two glasses of tropical mule cocktail made from this mule recipe - feature image

Tropical Mule Recipe: Bright Caribbean Cocktail

This low carb Tropical Mule recipe has enough bright Caribbean cocktail flavor to make you forget the gray skies and chilly temperatures outside your window. It’s similar to the traditional Moscow Mule but with tropical flavors. Pineapple, coconut, lime, and ginger flavors combine in a sparkly drink that’s perfect for weekend sipping. Just 1 carb and 135 calories per serving.

For this recipe you’ll need: fresh ginger, pineapple vodka, coconut vodka, pineapple-coconut water enhancer, limes, sugar free ginger beer, club soda, and for colorful fun, a few frozen cranberries for garnish.

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Two glasses of tropical mule cocktail with frozen cranberries floating in them and black and white straws - tropical mule recipe title image

Low Carb, Sugar Free Tropical Mule recipe backstory

I don’t know about y’all but I’m so happy when the weather warms up. I’m tired of looking out the window at bright, sunny days that promise blessed warmth and slap me in the face with cold winds when I open the kitchen door to let the doggies out.

This year my Christmas gift to the family was a week long cruise in the Caribbean. We left January 7 and experienced really beautiful weather for the most part, although a few of our sea days were choppy and chilly. I could tell who the northerners were, they were the ones in the pool when I was on my balcony in a coat.

I did spend a glorious day on the beach where I managed to hold this styrofoam cup filled with a tropical cocktail long enough to snap this picture. Yes, I did the one thing that everyone does but I never had, I sipped a frozen pina colada on a tropical beach. Actually I sipped several of them.  The only thing that could have made them perfect was if they were served in coconuts.

hand holding a styrofoam cup on a sunny beach - vacation image for mule recipe post

What is a Moscow Mule?

All vacations come to an end however, and I’m back on my low carb lifestyle. I managed to spend a week on a cruise ship and not gain weight so that made me happy. I did miss those yummy cruise ship cocktail concoctions.

Moscow mules are made with vodka, ginger beer, ice, fresh lime juice, and lime wedges. They are usually served in copper mugs. Unfortunately the regular ginger beer used to make a Moscow Mule is carb heavy. That means one regular Moscow Mule has 15 carbs.  That’s too much for me.

frozen cranberries on the table next to the tropical mule recipe
Sparkly, refreshing, and oh so tasty. A tropical version of the Moscow Mule.

How to make a low carb, sugar free Tropical Mule

I wanted to make a Moscow Mule that reminded me of those tropical cocktails I had while on that cruise. To make a low calorie, low carb version, I added sugar free tropical flavors of pineapple, coconut, and ginger flavors along with a few frozen cranberries for color and to keep the drink chilled without watering it down. Using sugar free ginger beer reduces the sugar and carbs.  My go to low carb cocktail ingredient is sugar free flavored water enhancers.  They add all the flavor of the usual high carb ingredients like pineapple juice, orange juice, and simple syrup but without all that sugar.  Oh, about those frozen cranberries,  (1) you don’t have to add them, and (2) they don’t add calories OR carbs because you don’t eat them. They don’t taste great anyway, trust me on this one.  If you don’t have them, a lime slice, mint leaves, or mint sprig works great too.

This tropical version of the Moscow Mule is sparkly from the sugar free ginger beer and club soda. If you like your low carb cocktails a little heavier, add a little sugar free sweeter, then use more ginger beer and add the club soda to lighten it up.

This Moscow Mule done tropical style is one of my favorite cocktail recipes for chilly weekend afternoons curled up on the couch with Netflix and a 1960s bikini movie. It’s also great for entertaining from early Spring to late fall.  Or as I jokingly say, only on days that end with the letter “y”. I swear one of these days I am going to do a 1960s style Hawaiian luau party with these tropical Moscow Mules.

Marye Audet, Author of Tropical Mule Recipe, Standing on the Balcony of a Cruise Ship at Sunset
Me watching the sun and the world go by after a few tropical cocktails

Mule Recipe FAQs

Here are some facts and trivia about the mule cocktail.

  • How do you make the best Moscow Mule? Be sure to use a good vodka. There aren’t a lot of ingredients in this low carb cocktail so the ones you use must be high quality. Top shelf brands cost more, but sure taste so much better and make an awesome cocktail. Use a sugar free, spicy ginger beer, not store brand ginger ale.
  • Why does a Moscow Mule have to be in a copper cup? Besides tradition, the benefit of serving a Moscow Mule in a copper cup is that the copper keeps the cocktail cold. Personally I don’t like the feel of copper on my lips so I always ask for mine in glass.
  • Are ginger beer and ginger ale the same? Not at all. Ginger beer is brewed and fermented, although it remains non-alcoholic. Which is why Harry, Hermine, and Ron had them in the Harry Potter movies.  Ginger ale is just ginger flavoring added to carbonated water.
  • Can ginger ale be used as a substitute for ginger beer? Yep, it can but doesn’t taste nearly as good. See above.
  • Do flavored vodkas have more carbs than plain vodka? Some of the cheaper ones do. The bigger, higher end companies make theirs in such a way that the flavors don’t give the vodka carbs or extra calories.
  • How do you make a Kentucky mule? A Kentucky mule uses bourbon instead of vodka. Bourbon is too heavy in my low carb Moscow Mule recipe. I suggest sticking with vodka.  On a warm day, keeping your vodka in the freezer adds a refreshing, crispness to the drink.
close up of the tropical mule recipe with frozen cranberries floating in it and black and white straws on the table.
The frozen cranberries add color and coldness, but you can use a lime wheel, lime wedge, or even a mint sprig.

Low Carb Tropical Mule Recipe

This easy, low carb Moscow Mule recipe works as well in the dead of winter as it does on a bright summer day by the pool! Keep everything chilled and drink responsibly. Remember, alcohol can stall your weight loss efforts. Like me, you may want to limit the number of these simple cocktails you drink. If you love one of my favorite cocktail recipes please give it a five star rating, I would really appreciate it !

tropical mule recipe image - two cocktails with cranberries surrounding them
Print Pin Recipe

Tropical Mule Cocktail

Sweet and spicy with a tropical fruit flavor this easy low carb cocktail will brighten the dreariest winter day and make a warm day absolutely wonderful
Course Beverage
Cuisine Cocktail
Keyword cocktail
Prep Time 2 minutes
Total Time 2 minutes
Servings 1
Calories 135kcal
Author Katherine Peters


  • 1 1/8 -inch slice of ginger
  • 1 ounce pineapple vodka
  • 1 ounce coconut vodka
  • 1/4 teaspoon pineapple coconut water enhancer
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice
  • 4 ounces sugar free ginger beer
  • 2 ounces club soda
  • cranberries frozen


  • Muddle the ginger in the bottom of a cocktail shaker.
  • Fill with ice.
  • Add the vodkas, water enhancer, and lime juice and shake well.
  • Strain into a glass and add the ginger beer and club soda.
  • Garnish with frozen cranberries if desired.


Calories: 135kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Sodium: 12mg | Vitamin C: 4.3mg

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Vanilla Old Fashioned
Low carb Mulled Wine
Hot Mulled Wine

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