The Little Donkey

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Cocktail History

The Little Donkey is a Christmas cocktail that was created by Emma Stokes and was first published in her book Have Yourself a Merry Little Cocktail: 80 Cheerful Tipples to Warm Up Winter. It’s essentially a Christmas cookie-flavored Moscow Mule that uses the classic’s template of vodka, lime, and ginger beer but adds a decadent gingerbread syrup that makes it truly unique.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Vodka: This is the base spirit. It’s a type of clear distilled alcohol made with grains or potatoes. We used Smirnoff Vodka because it’s high quality yet still affordable. For a mocktail version of this drink, use Strykk Non-Alcoholic Not V*dka in place of the vodka.

Gingerbread Syrup: This is a sweetener made with ginger, ground nutmeg, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, whole allspice berries, whole black peppercorns, vanilla extract, honey, white sugar, brown sugar, gum Arabic powder, and water. We made ours at home using Alex’s sous vide recipe.

Lime Juice: This is the liquid juice of a lime. We used freshly squeezed lime juice.

Ginger Beer: This is a carbonated beverage made with ginger spice, yeast, and sugar. We used Q Mixers Ginger Beer because it has a delicious ginger flavor that is sweetened with agave syrup.

Cinnamon Stick: This is the garnish. We used cinnamon sticks from the bulk section at our local grocery store.

Tasting Notes

The Little Donkey starts with fragrant baking spice aromas followed by a spicy ginger-forward taste accented with a rich and heavy gingerbread sweetness that lingers on the palate all the way through the swallow.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: The Little Donkey is truly an incredible Moscow Mule! We thought it would be hard to unseat our Holiday Gin Mule’s top spot as our favorite Christmas mule, but this one might just take its crown, at least for Kendall.

Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

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Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

Take Our Quiz →

Alex’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“This is one drink you shouldn’t sleep on even if you have a more developed palate like mine. The recipe is simple, but the gingerbread and ginger beer work extremely well together, creating a simultaneously spicy and sweet mixture that screams Christmas. While vodka hangs out in the back to add a spirituous kick without too much intrusion of flavor, the festive flavors mingle and create a drink that’s reminiscent of cookies by the fireside as a kid.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“I didn’t grow up eating gingerbread cookies around the holidays, so my first introduction to this common blend of flavors was actually in cocktails a couple of years ago when we did our first Christmas cocktail tastings. For earlier recipes, Alex made an incredible gingerbread syrup using the sous vide method, and it’s become one of my favorite mixers to use in holiday cocktails. This is the first drink we’ve tried that puts it center stage, and boy, is it delicious. It’s going to be hard for me to choose between this one and our Holiday Gin Mule from now on because this one’s so good too!”

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from Have Yourself a Merry Little Cocktail: 80 Cheerful Tipples to Warm Up Winter by Emma Stokes.

Sale
Have Yourself a Merry Little Cocktail: 80 Cheerful Tipples to Warm up Winter
Have Yourself a Merry Little Cocktail: 80 Cheerful Tipples to Warm up Winter
Hardcover Book; Stokes, Emma (Author); English (Publication Language); 144 Pages – 12/01/2020 (Publication Date) – Pop Press (Publisher)
$14.27

AuthorHave Yourself a Merry Little Cocktail

Yields1 ServingPrep Time5 mins

Ingredients
 2 oz Vodka
 ½ oz Lime Juice
 Ginger Beer
 1 Cinnamon Stick

Method
1

Add vodka, gingerbread syrup, lime juice, and ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a lowball glass over fresh crushed ice.

4

Stir gently for 3-5 seconds.

5

Garnish with cinnamon stick.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 2 oz Vodka
 ½ oz Lime Juice
 Ginger Beer
 1 Cinnamon Stick

Directions

Method
1

Add vodka, gingerbread syrup, lime juice, and ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a lowball glass over fresh crushed ice.

4

Stir gently for 3-5 seconds.

5

Garnish with cinnamon stick.

The Little Donkey

Make It a Mocktail: Use Strykk Non-Alcoholic Not V*dka in place of the vodka to try a booze-free version of this drink.

Tools & Glassware We Recommend

More Christmas Cocktails

If you like this Christmas cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

Holiday Gin Mule Cocktail Recipe

Holiday Gin Mule: A blackcurrant gin cocktail made with apple cinnamon syrup, lime juice, ginger beer, rosemary, and cranberries

Kohler Mint Cocoa Cocktail Recipe

Kohler Mint Cocoa: A chocolate mint brandy cocktail made with milk, white peppermint schnapps, dark crème de cacao, cocoa powder, whipped cream, and grated chocolate

Sugar Cookie Cocktail Recipe

Sugar Cookie Cocktail: A vanilla vodka cocktail made with amaretto, Irish cream liqueur, heavy cream, simple syrup, and sprinkles

Cranberry Cobbler Cocktail Recipe

Cranberry Cobbler: A sherry cocktail made with cranberry syrup, orange slices, an orange wedge, mint, and cranberries

This post contains affiliate links, meaning we make a small commission each time you purchase a product using our links. Product images sourced from Amazon Product Advertising API. Amazon affiliate links last updated on 2023-01-31.

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