a moscow mule and finally fall

I have been looking forward to this first official weekend of fall.

Though it will still be close to 90 degrees outside – with humidity to match – I’m going to pretend that we’re having autumn here in north Florida. I plan to sit in my rocking chair on my front porch, listening to the wind chimes, even if I have to turn on the porch ceiling fans to make some cool breezes. I might decorate the front steps with some pumpkins, although they’ll soon begin to decay in the heat and will have to be replaced in a week or so. There might be chili or a hearty stew on the stove at some point. I’ll send my kids on a colored-leaf hunt, and they’ll manage to find one or two leaves that have turned the faintest shade of orange.  I think I’ll bake something. Maybe another pie – pumpkin, maybe? – or perhaps a cheesecake.

I’m planning to enjoy this weekend, no matter what life throws my way.

I might even celebrate with a cocktail. A Moscow Mule would hit the spot perfectly. It’s not a classic fall drink, but it’s certainly refreshing and suitable for our warm weather.

I associate this drink with Gail – for no other reason than she’s the one who clued me into this cocktail. It’s very simple to make and doesn’t require many ingredients, two requirements for an easy and low-key cocktail hour. For me, the hardest part of putting this drink together was finally figuring out that ginger beer is not actually beer flavored with ginger.

Don’t make this with beer flavored with ginger. Trust me on this.

Yield: 1 drink

Moscow Mule


1 1/4 ounce vodka
1 teaspoon simple syrup
1/2 lime
4 ounces ginger beer


In a tall, chilled glass, add vodka and simple syrup. Fill glass with ice, then squeeze the lime over the ice. Drop the lime half into the glass and top with ginger beer. Stir well with a stirrer. Enjoy.