Uncover the origins of the refreshing Moscow Mule and why the cocktail is traditionally served in a copper mug.
The Moscow Mule is the perfect cocktail to combat these long January nights.
A simple two-ingredient cocktail, it may not sound like it packs a flavour punch, but thanks to its fiery ginger zing with a sharp citrus edge, it’s a long, refreshing drink ready to quench any thirst.
The Moscow Mule was created in Hollywood’s famous British pub, the Cock ‘n’ Bull Saloon on Sunset Strip.
The bar was a star-studded affair in its prime, with visitors including Bette Davis, Orson Welles, Richard Burton and Dean Martin. Alongside musicians Rod Stewart, Keith Moon and Joe Cocker - who loved the bar so much he named his band after it! It is also said that Madonna and Sean Penn were spotted enjoying a cocktail at the venue before they married in the 1980’s.
Home of the Moscow Mule, the drink was created by owner Jack Morgan who was trying to launch his own ginger beer. When a Connecticut liquor and food distributor visited the bar selling Smirnoff Vodka, the Moscow Mule was created to help boost sales of both products by simply combining the vodka with Jack’s ginger beer and adding a squeeze of lime, inspired by the Cuba Libre.
Why is the Moscow Mule served in a Copper Mug?
It was undoubtedly the copper mug in which the cocktail is traditionally served that led to the drink’s global success.
Not only did the mug keep the cocktail extra-cold, as the metal takes on the temperature of the cocktail, but it was a stylish serve that was created to make the drink stand out from the Martini glasses that filled back bars.
However, the copperware is linked to another marketing tie-in. Driven by owner Jack Morgan’s girlfriend at the time. The copperware serving was introduced as a way to boost sales of the poorly selling mugs from the copper factory which she had inherited.
The original copper mugs were engraved with a bucking mule logo and as the vodka used was Russian Smirnoff, this lead to the cocktail’s name - the Moscow Mule!
Once the drink was created at the Cock ‘n’ Bull, the cocktail became ‘Insta-famous’ before Instagram was even invented. A liquor distributor went bar-to-bar with a Polaroid camera taking photos of bartenders with the Moscow Mule’s distinctive mug and a bottle of vodka to show new bars what they were missing by not having the vodka on their menu.
The Moscow Mule
Our Moscow Mule recipe also contains two optional extras to add to your drink, with the addition of mint leaves and a citrus juice of your choice to add an extra element to your cocktail.
- 50ml RubyBlue Vodka
- 75ml Fever-Tree Ginger Beer
- Mint Leaves (Optional)
- 15ml Lemon/Lime Juice (Optional)
Method: If using a copper mug, start by rinsing the mug with cold water and placing in the freezer for 15 minutes to chill and frost. If you do not own a copper mug, a highball glass will work. Once chilled, fill your mug with fresh ice. Pour over the vodka, a squeeze of lemon/lime juice (if using) and give it a gentle stir. Pour over your ginger beer to taste, around 75-100ml is our recommendation. Finish by rubbing a sprig of mint around the rim of your glass and garnishing with a citrus wedge.
Enjoy a Moscow Mule at home
By joining our Cocktail Club in January, you can enjoy two glasses of the refreshing Moscow Mule at home!
Our January box features everything you need to make the Moscow Mule, alongside the reinvigorating Bloody Mary with our in-house recipes making the perfect serve for each cocktail.