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.  You guys, it is one of my faves!  And — fun fact — it’s also the first cocktail that Barclay ever made me when we very first started dating.  (I knew he was going to be a keeper.) ;)

A horsefeather is basically just a whiskey version of 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.  And it is delicious.  We usually keep all four of those ingredients on hand in our kitchen, so it is the perfect impromptu cocktail for a happy hour or a dinner party.  And it’s always a hit!

Here’s how we make one…

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!


Horsefeather Cocktail

  • 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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14 comments on “Horsefeather Cocktail”

  1. 5 stars
    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. 5 stars
    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!

  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. 5 stars
    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. 5 stars
    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.