Buck (cocktail)

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TypeCocktail family
Common alcohol(s)
ServedOn the rocks; poured over ice
Standard garnishAny common garnish may be used
Standard drinkwareCopper cup, Collins
Commonly used ingredientsginger beer for a classic buck, deeper more complex cocktail, or ginger ale, for a neutral/sweet, dive bar style buck. Lime or other citrus juice
PreparationMay be mixed or muddled if mint, syrups, or fresh fruit is added; shaken vigorously with ice, then strained into the glass. Topped with ginger ale or ginger beer.

A buck is a cocktail that is made with ginger ale or ginger beer, citrus juice, and any of a number of base liquors.[1] Buck cocktails are sometimes called "mules" due to the popularity of a vodka buck that is known as a Moscow Mule.


The buck is believed to have gotten its name when someone added a shot of whiskey to the previously nonalcoholic Horse’s Neck, which consisted of ginger ale with lemon juice. The added alcohol gave the horse a "kick" – hence, a bucking horse.[2]


Variations include:

  • Bourbon, rye, or whiskey buck.[1]
  • Kentucky Buck, containing bourbon and strawberry.[3][4][5][6]
  • Gin buck, containing gin. Sometimes known as British Buck or London Buck.[7][8]
  • Gin Gin Mule, containing gin and mint.[9][10] Also known as a Ginger Rogers[11][12] (after the actress of the same name.)
  • Irish buck, containing Irish whiskey[13]
  • Mamie Taylor, containing scotch whisky.[14][15]
  • Rum buck, also called a Barbados buck or Jamaican buck to indicate the origin of the rum. Adding lime to a Dark 'N' Stormy creates a rum buck.[1]
  • Shanghai buck, made with light rum, and served at the Shanghai Club in the 1930s.[1]
  • Vodka buck, also known as a Moscow mule, invented in Los Angeles, California, US, and largely responsible for the popularity of vodka in the United States from the 1940s through 1960s.[1]
  • Chilcano, made with Pisco.[16][17]
  • Variations using brandy and other liquors[1]
  • Addition of syrups, different types of juice, fresh ginger, mint, and various garnishes[1]

In popular culture[edit]

  • In the Better Call Saul season 2 episode, "Bali H'ai", Schweikart, a founding partner of Kim Wexler's opposing firm, treats her to an upscale lunch to recruit her, orders a Moscow Mule in a copper mug, and offers her one, too. She declines both the mid-day drink, which she calls "vintage", and the job offer, but tacitly acknowledges Schweikart's message that the freedom to drink during a working lunch symbolizes the firm's larger offer of freedom to "spread her wings", in a firm unlike HHM's restrictive, unsupportive environment. Later that evening, Kim orders herself a Moscow Mule at a bar, and then calls Jimmy to help her fleece a philanderer who is hitting on her.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Camper English (2009-07-24). "Ginger beer gives a buck more bang". San Francisco Chronicle.
  2. ^ https://www.makersmark.com/cocktails/merry-berry-buck
  3. ^ "Kentucky Buck". Saveur. Retrieved 2020-05-16.
  4. ^ English, Camper; Chronicle, Special to The (2009-07-26). "Ginger beer gives a buck more bang". SFGate. Retrieved 2020-05-16.
  5. ^ "Kentucky Buck Cocktail Recipe". www.diffordsguide.com. Retrieved 2020-05-16.
  6. ^ Imbibe (2014-05-02). "Kentucky Buck Recipe". Imbibe Magazine. Retrieved 2020-05-16.
  7. ^ "London Buck with Thomas Henry Spicy Ginger | Drinks with Gin | Recipes". Thomas Henry. Retrieved 2020-05-16.
  8. ^ "British Buck | Kindred Cocktails". kindredcocktails.com. Retrieved 2020-05-16.
  9. ^ "Gin Gin Mule". Washington Post. Retrieved 2020-05-16.
  10. ^ "Gin-Gin Mule". Los Angeles Times. 2006-04-26. Retrieved 2020-05-16.
  11. ^ Imbibe (2015-09-15). "Ginger Rogers Cocktail". Imbibe Magazine. Retrieved 2020-05-16.
  12. ^ Punch. "PUNCH | Ginger Rogers Cocktail Recipe". PUNCH. Retrieved 2020-05-16.
  13. ^ Graham, Colleen (October 19, 2019). "The Classic Whiskey Highball Is Easy and Refreshing". The Spruce Eats.
  14. ^ "If You Love the Moscow Mule, Try a Mamie Taylor". Liquor.com. Retrieved 2020-05-16.
  15. ^ Imbibe (2009-12-04). "Mamie Taylor Cocktail". Imbibe Magazine. Retrieved 2020-05-16.
  16. ^ "The Chilcano is the Pisco Cocktail You're Craving". Liquor.com. Retrieved 2020-05-16.
  17. ^ Imbibe (2016-08-16). "The Chilcano Cocktail". Imbibe Magazine. Retrieved 2020-05-16.
  18. ^ Bowman, Donna (March 21, 2016). "Better Call Saul: Bali H'ai". AV Club.