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The Moscow Mule: Everything You Need to Know

Explore the fascinating history of Moscow Mules, a delicious cocktail that combines the flavors of ginger beer, lime juice and vodka in a distinctive copper mug. The drink was created to promote vodka, and it has grown to become one of the most popular cocktails in the U.S.

The Moscow Mule: Everything You Need to Know

The Moscow Mule is a refreshing cocktail that combines vodka, ginger beer and lime juice. This sweet and spicy drink has a gentle fizz and is typically served in a copper mug, which adds a distinctive touch to its presentation. However, there's more to this cocktail than just its taste, appearance and serving vessel. In this article, we'll explore the rich history of the Moscow Mule and how it became an iconic drink enjoyed by many.

The Flavors of a Moscow Mule

A Moscow Mule's distinctive flavor comes from the combination of vodka, which is made from grains or potatoes and has a neutral flavor, and ginger beer, which is a spicy, carbonated drink made from ginger, sugar and lemon juice. The additions of lime juice provides a tart, citrusy note to the drink, which is further enhanced by the copper mug that it is traditionally served in. Copper has a naturally occurring antimicrobial agent that helps to preserve the drink and keep it cold.

How to Make a Standard Moscow Mule Cocktail

As a refreshing and easy-to-make cocktail, Mules can be enjoyed any time of year. To make a traditional Moscow Mule, fill a copper mug with ice and add 1.5 ounces of vodka, 4-6 ounces of ginger beer, and the juice of half a lime. Stir to combine and garnish with a slice of lime. Some variations of the recipe include the addition of other ingredients such as mint, lime wedges or cucumber slices. If you're looking for a high-quality Moscow Mule mixing kit to help make the drink-making task easier, look no further than Advanced Mixology.

Actually, It’s Not from Russia

Despite its name, the Moscow Mule didn't originate in Russia. In fact, it was actually created in Los Angeles! The name "Moscow" was used to pay homage to its base spirit's (vodka) roots, while "Mule" indicated the kick that the ginger beer provided to the beverage.

Order your Moscow Mule mixing sets today

Order your Moscow Mule mixing sets today
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The Cocktail Was Created to Save Failing Businesses

The two main components of the Moscow Mule – vodka and ginger beer – were brought together because of their owners' failure to sell them as individual products. In the 1930s, a Russian ex-pat named Rudolph Kunett bought the rights to Smirnoff Vodka production from Vladimir Smirnov. He sold Smirnoff Vodka in North America but was unsuccessful to the point of bankruptcy. To prevent this, he sold the company to John G. Martin, president of G.F. Heublein Brothers, Inc., for the paltry sum of $14,000 (about $250,000 today).

At the time, Americans' drink of choice was whiskey, so Martin experienced the same problem as Kunett and failed to sell the vodka at first. One fateful day in 1941*, he visited his friend, Jack Morgan, at his Cock n' Bull bar on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. Little did Martin know that Morgan was experiencing the same issues selling his ginger beer, which was created by Morgan in the early 1940s as a homebrew. After discussing their two beverages at length, the duo concocted a drink, and the Moscow Mule was born.


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