Serious Eats: Drinks
The Cider Press: Buck Cocktails
Traditionally, a buck cocktail (also known as a mule) involves ginger ale and lemon juice mixed with liquor and served in a highball glass. With all that soda, however, bucks tend to be a bit on the sweet side and I have difficulty drinking more than one. But the buck is a great candidate for updating with a splash of good hard cider.
Cider retains the carbonation level and flavor density while reducing the density of sugar in the cocktail. Ginger and cider are a natural flavor pairing; the spiciness of the ginger balances with the tart character of the cider. The result is a much drier, much more drinkable cocktail.
Here are two tasty cider-focused variations of the buck. The Young Buck is a refreshing summer afternoon drink with a dash of hibiscus syrup for a tart, floral character. The Uncle Buck is more rustic and spicy, due to the addition of rye, cider molasses, and allspice dram.