Moscow Mule


Have you heard about the Moscow mule? It's a cocktail served in a copper mug. Right now it's all the rage, partially because of its beautiful serving vessel and partially because the drink is downright delicious. I like to think of it as a cousin to the mint julep in terms of flavor, though the ingredients are completely different. In the fall, the drink's distinctive serving vessel was so popular (and theft prone), you had to pay a deposit for using the mug at bars, which was only returned when the mug was returned. Online retailers were selling out right and left, which of course made me want a copper mug of my own all the more. What is it about wanting what one can't have? Tisk tisk. Santa bought me a mug of my own for Christmas, so I could make the cocktail at home whenever I want. Well whenever Merle goes to bed early and I don't have housework to do and I don't have to work the next day, so rarely lol but certainly more frequently then if I had to go out to an actual bar. 


The Moscow mule isn't actually a new drink. It came about in the 1940s shortly after Heublein Drink Company bought the rights to the Smirnoff Vodka brand. At the time, vodka was just beginning to be introduced to American spirits consumers. What happened next varies based on what source you read, but the gist of it is, the combination of flavorful ginger beer (a common product at the time) helped mask the strong taste of vodka. And of course helped sell more vodka. To think less than a century later, college girls everywhere would be living off cranberry vodkas! The copper mugs came into play because they wanted an eye catching way to attract more consumers and because the girlfriend of the bartender where the drink was invented worked at a copper mug factory. 

Regardless of the origins, I think they taste great, when you're looking for a refreshing cocktail that is relatively light on alcohol. Here's how you make it. 

Moscow Mule
Serves 1

1 shot vodka
4 oz ginger beer
2 lime wedges
Ice

In the bottom of the copper mug, muddle one lime wedge. Add ice and pour in half the ginger beer. Add the vodka and then the remainder of the beer. Squeeze the second lime wedge on the top of the drink and toss it into the mug. 

Drink immediately. You know, in case the kids wake up ;)

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