Hakka Mule Recipe

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By: Brian Callahan, Bartender, Tiger Mama, Boston, MA.


  • 1 ounce Montelobos mezcal
  • 3/4 ounce Appleton Estate Signature Blend rum
  • 1/2 ounce Giffard Banane du Bresil liquer
  • 1/4 ounce Giffard Orgeat syrup
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 15 drops Bittercube Jamaican No. 2 bitters
  • 2 ounces Chinese 5 Spice Ginger Beer (see recipe page 00)
  • Sprig of mint, for garnish


  1. Combine all ingredients except ginger beer, and shake over ice.
  2. Add two ounces Chinese five spice ginger beer, and strain into mule mug over Kold-Draft cubes.
  3. Garnish with a sprig of mint.

Chinese 5 Spice Ginger Beer:

Combine 2 ounces fresh ginger juice, 4 ounces lemon juice, 6 ounces Chinese 5 spice simple syrup (see instructions below), and 20 ounces cold water. Pour into a CO2 siphon and charge.

Chinese 5 Spice Simple Syrup:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 6 star anise pods
  • 2 tablespoons fennel seed
  • 2 tablespoons Szechaun peppercorns (substitute green peppercorns if unavailable)
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 4 three-inch cinnamon sticks (or 2 six inch sticks broken into pieces)
  • Add spices to dry saucepan and heat over medium heat until fragrant (about 3-4 minutes). Add remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes, turn off heat and steep for an hour. Strain and keep refrigerated for up to two weeks.


For the Hakka Mule, I wanted to combine Chinese five spice, a key ingredient in many Asian cuisines, with some of the staples that make up Tiki cocktail culture. While they hail from two completely different cultures, ingredients such as cinnamon, ginger, star anise, and banana are flavors that work so well together in both Asian and Caribbean cuisine. Then I turned to my personal favorite Moscow Mule variation, the Oaxaca Mule, and added the mezcal for some backbone. The name Hakka refers to a Chinese subgroup made up primarily of laborers, that originated in Northern China. In Chinese, “Hakka” translates directly to “guest family” which refers to the several migrations the Hakka people have been forced to make due to social unrest, upheaval, and invasions. In the mid-19th to early 20th century, there was a massive migration of Hakka people to Jamaica. To this day Jamaica is home to one of the largest Hakka populations outside of China.