La Jolla Strip Club's Moscow Mule

La Jolla Strip Club

4292 Esplanade Court, La Jolla

(Has gone out of business since this article was published.)

La Jolla Strip Club bartender Jim Sloan tells me that his formal education in vodka began two years ago, when he signed on as La Jolla Strip Club’s bar manager. “I never knew as much about vodka as I learned since working here,” he says. “We have up to 122 vodkas in-house,” Sloan says.

Because of the eatery’s emphasis on martini-style cocktails, his version of the Moscow Mule differs from the traditional — vodka and lime juice topped with ginger beer in a frosty copper mug. So, of course, Sloan serves his version — shaken, not stirred — in a martini glass.

Easy on the eye and the tongue, this salmon-hued mixture is a concentrated 2.5 oz. version of the usual 10 oz. copper-cupped affair. “The most important thing with the drink is that you get enough of the fresh lime juice,” Sloan says. “If there isn’t enough, the Canton can tend to overpower the drink a little bit. It’s supposed to be made so the lime balances out the ginger flavor.”

The real trick to the drink’s success, though, is the violence used in preparing the drink. “You definitely want to make sure it’s shaken vigorously. The more of the ice crystals you can get to float on the surface of the drink, the better, so the splash of soda on top doesn’t mellow out the drink’s temperature.”

Kitchen Proof: The ginger and lime make a perfect combo with the vodka to deliver a satisfying hind-hoof to the taste buds.

Jim Sloan

Jim Sloan

Moscow Mule

In cocktail shaker, pour:

  • 1.5 oz. of Crater Lake (or Ketel One) Vodka
  • ½ oz. of Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
  • ½ oz. fresh lime juice
  • 3 splashes of Angostura or other bitters

Shake vigorously, strain into a martini glass, top off with splash of Sprite and lime twist for garnish — and then wait for the kick, comrade.

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I always like to shake drinks vigorously and get the floating ice crystals. I think it make the drinks better, definitely colder. The La Jolla version of the Moscow Mule is intriguing. It adds kind of a modern twist to a 1940s cocktail classic. I will have to try Jim Sloan's version next time I serve up Moscow Mules. Happy Drinking!

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