Friday Night Cocktails: Moscow Mule

In the heat of high summer, a cocktail's refreshment quotient is important.  The Moscow Mule's combination of spicy ginger beer and lime zing delivers a sharp awakening of the senses.  In its gleaming stay-cold copper vessel, its the perfect cocktail for toasting late July.

Moscow Mule

(makes one

  • Fill a copper mug or highball glass with ice
  • Add the juice of a half lime and 2 oz of vodka
  • Top off with ginger beer to taste and garnish with a lime wedge
Legend has it that the copper mug became synonymous with the Moscow Mule when, John G. Martin, co-inventor of the drink, traveled to different bars across the country to promote Smirnoff vodka and gain notoriety for the drink.  At each stop, Martin would request the bartender pose for a polaroid holding Smirnoff vodka along with the specialty copper mug.  Martin would take two polaroids, leaving one behind with the bartender for display at their bar, and the other would go into a photo collection that he would then show to the next bar on his itinerary as convincing evidence of the Moscow Mule's quickly spreading popularity.  As with the Mint Julep cocktails' silver cup, the copper mug is an essential component of the Moscow Mule cocktail experience for three good reasons:  tradition, aesthetic, and practicality -- it keeps the drink cold!