This year marks the 75th Anniversary of the Moscow Mule and October 26th is National Mule Day, so what better way to celebrate than with a little history and recipes of the Moscow Mule.
What’s so special about this cocktail and what’s the deal with the mug? For me (and others will agree), it has a lot to do with the copper mugs they are served in. If I order a Mule, I always ask first if they serve it in a copper mug. It’s a must have!
I was honored to sit down with JJ Resnick, at this years Tales of the Cocktail who is the CEO of Moscow Copper Company and grandson of the Moscow Mule originator. We chatted about our love of Moscow Mules and listened to his story of both the creation of the Moscow Mule and the infamous copper mugs.
In 1941, Sophie Berezinski came to the United States with some copper mugs that were made in Russia at her father’s shop. While in New York she met Max, married and moved to California with the mugs in tow. They sat in the garage for awhile and Max told her to sell them or throw them out. So naturally, Sophie set out to a mission to find a buyer for her beloved copper mugs. While out searching for a buyer, she walking into Cock ’n’ Bull on Sunset Strip. There she met Jack Morgan, the pub owner who was trying to get people to drink his ginger beer; and John Martin, who had recently purchased Smirnoff Vodka distillery.
Since Americans were drinking mostly dark spirits, the vodka business was not good for old John and he was out of ideas on how to push his product. Enter Sophie. The three sat for hours experimenting with recipes until they came upon the perfect combination that benefited all three: ginger beer, vodka and of course, the copper mug.
The Moscow Mule secured the sale of the copper mugs for Sophie and the rest is history.
JJ has relaunched his grandmothers company and is producing the original mug style, which is taller than the short, squatty version you may be used to (which means more cocktail in it!). The Moscow Copper company is also manufacturing tiny mugs, flasks, ice buckets and other bar accessories using 100% Turkish copper. They are also proud to say they have the original mold of the first Moscow Mule mug and one of the original mugs brought over by Grandma Sophie, which was displayed at the Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans.
So grab a Moscow Copper Co mug and try your hand at some of these recipes:
•2 ounces vodka
•4 ounces ginger beer
•1 fresh lime
•3 slices of fresh cucumber
Shake and muddle the slices of cucumber with juice from a lime. Fill your Moscow Copper mug with ice, pour the vodka and add mint leaves. Add the cucumbers and lime juice. Top with ginger beer and garnish with a slice of cucumber and a sprig of mint.
•2 ounces vodka
•1 ounce pomegranate juice
•1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
•1 tablespoon pomegranate seeds
Grab your Moscow Copper mug and add your ice. Add vodka, pomegranate juice, pomegranate seeds and freshly squeezed lime juice. Top off with ginger beer and garnish with a sprig of fresh rosemary.
BEET THE MULE
by Ariel Scalise from Palm Springs, CA
•1.5 oz. Rhum Barbancourt
•0.5 oz. Montelobos Mezcal
•0.5 oz. Ginger Syrup
•0.5 oz. Beet Juice
•0.75 oz. Lime
•Pinch of Salt
•Fever-Tree Ginger Beer
Shake Rhum, mezcal, ginger, beet, lime and salt. Strain into Moscow Copper Co. copper mug. Garnish with pina leaf, ginger candy and dehydrated lime wheel.
by Carlos Ruiz from Princeton, NJ
•1 oz. Aylesbury Duck Vodka
•1 oz. Amaro Averna
•0.75 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
•0.75 oz. Domaine De Canton
•0.5 oz. Simple Syrup (2:1 ratio)
•2 Dashes of Bittermens Hellfire Bitters
•2 oz. Club Soda
In a cocktail shaker add all ingredients except for the club soda. Shake with ice and double strain into into a Moscow Copper Co. copper mug. Top off with the club soda and garnish with a nice mint Bouquet.
Get more recipes at www.moscowcopper.com and pre-order Mulehead, The Moscow Mule recipe book featuring top recipes from over 400 entries from bartenders all over the world.