Saturday, February 8, 2014

Moscow Mule for #ElleAPalooza

An easy cocktail that packs a punch of bright flavors from ginger beer and lime, the Moscow Mule is as refreshing as it is pretty. 

This post is a tribute to a friend and blogger who passed away suddenly last week. Her real name was LeeAnn but we all knew her as Elle of Elle’s New England Kitchen.  She was 45 years young and leaves behind an enormous group of devastated family members and friends, including her husband and four children.

Here’s a question for you:  Can you be genuine friends with someone if you haven’t met them? I think back to the days of elementary school-age pen pals and handwritten letters and I say yes. And nowadays, social media and the internet make it even easier than ever. For instance, I meet people through comments on this blog, interest groups and fan pages on Facebook, communities on Google Plus and forums like Chowhound. Some become real life friends. To the point that I would squeal and get excited at the chance to spent time together in person. Elle was one of those people. I met Elle through a Facebook group called The Cookbook Junkies and her fun personality and quick wit endeared her to us all. As a fellow food blogger with a love of family and cooking, not to mention the aforementioned addiction to cookbooks, I couldn’t help but feel we had a lot in common. More than anything else, social media have shown us that we are more alike than we are different. Which made the news of her death a huge shock to everyone in our Facebook and blogging communities. 

We wanted to do what we could to ease the suffering of her family and, frankly, make ourselves feel a little better, a little less useless in the face of loss. So, we give you #ElleAPalooza, a multi-blogger tribute weekend to one of our own, one of the best of our own, when we all choose a recipe to share from Elle’s blog and ask you to consider contributing an item for an online auction in her honor which is being organized in the coming weeks or donate to a fund for her family right now. 

I spent ages looking through Elle’s New England Kitchen, reading from her very first post  back in 2008 and searching for just the right recipe. I finally settled on a cocktail called a Moscow Mule. I could have toasted Elle with a piece of blueberry pie or honey lime chicken tacos or even Watermelon Nectarine Salsa (Doesn’t that sound divinely refreshing?) But I finally decided that Elle deserves a proper toast and a proper toast requires a cocktail. 

I’ve got to tell you that I’ve never had a Moscow Mule before but it was fresh and delicious and it is my new favorite drink. So here’s to you, Elle! Know that you have touched more lives that can be counted with your kindness, your generosity of spirit, your snarky sense of humor and especially your delicious recipes. You are greatly missed.

Ingredients for one Moscow Mule 
1/2 oz fresh lime juice (about half of one big lime)
2 oz or 30ml vodka 
4-6 oz or 120-180ml cold ginger beer 
(My bottle says Ginger Soda because this is Dubai and I guess they aren’t allowed to call it beer in case someone thinks it has alcohol but it’s the real deal, from Australia.

Squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lime into a tall glass, and toss the lime in after it.

Add about one cup of ice and pour in the vodka.

Top up with the cold ginger beer. Stir lightly and serve.

Lift a glass to Elle and enjoy!

If you’d like to read more #ElleAPalooza recipes and tributes, please join the Friends of Elle Facebook page where we will be sharing our links.

Here are a few that are live already:

If you’d like to sign Elle’s legacy guestbook online, here’s that link as well. 

Once more: the link to Elle’s family fund Paypal account.  Find the link to donate here

If you would like to donate an item for the upcoming auction, please drop me a line at or contact the organizer Heather Shively by sending an email to


  1. I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend - and yes, I *do* believe that someone you've never met in person can truly be a friend - no question! I had my first Singapore Sling in September when we were in Cambodia, and really enjoyed it - I'm read to try another 'location' cocktail! I've never had a Moscow Mule, but I really enjoy Dark and Stormys (-ies?) and I prefer vodka to rum anyway. Our challenge has been to figure out where to procure ginger beer in Seoul - we finally resorted to making our own (another post altogether) but for simplicity's sake, we have been known to resort to using ginger ale - expat resourcefulness at its best!....A sweet tribute and one that I'm sure has your friend smiling in appreciation.

  2. Funny you should say that you use ginger ale, Carolyne, because when I asked friends if they had ever heard of a Moscow Mule this weekend, they said, "Yes!" but they make them with ginger ale. And they are from the UK, home of ginger beer. I guess either will do but ginger beer is more gingery. I'd love to see how you made it at home!

  3. Lovely post for Elle and this drink looks delicious. I've never had a Moscow mule, but since I love ginger beer/ale, I think it would be right up my alley!

  4. Beautiful post and a refreshing looking drink. Elle will be greatly missed.

  5. How funny - I'd much rather use ginger beer - you're right, it's gingery-er - but some people don't like that spicy ginger 'bite.' We actually cobbled together a recipe from several we found online - not too difficult, but we did have one small explosion due to overcarbonation, which resulted in a lot of sticky cleanup work!

  6. It's incredible the impact someone who you haven't met can have on your life but I understand how online friends can become part of your life. I still remember Barbara from Winos and Foodies who battled cancer - I keep a pinterest board of her yellow livestrong event as a little tiny online momento of a generous spirit. Thoughts to Elle's family.

  7. I'm sorry for your loss - I have read posts like this all day - Although I never met her, she was surely loved all around the world by many women. It looks like a great drink as well! :)

  8. She will indeed, Jenn. She will indeed.

  9. I love ginger too, Amy, so I guess that's why this particular cocktail appealed to me. You need to try it!

  10. LOVE this! She would have enjoyed raising a glass of this with you.

    I have made some of the most wonderful friends online and due to food blogging. One of them my husband. I never discount any friend I make. You never ever know when you will find a great one.

  11. It is incredible, Sally, how strong the bonds can be. Thank you for your thoughts and kind words.

  12. You would have loved her, Kelli! She was our kind of people.

  13. Isn't that the truth, Heather! I have friends all over the world from moving so much, but now that network has grown even more with blogging.

  14. "social media have shown us that we are more alike than we are different" ... oh this is so very true, and very evident this weekend as the community comes together.

    thank you for your wonderful words about our friend - she would have loved to cheers with this drink!

  15. I just love a good Moscow Mule! Cheers to Elle!!!
    Renee - Kudos Kitchen

  16. I've never had a Moscow Mule, but I know that I will be trying one soon and there will definitely be a toast to Elle involved.

  17. This is so very sad. RIP Lee Ann/ Elle. I am praying for peace for her family and friends. xoxo.


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