A cocktail with a lemon wheel and thyme sprig
Photography, Laurent Moynat

Apple-Ginger Mule Mocktail with Thyme & Lime

French Chef Mohamed Cheik swaps out vodka for apple juice to create a zero-proof Mule cocktail that he has appropriately named "Manzana".

As alcohol-free drink options increasingly go mainstream, this zero-proof drink is a must-try. A twist on the traditional Mule cocktail, apple juice replaces vodka and lime is muddled with fresh thyme. Top with ginger beer and you have a glass full of bright flavours.

This mocktail hails from the mind of Mohamed Cheikh, an up-and-coming French-Algerian chef rising in prominence across the Atlantic. At just 30, he recently won France’s Top Chef reality cooking competition, standing out to viewers with endlessly witty punchlines as well as frank discussions about racism in the cooking world. His first cookbook – Ma Cuisine Méditérrannéenne (My Mediterranean Cuisine) – pays homage to the classic flavours of that region while experimenting with various national cuisines. For example, his recipes for Algerian boureks, croquettes and carpaccios all with an inventive twist and vivid execution.

This mocktail is striking in appearance and flavour, lending itself to different kinds of glassware and inviting some experimentation with the garnish. Best of all, this mocktail delivers serious flavour,  which makes it well-suited for offering to guests who don’t partake.

A cocktail with a lemon wheel and thyme sprig


Servings 1 glass


  • 1/2 lime
  • 20 ml sugar syrup
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • crushed ice
  • 50 ml ginger beer
  • 100 ml apple juice
  • 1 tsp. cane sugar


  • Slice the lime.
  • Pour sugar syrup into the glass, add the slices of lime and thyme leaves. Crush the ingredients together with a muddler. Finally add the crushed ice, ginger beer and apple juice.

A cookbook cover in a light frame