History of the Moscow Mule
While the exact origin of the Moscow mule cocktail is uncertain, a recent version asserts that Wes Price, the head bartender at the (now demolished) Chatham Hotel in New York during the 1940s, invented the cocktail recipe as a way to clear out extra stock from the cellar.
Jack Morgan, president of Cock ‘n’ Bull products—including ginger beer—had a surplus of unsold inventory, as did John G. Martin, president of G.F. Heublein Brothers Inc., who needed to increase sales of Smirnoff Vodka (which the company had acquired the rights to towards the end of the 1930s). The copper Moscow mule mugs were part of Smirnoff’s marketing strategy, as Martin would take photos of bartenders holding the mugs, showing the next bar he’d visit how popular the vessel was for drinking this cocktail. While they do not have any actual effect on how cold the drink stays or how it tastes, the copper cups are seen as the traditional vessel for this easy recipe.
Classic Moscow Mule Recipe
Prep Time3 min
Total Time3 min
- 2 ounces vodka
- 3 ounces ginger beer (ginger ale can also be used)
- ½ ounce fresh lime juice
- Garnish with lime wedge and fresh mint sprigs
- Add ice cubes to your cocktail shaker and combine your vodka and lime juice.
- Shake well until chilled.
- Fill a copper mug (or similarly sized cocktail glass) with crushed ice.
- Strain your mixture into your mug or glass.
- Top with the ginger beer.
- Garnish with your lime and a sprig of mint.
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