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Horsefeather Cocktail

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This classic Horsefeather Cocktail is easy to make with just 4 ingredients — your choice of whiskey, ginger beer, bitters and a squeeze of lime. Basically, a refreshing whisky spin on a Moscow mule.

Horsefeather Cocktail (Whiskey Moscow Mule)

A few weeks ago when I posted a story about making horsefeather cocktails on Instagram, my inbox lit up with messages asking the same question — “What on earth is a horsefeather?!”

I always forget that this cocktail, which is ubiquitous around Kansas City and supposedly originated in Lawrence, Kansas, is lesser-known around the rest of the world. But it’s one of my faves! And, fun fact, it’s also the first cocktail that Barclay ever made me when we very first started dating. ♡

A horsefeather cocktail is basically a whiskey spin on a Moscow mule, made with your choice of whiskey (we typically use bourbon), ginger beer (the spicier, the better), a squeeze of lime (or lemon), and (unlike a mule) a few generous shakes of bitters. It is delicious. And since usually keep all four of those ingredients on hand in our kitchen, it is also the perfect impromptu cocktail for a happy hour or a dinner party. So let’s make a round!

Ingredients for a Horsefeather Cocktail: bourbon, bitters, ginger beer

Begin by gathering your ingredients:

  • whiskey (any kind works, but we typically use bourbon or KC whiskey)
  • ginger beer (the spicier the better, in my opinion)
  • Angostura bitters
  • citrus (lemon or lime slices)

Add a bunch of ice to a highball glass, or really, any kind of glass. (Barclay used to drink from a collection of recycled spaghetti sauce jars as a bachelor, so we always serve ours in mason jars for old times’ sake.)  ;)  Then pour in all of the ingredients, stir to combine…

Horsefeather Cocktail (Whiskey Moscow Mule)

…and in just a minute or two, this refreshing cocktail will be ready to serve.

Horsefeather Cocktail (Whiskey Moscow Mule)

Cheers, friends!

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Horsefeather Cocktail

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.9 from 9 reviews
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 minutes
  • Yield: 1 serving 1x


This classic Horsefeather Cocktail is easy to make with just 4 ingredients — your choice of whiskey (bourbon is standard), ginger beer (the spicier, the better), bitters, and a good squeeze of citrus.  Feel free to add more/less ginger beer to taste.


  • ice
  • 2 ounces whiskey
  • 4 ounces ginger beer
  • 4 dashes Angostura bitters
  • lemon or lime wedge


  1. Fill a highball glass (or mason jar) with ice.  Add whiskey, ginger beer, bitters, and a squeeze of lime or lemon, and stir to combine.
  2. Serve immediately, garnished with extra lemon or lime.

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18 comments on “Horsefeather Cocktail”

  1. Sounds perfect right now :-)

  2. What a coincidence – I just had one of these at Q39 last night! I’m happy to know how easy it will be to recreate it at home!

  3. So it’s a Horse’s Neck cocktail with added bitters- YUMMMMMM.
    Good with Rye as well, as it ups the spice quotient.

  4. what a cool cocktail!

  5. Sipping this right now. Delicious!!!

  6. Do you think this would pair well with tequila or mezcal? Not a whiskey fan but the rest sounds great!

    • Oooh, haven’t tried it, but imagine it would work well. If you give it a try, report back! :)

    • One of my favorite Mexican restaurants uses blood orange tequila (could use plain) and calls it a Mexican Mule. Absolutely DELISH!!!! Enjoy!

  7. The first time I ever had a horsefeather, I was in Lawrence!

    • We made this drink last night for the Kansas City AFC Championship game and really enjoyed it!
      We live in SC, but my wife is from KC. She has saved several of your recipes, but only recently realized that you are married to Barclay Martin. She studied Spanish in Ecuador at the same university in that Barclay attended. Small world!

  8. I’m always happy to find a new cocktail, love an excuse to break out the bitters too, thank you!

    • Not bad, but make it better – add fresh mint (noticable upgrade) and serve in copper mug.

  9. I had never hear of this cocktail but now it is one of our favorites! Thank you so much for introducing it to us.

  10. Being a bourbon lover, and college in Kentucky…we call it a Kentucky Mule!:)

  11. Whether it makes a difference in taste the pictures of your drinks show unfiltered Ice. I always like the Clear Ice look. A little more professional maybe?? Thank you for the Horsefeather Cocktail recipe Ali. Sounds delicious. Will definitely be in my home bar for sure. See Papa’s Bar on Facebook. Cheers.

  12. Damn It Boy !!! Just made one with Southern Revival Straight Bourbon Whiskey made with Jimmy Red Corn. Glad to have found this recipe and this bourbon !!!

  13. Not usually a fan of bourbon, but it’s Derby Day. Delicious–rethinking my opinion of bourbon. So much nicer than a Moscow Mule or my usual Dark and Stormy. I think this will be my new “go-to” drink for a while.

  14. Today is my 68th birthday and besides dinner, my daughter and son in law gave me a 1.75 liter of Weller Special Reserve, light ginger beer, a lemon, bitters (which I already have) and cherries. They included recipes for Old Fashioned, Manhattan (which I’ve never tried), and….. Horsefeather!! I live in the KC area and order them at our favorite place for barbecue- they’re pretty strong there! Tonight my son in-law made one for me, and it was mighty tasty! Your recipe is very similar to the one he made ; I’ll try both and see if they’re different. I love the story behind your and your husband’s tradition. 💝