clove from this prescriptive identity and embrace the year-round pleasure of this delightful alcohol-free Apple and Clove Mule.

Tiny but mighty, the clove adds a bewitching aromatic spice to the drink gracefully complemented by the gentle warmth of the ginger beer.  Together, the spices harmonize with the natural sweetness of the apple juice and are invigorated by the tang of freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Bright, bold, and bittersweet: this is a vibrant spiced twist on the classic Moscow Mule that will undoubtedly win you over.  Who would have imagined that cloves could be so refreshing?

Serves 1
Preparation time: 5 mins


  • 1 ½ oz. (45 ml) cloudy apple juice
  • ½ oz. (15 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice (approx. ½ lemon)
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 4 oz. (120 ml) ginger beer
  • Ice
  • Apple slices to garnish (optional)


  • Jigger or measuring spoons
  • Citrus juicer
  • Muddler
  • Shaker
  • Cocktail spoon
  • Highball glass


  1. In the cocktail shaker, muddle the cloves with the lemon juice until the spice is crushed into fine pieces.
  2. Add the apple juice and a handful of ice.
  3. Shake vigorously for 15-20 seconds until the outside of the shaker is extremely cold.
  4. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice and top with ginger beer.
  5. Use a cocktail spoon to gently mix the ingredients together.
  6. Garnish with apple slices.

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Alcohol-Free Apple and Clove Mule FAQ

Do I need to use cloudy apple juice?
No, you don’t necessarily need to use cloudy apple juice for the Apple and Clove Mule.  Cloudy apple juice refers to apple juice that still contains sediment or pulp, which can give it a slightly thicker and more textured character.  However, you can use clear apple juice if that’s what you have available.

Can I use ground cloves instead of muddling whole cloves?
Yes, you can use ground cloves instead of muddling whole cloves.  Start with a small amount (⅛ teaspoon) and adjust to your taste.

Can I use a different type of juice instead of apple juice?
While apple juice is the key ingredient in this recipe, you could experiment with other juices to create a variation on the mocktail.  Pear juice or cranberry juice could be an interesting alternative with the clove and ginger beer.

What is the purpose of shaking the mocktail?
Shaking the ingredients with ice helps to chill, slightly dilute, and mix the drink together thoroughly.  It also aerates the mocktail adding a pleasant texture to the drink.

Is ginger beer alcoholic?
Ginger beer can be both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.  Make sure to check the label or choose a non-alcohol version for this mocktail.

Can I use ginger ale instead of ginger beer?
Ginger ale can be used as a substitute for ginger beer if you want a milder ginger flavor.  Ginger beer typically has a stronger and spicier taste, which adds more depth to the mocktail.

Can I make a larger batch of the apple and clove mule for a party?
Yes, you can easily scale up the ingredients in this recipe to make a larger batch.  Simply multiply the quantities of all the ingredients by the number of servings that you’d like to make.  Instead of using a shaker, you can mix all of the ingredients in a pitcher or punch bowl instead.  Serve in glasses filled with ice and garnished with apple slices.

Can I make the apple and clove mule ahead of time?
It is best to prepare the apple and clove mule just before you’re ready to serve it.  However, if you’d like to get ahead, you can juice the lemons in advance and store in the fridge until you are ready to mix the drinks.

Can I use a different type of glass instead of a highball glass?
Yes, you can use any glass that you like to serve this mocktail.  Traditionally, mules are served in copper mugs, but you could use a Collins glass or even a regular tumbler too.

Did you make this?  Tag me @mightymocktail or use the hashtag #mightymocktail!

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