Celebrate National Bootlegger’s Day with a Templeton Mule

January 17 is National Bootlegger’s Day! The day is also the birthday of Templeton Rye Whiskey and infamous bootlegger Al Capone.

Prohibition Background

After the 18th amendment passed, the starting date for nationwide prohibition was January 17, 1920. During these “dark days,” members of a small town named Templeton, Iowa created a well-known whiskey they named Templeton Rye. The illegal brew apparently was Al Capone’s whiskey of choice and many a bottle was bootlegged around the midwest. Read more about these storied days at bootleggerssociety.com or even more in the book “Gentlemen Bootleggers: The True Story of Templeton Rye, Prohibition, and a Small Town in Cahoots.”

Here in the future, I’ve found Templeton Rye, which is based on the same prohibition-era recipe for Templeton Whiskey, is a solid stand-by for my whiskey-based cocktails.

To celebrate National Bootlegger’s Day, we whipped up few Templeton Mules, a delicious twist on the Moscow Mule featuring Templeton Rye.

Templeton mule cocktail

Templeton Mule Cocktail Recipe


  • 2 oz. Templeton Rye whiskey
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • ½ oz. mint simple syrup*
  • 3 oz. ginger beer (I used Trader Joe’s, but also like Fever Tree)
  • garnish: lemon slice


  1. In cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine whiskey, lemon juice and syrup. Shake well.
  2. Strain into glass filled with ice (I like crushed ice), and top with ginger beer. We used a copper mule cup, but you could also use an old fashioned glass. Garnish with lemon slice

* For a strawberry twist, try our Strawberry Mint Simple Syrup recipe

templeton mule

Note: Thanks to Templeton for providing a bottle of Templeton Rye for us to make tasty, tasty cocktails with.

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