Moscow Mule, Copper Mugs & Warm Summer Evenings

Thinking of adding a new drink to your repertoire? Maybe you want to host your friends for a party and want to spice things up with a novel drink? In either case, the Moscow Mule is a great choice, as it has a certain ‘cool factor’ as well being simple to make. Read on to find out more about this popular drink that is enjoying a resurgence in the US.

A Cool, Refreshing Alcohol Drink

The Moscow Mule is one of the easiest drinks to make, and its crisp and refreshing flavour makes it suitable for a warm summer evening. The drink can be enjoyed at parties or in more intimate settings, and it will appeal to both men and women.

moscow mule recipe


This vodka cocktail has a snappy spice that is unique, refreshing, and invigorating while also being simple. It can jazz up an evening with friends or be enjoyed at a party or at the bar.

The drink was popular with the Hollywood crowd in the 1960s, and then regained the spotlight over the last decade and it has reached new heights of popularity since. This resurgence introduced an entirely new generation of drinkers to the great taste of the Moscow Mule, but the origins of the drink are also quite interesting.

The Story Behind The Drink

The story of the creation of the Moscow Mule is disputed, but there are two main claims about the origin.
One story dates back to 1939, when the owner of the Cock N’ Bull pub in Hollywood, Jack Morgan, partnered with John Martin to promote Smirnoff vodka along with the bar’s house ginger beer. At the time, the Russian spirit was not very well known, unlike today. The drink went on to become a sensation in the nearby areas, and for a time, was the most popular drink of the era. This collaboration between the two brands was a great success, as both brands are still thriving today.

Another story also places the origin of the Moscow Mule at the Cock N’ Bull pub. In 1941, the head bartender, Wes Price, needed to unload liquor stock that wasn’t selling. According to Price, he just wanted to clean out the basement, as they had too much ginger beer for the bar and were having trouble getting rid of it. This successful promotion was enhanced by a marketing campaign in which a Moscow Mule made with Smirnoff vodka was served in copper mugs. The mugs became a trademark vessel for the drink, the campaign was a success for the Russian vodka, and the drink has been popular ever since.

Ted Haigh, in his book Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, claims that Morgan apparently had a girlfriend who owned a company that made copper products, so the copper Moscow Mule mugs were relatively easy to come by for him.

The Copper Mug

copper mugs for moscow mule

One of the unique things about the Moscow Mule is the way it is served, in copper cups. The copper cups have probably played a role in the mystique and popularity of the drink. Everyone wants to know what you’re drinking in that shiny copper mug and it certainly is a novelty for some.

The main benefit of using copper Moscow Mule mugs is temperature. The best drinkers have known for hundreds of years that chilled drinks in copper cups offer an extra-cool sensation because the metal quickly taking on the icy temperature of the cocktail.

Some say that the flavour of the drink is also enhanced as the lime juice is brought to life by the extra-cold copper, heightening the tangy citrus notes and reducing the acidity to better compliment the spicy ginger beer.

So while the copper mug is not essential, it does bring a touch of authenticity to serve the Moscow Mule in its iconic copper drinkware, a nice change from the same old glasses we use for other drinks.

How To Make the Moscow Mule

The recipe to make the Moscow Mule is as follows. As with all mixed drinks, you can vary the amounts for a stronger or weaker drink, according to taste.

Ginger beer is a non-alcoholic “root beer” soda and is less sweet than Ginger Ale. The ginger beer is the real appeal to the Moscow Mule; the vodka and lime merely complement it.

So to experience it completely, you should use one of the many great ginger beers available. Ginger beers vary in the intensity of their ginger spice flavour. Some have a softer spice that is nearly at the level of ginger ale and others are very strong, poignant and unforgettable.

For this recipe, choose your favourite clear vodka. You don’t necessarily need the best, something mid-range will do just fine. But remember that this is a simple cocktail so a bad vodka will only degrade its overall taste. To get experimental, you can try using a flavoured vodka as well.

how to make moscow mule

How To Make Moscow Mule
Prep time
Total time
Moscow Mule Recipe
Recipe type: Drinks
  • 4-5 oz. Ginger Beer
  • 2 oz. Vodka
  • ½ oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • Fresh lime wheel for garnish
  1. Squeeze lime juice into a fresh chilled glass with ice (preferably a copper Moscow Mule mug, though a 10 - 11 oz highball glass will also work)
  2. Pour in vodka
  3. Fill the rest of the glass with ginger beer
  4. Garnish with a lime wheel


Now that you know exactly how to mix your own Moscow Mules, it’s time to try out this extremely popular drink and prepare to show your friends a good time with the novelty of serving it in the copper mugs. With its long history as a beloved cocktail in the US, the Moscow Mule is all set to make a splash at a party near you.

Author Bio :

David Brown is a co-founder of He’s been refining his tastes in great adult beverages for longer than he cares to admit. He enjoys learning from both professionals and fans of fine alcohol and sharing his own knowledge of the craft.

{This post is sponsored by Advanced Mixology}

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