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Bub’s Berry Smash: mulling over the mule

A really refreshing cocktail for summertime.

Berry Smash Mule
Berry Smash Mule
Ashley Pelletier
  • Ashley Pelletier
  • Bub’s at the Beach
  • 1030 Garnet Avenue
  • Pacific Beach

The cruel summer heat draws me toward Pacific Beach for a cooling drink. Open and airy, Bub’s at the Beach promises a variety of specialty Moscow mules; bartender Ashley Pelletier recommends that I try the Berry Smash. She tells me it’s a popular option that offers a bit of a twist by replacing vodka with gin.

“We wanted to bring in a gin mule, just because we do a lot of vodka, a lot of tequila. We do whiskey as well… but I feel like gin is often underplayed, and a lot of people don’t like gin, or think they’re not going to like gin. So we wanted to bring that in and make it more approachable.”

The makeup of the famous copper mug cocktail doesn’t stray too far from the traditional. “You are going to get your classic mule flavors in there: ginger beer, lime juice, bitters. But then we also add a strawberry purée to give a summery, fruity flavor to it.” Plus the other, obvious distinction: Cutwater gin. “It has an herbal type of flavor, which I feel works well with the strawberry.”

“A lot of our other mules fall on the ‘super sweet’ side of the spectrum,” she explains. “So I would recommend this one to someone who doesn’t want something overly sweet, but who is still looking for something fruity.” Pelletier points to the pureé as a source of balance within the cocktail. “It’s actually a mix of strawberries and lime juice, so it cuts that sweetness a little bit. Which is nice, because it comes off as more of a refreshing gin cocktail, instead of an overly sugary cocktail.”

She shares an inside story about Bub’s cocktail recipes. “All of our mules have come about through trial and error. We used to have a mule of the month, so we would all put together different concoctions. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. But the really successful ones made it up there on the board,” she says, pointing to a chalkboard list that includes the Berry Smash Mule.

“I’ve seen a lot of variations at different places. Mules using whiskey or tequila,” she says, mulling it over. “But I haven’t really seen anything with gin. And if it’s done correctly, it can make a really refreshing cocktail for summertime.”

Berry Smash Mule

Bub’s at the Beach’s

Berry Smash Mule

  • 1 1/4 oz. Cutwater gin
  • 2 dashes of bitters
  • ½ oz. lime juice
  • 1 oz. strawberry pureé
  • Fever Tree Ginger Beer to fill
  • Mix ingredients together with ice and pour into a copper mule mug. Top with ginger beer, lime wedge, and strawberry slice.
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Berry Smash Mule
Berry Smash Mule
Ashley Pelletier
  • Ashley Pelletier
  • Bub’s at the Beach
  • 1030 Garnet Avenue
  • Pacific Beach

The cruel summer heat draws me toward Pacific Beach for a cooling drink. Open and airy, Bub’s at the Beach promises a variety of specialty Moscow mules; bartender Ashley Pelletier recommends that I try the Berry Smash. She tells me it’s a popular option that offers a bit of a twist by replacing vodka with gin.

“We wanted to bring in a gin mule, just because we do a lot of vodka, a lot of tequila. We do whiskey as well… but I feel like gin is often underplayed, and a lot of people don’t like gin, or think they’re not going to like gin. So we wanted to bring that in and make it more approachable.”

The makeup of the famous copper mug cocktail doesn’t stray too far from the traditional. “You are going to get your classic mule flavors in there: ginger beer, lime juice, bitters. But then we also add a strawberry purée to give a summery, fruity flavor to it.” Plus the other, obvious distinction: Cutwater gin. “It has an herbal type of flavor, which I feel works well with the strawberry.”

“A lot of our other mules fall on the ‘super sweet’ side of the spectrum,” she explains. “So I would recommend this one to someone who doesn’t want something overly sweet, but who is still looking for something fruity.” Pelletier points to the pureé as a source of balance within the cocktail. “It’s actually a mix of strawberries and lime juice, so it cuts that sweetness a little bit. Which is nice, because it comes off as more of a refreshing gin cocktail, instead of an overly sugary cocktail.”

She shares an inside story about Bub’s cocktail recipes. “All of our mules have come about through trial and error. We used to have a mule of the month, so we would all put together different concoctions. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. But the really successful ones made it up there on the board,” she says, pointing to a chalkboard list that includes the Berry Smash Mule.

“I’ve seen a lot of variations at different places. Mules using whiskey or tequila,” she says, mulling it over. “But I haven’t really seen anything with gin. And if it’s done correctly, it can make a really refreshing cocktail for summertime.”

Berry Smash Mule

Bub’s at the Beach’s

Berry Smash Mule

  • 1 1/4 oz. Cutwater gin
  • 2 dashes of bitters
  • ½ oz. lime juice
  • 1 oz. strawberry pureé
  • Fever Tree Ginger Beer to fill
  • Mix ingredients together with ice and pour into a copper mule mug. Top with ginger beer, lime wedge, and strawberry slice.
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