Moscow Mule: The Copper-Clad Cocktail of Your Dreams U nless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve probably heard of the Moscow Mule...
Moscow Mule: The Copper-Clad Cocktail of Your Dreams
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve probably heard of the Moscow Mule. This drink has gained great popularity recently, adorning the menus of trendy gastropubs and bars all over the globe in a grand array of varieties. Though the original is certainly tasty enough. It’s made with vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice and is garnished with a wedge of lime. What makes it a true Moscow Mule is serving it in a copper mugs. More on that in a moment.
Let us first hash out the history of this copper-clad alcoholic beverage. It was originally invented in the Chatham Hotel in New York City in 1941. The details get a bit fuzzy after that, but the essential bits are that the owner, John A. Morgan (who went by Jack) and two of his friends were sitting about and experimenting with concoctions and that’s how this drink was invented.
Of course, it could never just be that simple. That was merely the thread of the cocktail’s history that was promoted for years on end. In 2007 though, a new version of the tale came to light. In this one, Wes Price, who was Jack’s head bartender, invented it to clear out the bar’s cellar that was packed to the gills with Smirnoff vodka and ginger beer. He mixed it up and served it to actor Broderick Crawford, and that’s how it took off.
Whichever one you choose to believe doesn’t really matter once you have a sip of it. The Moscow Mule will have you forever hooked on its refreshing flavor. It’s also served in that distinctive copper mug which can definitely be traced back to Jack who would ask the bartenders to pose with the classy cocktail mug along with a bottle of Smirnoff.
These days, the FDA regulates the use of copper mugs to ensure that all of the ones used as drinking vessels are lined with another metal like stainless steel on the inside. That’s because copper and copper alloys can become toxic when used with the acidic ingredients of the Moscow Mule. So luckily for us, those copper mugs you see are not full-on copper throughout, a very good thing indeed.
If you want to make a Moscow Mule at home, you’d better invest in proper copper mugs that are lined inside to ensure no copper toxicity problems. You’ll need 2 ounces of vodka and 3 ounces of ginger beer. You’ll also need juice from half of a lime. Fill your copper mug with ice and add the ingredients. Stir it up and garnish it with a wheel of lime. Don’t have a copper mug? Use a highball glass instead.
There are different variations of it too. Some add in berries and herbs while others incorporate bourbon for a twist on the classic. There are even chocolate versions of it out there. It’s become the cocktail of right now so the next time you’re out and about, don’t be surprised if you find a whole section of Mules on the menu that the bartender has lovingly created in hopes of propelling it into the spotlight for all infamy.